Teen Addictions Are Increasing During the Pandemic—And How Adults Can Help

Teen Addictions Are Increasing During the Pandemic—And How Adults Can Help

By James J. Crist, Ph.D., author of What’s the Big Deal About Addictions?

The effects of the pandemic have been steadily increasing since the start in March 2020. Most schools have resorted to online learning. Students and teachers alike find that distance learning is very stressful and often less effective. The loss of jobs, particularly in the service industries, has been catastrophic for many families. People of color have been particularly hard hit. It is understandable that many of us are experiencing pandemic fatigue and, despite the warnings of public health officials, more people are breaking out of their restricted social groups and are travelling, eating in restaurants, and playing sports. Sadly, this appears to have resulted in a third wave of cases. As of December 8, 14.8 million people have tested positive for COVID-19. More than 300,000 Americans have died, and over 100,000 Americans are hospitalized. Of further concern is that people who have recovered from COVID-19 are at a higher risk of developing mental health problems.

As a result of this stress, a disturbing increase in mental health disorders, including addictions, has been reported. Rates of suicide have also increased. The social isolation is hard on most teens, but anxious or depressed teens may suffer even more. If you know of anyone who might be thinking about suicide, the Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a good resource to share. The phone number to call is 1-800-273-8255. They can also be found online.

Fortunately, there are many ways that parents can help their teens and other family members with addiction problems during the pandemic.

Addictive Disorders and COVID-19

Research tells us that prior to the pandemic, drug and alcohol use were fairly common. By 12th grade, almost 60 percent of teens have tried alcohol. About 36 percent of teens have tried marijuana, 24 percent have tried smoking cigarettes, and about 50 percent of teens have used electronic cigarettes (vaping). According to the CDC, substance abuse has increased among all age groups since the start of the pandemic. The number of people testing positive for fentanyl, methamphetamine, heroin, and cocaine has increased.

People with substance use disorders who develop COVID-19 are much more likely to be hospitalized and more likely to die. Since COVID-19 is a respiratory virus, those who smoke or vape (as many teens do) are at higher risk of contracting the disease and experiencing more significant health effects when they do. One major downside to tighter prescription monitoring of painkillers such as OxyContin has been an increase in people resorting to more dangerous opioids such as heroin and fentanyl, since these drugs can be easier to obtain in some communities than legal medications are. The risk of overdose is high when using street drugs because people don’t know how much of a drug they are getting.

The Effects of the Pandemic on Teen Mental Health

Kids who are unable to play with friends and teens who are unable to hang out together are finding the isolation harder and harder to handle. The loss of milestones, such as attending dances and proms and having in-person graduations, is tough for many teens. Most kids and teens do not find learning easy with an online format, which means that school is now a greater source of stress than it was when attending classes in person. When families have been hit financially through layoffs or job losses, kids also feel the stress of not knowing if their family will be able to keep their apartment or house. Such stresses can overwhelm one’s ability to cope.

Addictive behaviors, such as drug or alcohol use, as well as behavioral addictions such as internet gaming, compulsively checking social media, and watching porn are more likely to occur when someone does not have good coping strategies for handling stress, anxiety, and depression. Addictive behaviors are a quick fix but do not allow teens to develop healthier coping strategies, such as mindfulness, deep breathing, journaling, and talking with peers about their problems.

This is why one of the best strategies for overcoming addictions (or preventing them in the first place) is learning healthier ways of handling emotions and finding alternative activities that are enjoyable, such as hobbies or sports.

For most teens, their social life is one the most important aspects of their lives. Spending time with friends, dealing with conflict, exploring dating, and sharing secrets are critical for healthy development. For many teens, the best part about school is socializing. For some, it is the only thing they like about it. The loss of sports, drama club, and other school activities has taken its toll as well. Getting regular exercise, which for some occurred only during physical education classes, helps reduce stress. For most, it’s much more fun to do that with friends than by yourself.

Getting Help with Addictions

About 22 million people are in recovery from an addictive disorder. The good news is that telehealth services have increased substantially since the start of the pandemic. This may allow some people to obtain help who were earlier not able to do so. A wider array of therapists who can treat addiction may be available to support you and your family. Ask your family doctor or your teen’s school counselor for recommendations on counseling. Your insurance company may also have a list of providers who provide this service. While some therapists are only conducting sessions online, others are meeting with patients in their offices. If you do schedule an in-person appointment, be sure to ask about what the counselor’s protocol is for keeping everyone safe. Some teens like the idea of doing therapy sessions from the comfort and privacy of their bedrooms.

