Addressing Adolescence: Advocating for Age- and Gender-Responsive Social and Emotional Learning during Emergencies

Adolescents’ uniquely gendered experiences during conflict are colored by the broader sociocultural context. Although interventions exist to address young people’s social and emotional learning (SEL) during emergencies, little is known of these interventions’ gendered effects. We systematically review studies of SEL in humanitarian contexts to determine gendered trends in effects and opportunities. Although existing studies largely fail to disaggregate findings by gender, when they are disaggregated, adolescent girls are consistently shown to benefit more in terms of social outcomes than their male peers, while males, especially older adolescents, frequently have better wellbeing outcomes than female adolescents. Studies that do disaggregate findings by both age and gender complicate these trends further and point to the challenge of supporting SEL outcomes as older adolescents move toward adulthood. When programs are incompatible with adolescents’ realities or ignore structural issues and gender norms, they do not result in positive outcomes. Programs that are gender responsive show the most promise.


Resource Info

Resource Type

Journal Article


Published by

Journal on Education in Emergencies (JEiE)

Authored by

Rena Deitz and Heddy Lahmann


Research and Evidence
Social and Emotional Learning