School-based interventions promoting social capabilities among students: A scoping review of literature

Aisha Naz Ansari, Nusrat Fatima Rizvi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


This paper presents a scoping review of existing literature published between 2010 and 2022 on the role of schools in promoting social capabilities among students. It aims to map the evidence regarding the school programmes or interventions that are practised across the globe to promote psycho-socio-emotional skills among students. The review indicates a broad scope of social interventions with limited evidence on interventions promoting social capabilities. Notably, both formal and non-formal programmes are being offered in schools to foster social–emotional learning, self-awareness (e.g., self-regulation, resilience and forgiveness in attitude, and mental health awareness), and pro-social behaviour development (e.g., positive behaviour, mindfulness, management and support, parental involvement, mentorship, sports and animal protection). This review highlights substantially encouraging effect of interventions for promoting social capabilities among students. However, the short-term nature of programmes hardly allows the sustainability of acquired skills and behaviours among students. Additionally, the review identified a contextual gap in developing countries, including Pakistan. Therefore, it suggests the integration of such programmes in school policies and curricula, after contextualising, to ensure their regularity and sustaining psycho-socio-emotional skills. This recommends the development, and execution of an intervention that encompasses all the components of social capabilities collectively, along with examining its efficacy. Context and implications Rationale of the review This scoping review aims to capture the scope and map the existing evidence regarding school-based interventions to promote psycho-socio-emotional development among students. Why new findings matter The review provided valuable insights into the significance and necessity of psycho-socio-emotional development for students, which is essential in today's world. The lack of evidence from developing countries is found that needs critical attention. The findings contribute to the future of holistic development through the contextual adaptation of practiced interventions in developing contexts like Pakistan. Implications for researchers and policymakers The emerging findings imply the need for understanding the importance of developing psycho-socio-emotional skills collectively among students as part of the school experience. The implications extend to various stakeholders, including policymakers and school practitioners, who need to prioritise the holistic development of students throughout their formal education. Furthermore, this review is a call for researchers to develop, implement and evaluate the effectiveness of such interventions tailored to the specific needs of developing contexts, where there is currently a lack of evidence of school-based initiatives.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere3404
JournalReview of Education
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2023


  • pro-social behaviour development
  • school programmes/interventions
  • self-awareness
  • social capabilities
  • social-emotional learning


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