Many teens and adults with addictive disorders find that self-help groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous are very helpful in staying sober and avoiding relapse. Since the start of the pandemic, many of these groups no longer meet or only meet online, though some have transitioned to meeting outdoors. While online meetings may provide some help, they aren’t the same since the camaraderie and socializing that accompanies such meetings can’t be replicated in the digital space. Many people are tired of Zoom meetings. One advantage of online meetings, however, is that you can join meetings with people in different parts of the country (or even the world). You don’t have to worry that you’ll run into someone you know at a meeting. And for those who don’t have transportation to attend meetings, having more online options means that more people are able to access them.

Other Sources of Support

Some agencies have been reaching out to teens to provide support. Two organizations, Heart Smiles and Harlem Lacrosse, both in-person mentoring programs, are now doing their mentoring online. Programs like these allow teens to maintain connections during the pandemic.

The American Society of Addiction Medicine website has resources to help people access online support groups.

The Centers for Disease Control website has a page to assist parents in helping their kids and teens cope with pandemic stress.

Teens can access the 5th Dimension Young People’s Group (aka 5D), which meets every day on Zoom at 9:30 p.m. Eastern time. You can contact them by emailing 5D.meetinginfo@gmail.com or by texting 5d to 313131 from any US phone number and you will receive information on how to join via Zoom or call in.

How Parents Can Help Teens Struggling with Addictions

Parents can help teens by encouraging social contact. You have to weigh the pros and cons of allowing your teens to socialize with others. Teens are notorious for thinking that bad things will never happen to them, which understandably worries parents. Opportunities to gather socially distanced outside can help. Some teens have become creative, finding ways to get together outdoors with power outlets so they can bring their gaming devices. Of course, not all teens have access to such amenities.

Encourage your children to stay active. Family walks and bike rides are great ways to stay in shape and reduce stress. Ask teens to help you cook dinner. Get out some of the board games you may not have played in years. These can be good bonding experiences, even if your teen balks at first.

What about screen time? Many parents limit screen time for kids and teens. It is true that excessive screen time is not healthy for kids, especially young kids. However, for many kids it’s now their only way to socialize. It’s okay to relax your screen time rules during the pandemic. Rather than setting strict limits and punishing kids when the limits are not followed, it is much more helpful and effective to have a conversation with your kids (teens especially) and work together to find a good balance. As long as your kids are doing their best in school (as much as they can given the online format), helping around the house with chores, getting some exercise, and spending time with family, giving them extra screen time shouldn’t be a problem. However, if your child has trouble getting off screens when their time is up or is neglecting responsibilities as a result of excessive screen time, imposing stricter limits is in order.

Finally, be sure to keep lines of communication open. Ask how your kids are coping, how they feel about online school, if they have worries about the coronavirus, and if there is anything you can do to help. Sometimes letting your kids vent and being able to empathize with them can relieve some of the pressure. Don’t be afraid to ask your kids if they are using drugs, alcohol, vaping, or other activities to help themselves feel better. Teens don’t always feel comfortable talking with parents, but often, if you take the time to listen without judging them or telling them what to do or feel, they will open up. Let them know that they are not alone, that you’re in this together, and that you’ll do whatever you can to help them feel better and get through the pandemic.

Dr. James J. CristAuthor James Crist is the clinical director and a staff psychologist at the Child and Family Counseling Center (CFCC) in Woodbridge, Virginia, and a substance abuse counselor, working with addictive disorders in teens and adults. At CFCC, he provides psychological testing and individual, couples, and family psychotherapy for children, adolescents, and adults, specializing in children with ADHD, depression, and anxiety disorders. Visit his website at jamesjcrist.com.

Free Spirit books by James Crist:

What's the Big Deal About Addictions? Answers and Help for Teens by Dr. James J. CristSiblingsThe Survival Guide for Making and Being FriendsWhatToDoWhenYou'reScaredAndWorriedWhat to Do When You’re Cranky & Blue


We welcome your comments and suggestions. Share your comments, stories, and ideas below, or contact us. All comments will be approved before posting, and are subject to our comment and privacy policies.


FSP Springybook Signature(c)© 2021 by Free Spirit Publishing. All rights reserved. The views expressed in this post represent the opinion of the author and not necessarily Free Spirit Publishing.

