Reviewing theory and research on socio-emotional learning (SEL) highlights the importance of a wide range of psychological and behavioral skills, ranging from very specific psychological processes that occur on the order of milliseconds (e.g., updating working memory) to broad patterns of behavior that occur over minutes, days, and months (e.g., teamwork and relationship skills). Attempts to organize this vast array of skills into a coherent theoretical or measurement framework has yielded dozens of unique but overlapping frameworks. For example, a recent review of SEL theory, research, and practice by the American Institutes for Research (Berg et al., 2017) found over 100 different SEL frameworks.
The multilevel person-in-context model of youth development programs (Smith, McGovern, Peck, et al., 2016) facilitates thinking about how the SEL skills being developed at the point of service (POS) are both (a) embedded within the wider context of policy decisions, family background, and out-of-school time (OST) program quality and (b) related subsequently to shorter-term youth outcomes (e.g., SEL skill growth) and longer-term youth achievements (e.g., graduation and employment). The multilevel person-in-context model, and the corresponding neuroperson model that focuses on the structure and dynamics of SEL skill growth (described below), together constitute the multilevel person-in-context, neuroperson (MPCn) framework that was developed to improve the precision, validity, and comprehension of performance data used in lower-stakes quality improvement systems (QIS) in the OST sector (Smith, McGovern, Larson, et al., 2016; Smith, McGovern, Peck, et al., 2016; Smith et al., 2019).
Citation: Peck, S. C., Smith, C., & Smith, L. (2019). The multilevel person-in-context ~ neuroperson (MPCn) model: Guidance for quality improvement systems (QIS) focused on socio-emotional skill growth and transfer outcomes. Ypsilanti, MI: QTurn.