Use of Ripple Effects has resulted in:

Strong academic outcomes

Seven RCTs of Ripple Effects have collected data on GPA. Ripple Effects students had statistically significant increases in GPA compared to the control group, in 4 of the 7 studies. Ripple Effects students had grades that ranged from one-third to nearly a full point higher, on a four point scale. Effect sizes (Cohen ’s d) ranged from .42 to 1.01.  See the studies.

Where prior year baseline data was available, treatment students had a higher GPA by from .12 to 1.5 points.


Other academic outcome data

In a pilot RCT in New York (Stern & Repa, 2000), Ripple Effects students had 42%  fewer referrals to remedial summer school than control students, a substantive, but not statistically significant, difference. In a quasi-experimental study in LAUSD, students who participated in a 4-part intervention, of which Ripple Effects was one component, showed an 8% increase in Degrees of Reading Power scores from pre-to-post intervention.

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Better behavior and discipline outcomes

Use of Ripple Effects has resulted in improved student behavior, based school and district data about office discipline referrals, in-school suspensions, and out of school suspensions, as well objective third-party observations. See the studies.

Fewer discipline referrals

In seven of the eight studies that tracked discipline referrals, Ripple Effects students had fewer referrals than the comparison group. In five of the six randomized, controlled trials with this data, Ripple Effects students had meaningfully fewer referrals, ranging from 21% to 67% fewer than the control group students.

Fewer in-school suspensions

In one study of 3800+ students using Ripple Effects in ISS, referrals to ISS declined an average of 28% from fall to spring, a time when such referrals normally increase.

Fewer out of school suspensions

Use of Ripple Effects resulted in statistically significant decreases in out-of-school suspensions in one study.

Observed increases in prosocial behavior, and reductions in anti-social behavior

Trained observers, tested for inter-rater reliability, measured occurrences of specific pro- and antisocial behaviors for a randomized, controlled trial conducted at a New York City middle school in 1999-2000. In this 3-arm study, two experimental groups used the software, Group A used it exclusively as the intervention while Group B used the software, plus had teacher facilitated discussion and role-plays; the control group students did “business as usual.”  Both experimental groups had higher rates of prosocial behavior (77% and 32%, respectively) and lower rates of anti-social behavior (29% and 21% lower, respectively) compared to the control group.

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Better attendance

Eight of the 11 studies of Ripple Effects collected attendance data while six looked at tardiness.

Ripple Effects students had statistically significantly higher attendance rates in one study, compared to the control. In another study, rates of Excused absences at 5-month follow up were higher in the Ripple Effects group compared to the control. See the studies.

Absenteeism in six RCTs

Impact of ripple Effects on Absenteeism in six RCTS

Impact of Ripple Effects on tardiness

Ripple Effects students had fewer tardies in 4 of the 6 studies measuring it. In one study, the finding was significant. In one school where Ripple Effects was the first period activity, tardies were reduced to zero.

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Strengthened social-emotional skills

A randomized controlled trial by WestEd, measured the impact of Ripple Effects on resilience assets. Students who used Ripple Effects showed stronger empathy and problem solving skills, compared to the control group, post intervention. See the studies.

Strengthened empathy

Strengthened problem solving

Unexpectedly, control group students showed higher sense of connectedness. Researchers hypothesize that the treatment group students stronger skills in empathy may have made the control group students feel more connected to their school.


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