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Top 20 Posts of 2020

As we reflect on the past year, we want to give a shout-out to our bloggers, authors, and readers! This year was challenging in many ways, and we’re thankful that you’re here to make our blog what it is. You are amazing!

On this last day of 2020, we’re rounding up the top posts from this year. Got a favorite we didn’t include? Drop it in the comments.

1. Heading to Middle School: It’s Going to Be Okay

Heading to Middle School: It’s Going to Be Okay

Transitioning from elementary to middle school can be difficult, even without a pandemic. School counselor Amanda C. Symmes shares the OKAY acronym (Options, Kindness, Allow failure, Yield) to help kids navigate the transition.

2. 10 Study Habits for Student Self-Regulation in Virtual Learning

10 Study Habits for Student Self-Regulation in Virtual Learning

Making the switch to virtual learning was necessary, but not easy. Author Richard M. Cash, Ed.D., shares 10 ideas to help students manage themselves during virtual learning so they can stay actively engaged.

3. How Trauma Impacts Learning

How Trauma Impacts Learning

Middle school counselor and author Stephanie Filio explores the impact of trauma on learning and how schools can help ease the pain of students who have experienced trauma.

4. How Teachers Can Help Students with Mental Health Issues During the Coronavirus Pandemic

How Teachers Can Help Students with Mental Health Issues During the Coronavirus Pandemic

Students have had a range of reactions to the lockdowns and other pandemic-related restrictions. Dr. James J. Crist offers educators advice for how they can identify and help those students struggling with mental health issues during virtual learning.

5. 3 Technology Tools to Enhance Your School Counseling Lessons

3 Technology Tools to Enhance Your School Counseling Lessons

School counselor Danielle Schultz shares three technology tools that can be an excellent way to add more excitement, engagement, and interaction to your school counseling lessons.

6. Self-Care for Educators at Home

Self-Care for Educators at Home

Switching to virtual learning or hybrid learning increased demands on educators’ time. In this post, Stephanie Filio offers self-care ideas for teachers and reminds them that taking care of their students means taking care of themselves too.

7. 13 Out-of-the-Ordinary Questions for More Meaningful Conversations with Kids

13 Out-of-the-Ordinary Questions for More Meaningful Conversations with Kids

Yes-or-no questions can stop a conversation in its tracks. To jump-start a more compelling and meaningful conversation with kids, try any one of these 13 questions and prompts focused on social and emotional learning.

8. 8 Ways Principals Can Support Teachers During the COVID-19 Pandemic

8 Ways Principals Can Support Teachers During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Our resident principal blogger, Andrew Hawk, shares ways administrators can help their teachers as their workloads and stress levels increase during the pandemic.

9. Back-to-School Freebies for Educators to Use Anywhere

Back-to-School Freebies for Educators to Use Anywhere

We shared just a small sampling of our freebies for educators in this post. If you’re looking for painless PD you can do from home, you’ll want to check it out!

10. Class Project: Creating Video Book Reviews

Class Project: Creating Video Book Reviews

We invited a second-grade teacher and a technology teacher to our blog to talk about their project-based learning experience creating video book reviews.

11. Help Students Manage the Emotions of Going Back to School During the Pandemic

Help Students Manage the Emotions of Going Back to School During the Pandemic

Even in the best of times, going back to school can be stressful. Author Rayne Lacko shares five tips for managing the emotions—both your child’s and your own—of going back to school.

12. 11 Uplifting Ideas to Try at Home or in the (Virtual) Classroom 

11 Uplifting Ideas to Try at Home or in the (Virtual) Classroom

2020 was tough! In this post, we encourage you to take time to pause, take a deep breath, and stop the doomscrolling (at least for a few minutes). Try out the ideas in this blog post to spark more upbeat thoughts and attitudes and to incorporate mindfulness into your day.

13. Movement Activities for Teaching Listening Skills

Movement Activities for Teaching Listening Skills

Author Connie Bergstein Dow explains three playful dance games that reinforce listening skills, impulse control, and delaying gratification. Each one can be used during virtual learning to encourage children to get up and move around.

14. Grow Through What You Go Through

Grow Through What You Go Through

Author Shannon Anderson shares how teachers and their students can practice adopting a growth mindset. Although these are challenging times, they are also times of many opportunities to teach and build resilience and compassion.

