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Education Overview

Social Decision Making

The Social Decision Making/Problem Solving Program is an evidenced based program which gives students the tools they need to be happy, healthy and productive global citizens, who achieve academically as well as socially.


To teach children the social and decision making skills they need to be able to make sound decisions, pursue healthy life choices, and avoid the serious social problems of our day such as bullying, substance abuse, violence, and academic failure.


To promote the mental health of young people through the development of self-control, social awareness, and decision-making skills by providing high quality, ongoing services in program planning, education, research, evaluation, and technical assistance to communities and school systems. The SDM/PS Program draws upon its commitment to action-research and the dissemination of research-validated programs and specialized expertise in both social affective education and organizational change.


  • To develop children's self control and social awareness skills (including, but not limited to: identifying, monitoring, and regulating stress and emotions, group cooperation, and the ability to develop positive peer relationships).
  • To improve students' social decision-making and problem-solving skills by training educators, parents, and human service workers to be effective facilitators of those skills.
  • To impact upon children's self-esteem and sense of self-efficacy by providing children with a problem-solving framework and social competencies upon which they can rely in stressful situations.
  • To increase positive social behaviors and healthy life choices.

For more information about the SDM/PS approach please  click here.

These skills help to protect and prevent a wide range of problems such as, substance abuse, violence, bullying, gang involvement, early teenage pregnancy, suicide and increased academic achievement. Research indicates that schools using a research validated Social and Emotional Learning Program, such as the Social Decision Making/Problem Solving Program, can help to prevent bullying, increase academic scores by as much as 11% and can have a positive and lasting effect on the climate and culture of the school and community. See SEL MEGA Study at

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Top 23 evidence based Social Emotional Learning (SEL) Programs in the country.

The Social Decision Making Problem Solving Program was recognized as one of the Top 23 evidence based Social Emotional Learning (SEL) Programs in the country in a review entitled 2013 CASEL Guide: Effective Social and Emotional Learning Programs- Preschool and Elementary School Edition.

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Connie Strand Memorial Award recipient for Program Excellence by the New Jersey Juvenile Justice Delinquency Prevention Committee.

In March, 2014, the award was given for services that combined training in Social Decision Making skills with computer assisted technology that was used to enhance the individualized depth of training.

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