15. The 6 Characteristics of High-Quality Professional Development and Learning: Part 1

The 6 Characteristics of High-Quality Professional Development and Learning: Part 1

Author Richard M. Cash, Ed.D., highlights the first three of six characteristics and methods that ensure teachers and administrators are getting what they need, when they need it, to move all students toward greater success. You can also read part two of the six characteristics of high-quality PD here.

16. The Golden Hour: Dear Class of 2020

The Golden Hour: Dear Class of 2020

Our dear friend Barbara Gruener wrote a letter to the class of 2020 to help them find healing and hope as all those rite-of-passage traditions we have historically savored—every single one of them—has been deleted from seniors’ digital calendars.

17. Helping Children Cope with the COVID-19 Crisis

Helping Children Cope with the COVID-19 Crisis

Children react to stress by looking at how adults cope. Author and psychologist Deborah Serani, Psy.D., offers ways you can help your children—and yourself—move through the COVID-19 crisis.

18. Purposeful Play: Connecting Play and Learning in Preschool

Purposeful Play: Connecting Play and Learning in Preschool

In one of our few pre-pandemic blog posts to make this list, early childhood blogger Molly Breen discusses how play is integral to learning in preschool.

19. Providing a School Counseling Practice from Home

Providing a School Counseling Practice from Home

At the beginning of the pandemic, Stephanie Filio provided information on evaluating the situation and making goals and plans for providing a school counseling practice from home.

20. Grow Your Child’s Emotional Intelligence

Grow Your Child’s Emotional Intelligence

Guest blogger Nefertiti B. Poyner, Ed.D., from the Devereux Center for Resilient Children, shares five strategies that can help you increase your child’s EQ.


We welcome your comments and suggestions. Share your comments, stories, and ideas below, or contact us. All comments will be approved before posting, and are subject to our comment and privacy policies.


FSP Springybook Signature(c)© 2020 by Free Spirit Publishing. All rights reserved. The views expressed in this post represent the opinion of the author and not necessarily Free Spirit Publishing.

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Home for the Holidays

Home for the Holidays

It’s probably an understatement to say that 2020 did not go as expected. And while the Free Spirits faced many challenges this year, we also celebrated many accomplishments. We rallied our authors and bloggers to share advice for teaching during distance learning, we learned how to work together from home, and we released 28 books into the world.

We also learned from you, our readers. We wish you happy and safe holidays and a hopeful New Year.

The entire staff at Free Spirit Publishing is staying home the rest of this week and part of next to celebrate and recharge. We’ll be back to blogging Thursday, December 31, with our top blog posts from 2020.


We welcome your comments and suggestions. Share your comments, stories, and ideas below, or contact us. All comments will be approved before posting, and are subject to our comment and privacy policies.


FSP Springybook Signature(c)© 2020 by Free Spirit Publishing. All rights reserved. The views expressed in this post represent the opinion of the author and not necessarily Free Spirit Publishing.

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Students and Resilience During the Pandemic

By Stephanie Filio, M.Ed., author of Responding to Student Trauma: A Toolkit for Schools in Times of Crisis

Students and Resilience During the Pandemic

It’s a strange time. We are sad about our lives being on hold, and yet we have enjoyed time with ourselves in a way that wasn’t possible before. We are moving but standing still; we are hurrying to wait. My students report that they both miss school incredibly but also kind of love having first bell in pajamas. My teachers report that they have seen a new side to students as students attend video classes and chat together with fewer social divides. Despite all the sadness that COVID-19 has brought, it seems there are some silver linings among the tears.

Resolving the good and bad of an international pandemic gets to the heart of the power of resilience. How do we bottle up the power of what our students are experiencing this year and help them take it with them through the next phases of their journeys? We work through our current crisis highlighting their accomplishments (big and small) and empower them to take agency over the things they can control.

Adaptation

In all we have seen this year, the ability for people to adapt has by far been the most amazing thing to witness. We have endured difficulties back-to-back until our heads spun, but here we are still standing together. Within this, our students have even learned new skills to get through their “new normal.” Before the shutdown, how many students were taught to:

  • wake themselves up
  • stay home alone
  • maneuver through multiple digital classes
  • adhere to strict health guidelines
  • remember new safety protocols
  • operate a digital video service
  • create a classroom environment at home

The answer? Very few! But students have adapted and have proven themselves to have a strength that adults rarely give them credit for. Our students need, and deserve, to know that this type of resilience is not because of the pandemic; it was already there, waiting to be exercised.

Risk and Reward

Sometimes there is risk in being tenacious. I do a lesson with my students about inclusive classrooms based on my aunt Concetta, who lived a very large and full life with spastic cerebral palsy. I talk to students about how others may give us certain character traits that have a negative connotation (for example, hard-headed, stubborn, sassy), but those traits can actually be positive when used the right way. It’s a risk to hang onto those traits if we are told to let go of them (the risk might be getting grounded!), but with time we can learn to use them for good (such as to advocate for the rights of others).

Asking for help is another tool that many believe is risky. Students and adults alike wonder if they will appear weak and often avoid asking others for assistance in accomplishing something. For someone like my aunt, however, not asking for help would have meant missing out on a million adventures. Reframing seeking assistance as advocating for oneself—even, dare I say, being pushy—will tremendously help students who are experiencing adversity. When obstacles are uncontrollable, accepting help from others is one way that students can have some authority in choosing to have more positive experiences.

New Gratitude

Practicing gratitude is often praised as a method for exercising mindfulness. In times of crisis, gratitude and mindfulness are not just about ignoring the negative and focusing only on the positive. They are about focusing on the positivity that an individual creates. Part of resilience is being able to face hardship to fully process it. This being so, we want to allow students to embrace all the emotions they may feel as they work through something difficult. Quarantine? It stinks. COVID? It’s the worst. Zoom school? It isn’t the same. But hardship can lead to new lessons and experiences.

Quarantine –> stinks –> so I rearranged my room into my safe space and now I love it

COVID –> the worst –> so I started drawing and now I have a whole book of art that depicts emotions

Zoom school –> isn’t the same –> so my friends and I started writing a short story together about it that is hilarious

In all three of the instances above, students are acknowledging their feelings while also proving to be highly adaptable without even realizing it! Gratitude activities for students that focus on what they have done to improve their situation can provide proof that they are strong and thriving even in the face of a tough time. A couple activities that might expose some of this evidence include:

  • Skills show-and-tell. Allow students to present one skill they use at home. From cooking to crafting to skateboarding to training their dogs, kids have some pretty cool hobbies! Allow them to showcase things they work at improving and discuss how they got so good at them.
  • Gratitude tree. Have students write their names as a tree trunk and draw branches to represent choices they have had to make (including about friends, positive attitudes, and so on). Then have them draw smaller branches representing positive outcomes from their actions.

Defying the Odds

Through the years and in various school counseling offices, I have seen young people defy the odds and persist beyond circumstances that I would likely not have been able to overcome. They are outdoing themselves in 2020. Our students are experiencing multiple layers of trauma, many of which are completely out of their control, and they have remained intact. Some of them may have stopped doing classwork, some of them may have acted out in class, and some of them may have sat silently just asking for a moment of peace. But by and large, what they all have done is continued to choose to wake up each day and face new challenges as they arise. The year 2020 is not the year of the quarantine; it is truly the year of resilience.

 

Stephanie Filio, author of Responding to Student TraumaStephanie Filio is a middle school counselor in Virginia Beach. She received her undergraduate degree in interdisciplinary studies from the University of Virginia and her M.Ed. in counseling from Old Dominion University. In a discussion with one of her UVA professors about her desire to stay in school forever, her mentor wisely responded, “If you want to be a lifelong learner, go into education,” and so she found her place. Prior to her six years as a school counselor, Stephanie worked in private education, specializing in standardized tests, test preparation, and future planning. She writes about her career and hobbies at her blog, Weekend Therapy, and can be found on Twitter @steffschoolcoun. Stephanie also enjoys spending time with her books, crafts, and family.

Responding to Student TraumaStephanie is the author of Responding to Student Trauma: A Toolkit for Schools in Times of Crisis.


We welcome your comments and suggestions. Share your comments, stories, and ideas below, or contact us. All comments will be approved before posting, and are subject to our comment and privacy policies.


FSP Springybook Signature(c)© 2020 by Free Spirit Publishing. All rights reserved. The views expressed in this post represent the opinion of the author and not necessarily Free Spirit Publishing.

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A Quick Way to Assess Students’ SEL Skills and Plan Improvements

By Maurice J. Elias, Ph.D., coauthor of Boost Emotional Intelligence in Students: 30 Flexible Research-Based Activities to Build EQ Skills (Grades 5–9)

A Quick Way to Assess Students’ SEL Skills and Plan Improvements

Teachers and counselors often see students who misbehave or are suffering in various ways. The key question is, what underlies these problems? Usually these students have a deficiency in social and emotional competencies. Being able to identify students’ strengths and areas in need of improvement can guide more effective intervention. Here is a tool that those who regularly interact with students can complete based on everyday observations.

The assessment can help guide the interventions you plan. For students in grades 5 to 9, group interventions are the most powerful. In Boost Emotional Intelligence in Students, you will find interventions to match the amount of time you have available to work with a group of students. The activities are aligned with SEL areas as defined by the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL).

For each statement, give the student:

3 points if the statement is definitely true
2 points if the statement is sometimes true or sort of true
1 point if the statement is rarely true or not true

1 | 2 | 3 The student is comfortable with talking about their emotions.
1 | 2 | 3 The student knows lots of words to describe their feelings.
1 | 2 | 3 The student can tell how other people are feeling.
1 | 2 | 3 The student cares about how other people are feeling.
1 | 2 | 3 The student usually has a positive attitude about themself, even when facing challenges.
1 | 2 | 3 The student can manage their emotions and reactions in difficult situations.
1 | 2 | 3 The student can wait patiently for something they really want.
1 | 2 | 3 The student has reasonable goals.
1 | 2 | 3 The student has clear ideas about how to reach those goals.
1 | 2 | 3 The student can communicate their ideas assertively and respectfully.
1 | 2 | 3 The student listens attentively when other people are speaking.
1 | 2 | 3 The student knows what they need and how to ask for it.
1 | 2 | 3 The student knows how to solve problems independently.
1 | 2 | 3 The student is comfortable being in a group of peers.
Total points

Add up the student’s total number of points and use the following guidelines to estimate how much support and guidance they will need from SEL skill-building groups that you can conduct. As you’re able to, provide reinforcement and review of specific skill areas in which the student needs improvement both informally and formally.

14–21 points. The student needs significant SEL improvement. It’s not unusual for some students to have needs that are greater than you can meet through general instruction, and you may consider referring the student for supplemental services. But before that, you may find that these students will benefit from group SEL lessons and from working on some specific foundational skills.

22–32 points. The student has reasonable SEL skills already but will benefit from additional learning and practice, with a particular focus on their weaker skills, along with reinforcing the areas that are stronger. Group formats provide excellent practice opportunities.

33+ points. The student is an SEL star! Their emotional skills shine through in daily interactions. But all students benefit from practicing these skills, especially in a group. And even emotionally savvy kids have weaker areas. You can help these students work on their areas of weakness while also being aware of, and continuing to develop, their strengths. Consider recruiting your SEL stars to participate in intervention groups that are diverse in terms of SEL ability so that students can learn from each other, practice empathy, and establish trusting and caring relationships regardless of their interests, social status, or SEL levels.

Another way to think about this is to examine areas in which a student is given a score of 1. Regardless of the student’s total point score, these areas are reasons for concern, and students can benefit from interventions targeted to them. Boost Emotional Intelligence provides intervention strategies focusing on specific skills.

Note: This survey was adapted from Boost Emotional Intelligence in Students by Maurice J. Elias, Ph.D., and Steven E. Tobias, Psy.D., copyright © 2018. You can download a reproducible version of the survey here.

Maurice EliasMaurice J. Elias, Ph.D., is a professor and former director of clinical training in the Department of Psychology, Rutgers University. He is also director of the Rutgers Social-Emotional and Character Development Lab, academic director of the Collaborative Center for Community-Based Research and Service, and founding member of the Leadership Team for the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL). Dr. Elias lectures nationally and internationally and devotes his research and writing to the area of social-emotional and character development in children, schools, and families. He is a licensed psychologist and writes a blog on social-emotional and character development for the George Lucas Educational Foundation at Edutopia. He lives in New Jersey with his wife, Ellen, near their children and grandchildren.

Boost Emotional Intelligence in StudentsMaurice is coauthor of Boost Emotional Intelligence in Students: 30 Flexible Research-Based Activities to Build EQ Skills.


We welcome your comments and suggestions. Share your comments, stories, and ideas below, or contact us. All comments will be approved before posting, and are subject to our comment and privacy policies.


FSP Springybook Signature(c)© 2020 by Free Spirit Publishing. All rights reserved. The views expressed in this post represent the opinion of the author and not necessarily Free Spirit Publishing.

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