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Independent Research

Students who experience a) a firm belief in their potential, b) an optimistic vision for the future, and c) a strong sense of personal authenticity, perform better academically and forge more substantial relationships in life.  

Several independent studies have been performed which validate the 7 Mindsets Academy impact in the following areas:

  • Improves Academic Performance
  • Improves Grit & Resilience
  • Improves Student Behavior

What separates the 7 Mindsets from all other social emotional learning programs is a measured set of lasting, tangible improvements upon the mindsets of both students and educators.  By positively changing the way individuals think about themselves and their future, the 7 Mindsets empower them to live lives of passion, purpose, and meaning.

Improves Academic Performance

In autumn 2010, 51 students from Crabapple Middle School in Roswell, GA participated in a 7 Mindsets Academy pilot initiative. These 7th and 8th grade students were identified as at-risk based on academic performance, attendance and behavioral issues. 24 of the students had IEPs.

These 51 students had taken the CRCT (Georgia Standardized Test) in the spring of 2010. At that time, 12 of the 51 passed the math portion of the test, which is a leading indicator of graduation rates.

Between October 2010 and May of 2011, this pilot group of students were taught the 7 Mindsets for approximately 30 minutes per week for 20 weeks.

At the end of the 7 Mindsets social emotional learning programs, the students took the CRCT test again. At that time, 41 of the 51 students passed the math portion of the test. This represented a 250% academic improvement in just one school year.

Students Passing Math Portion of CRCT Standardized Test

Crabapple CRCT Results

* The remaining 9 students who failed retook the test two weeks later and also passed.

Improves Grit and Resilience


In the summer of 2014, a study was undertaken by Dr. Mimi Gamel as research for her doctoral dissertation.  Her intention was to investigate the impact of 7 Mindsets’ character development and empowerment training on early and middle adolescents.

The study was executed with 45 students aged 13 to 19 from the United States, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Brazil, Colombia, England, China, and South Africa, and two externally-developed and scientifically-validated assessment tools were utilized:

  1. Grit Scale Assessment – Developed by Angela Lee Duckworth at the University of Pennsylvania
  2. Resiliency Scales for Children and Adolescents – A Profile of Personal Strengths (RSCA) developed by Sandra Prince-Embury, PhD

The students were given both the Grit and Resiliency assessments on July 12th prior to a week-long immersive 7 Mindsets training event. They were then given both assessments again on July 18th at the event’s conclusion.

Results of Grit Study

For this research effort, Dr. Gamel segmented levels of Grit (the ability to persist on a task through to completion) into three categories: 1) Low, 2) Average, and 3) High. The objective was to see what percentage of students started in the high range vs. the percentage that would end up there by the program’s conclusion.

Measured Increase in Student Grit Through 7 Mindsets Training

During the pre-test, 11 of the 45 students demonstrated high levels of Grit. At the time of the post-test, 39 of the 45 students demonstrated high levels of Grit. This assessment proves that Grit can be taught through the 7 Mindsets Academy program.

So... what is GRIT?

Grit in psychology is a positive, non-cognitive trait based on an individual's passion for a particular long-term goal or end state, coupled with a powerful motivation to achieve their respective objective. This perseverance of effort promotes the overcoming of obstacles or challenges that lie within a gritty individual's path to accomplishment, and serves as a driving force in achievement realization. Commonly associated concepts within the field of psychology include "perseverance", "hardiness", "resilience", "ambition", "need for achievement" and "conscientiousness". These constructs can be conceptualized as individual differences related to the accomplishment of work rather than talent or ability.

Results of Resiliency Study

Dr. Gamel segmented levels of Resiliency into categories: 1) Low, 2) Average, and 3) High. The objective was to see what % of students started in the high range vs. the % that would get there by the end of the program. This was done for the following subscales:

Sense of Mastery – Assessed for student optimism, self-efficacy, and adaptability before and after the 7 Mindsets Program.

Sense of Mastery Results

Sense of Relatedness – Assessed for trust, feelings of support, comfort with others, and tolerance before and after the 7 Mindsets Program.

Sense of Relatedness Results

Emotional Reactivity – Assessed for sensitivity, recovery, and judgment before and after the 7 Mindsets Program.

Emotional Reactivity Results

Improves Student Behavior

Study #1

An independent study was performed at Liberty Middle school to assess the number of students being referred for suspensions or expulsions, as well as the total number of behavioral incidents reported.

Data was collected for the fall of 2013 (without the 7 Mindsets) and again for the fall of 2014 with the 7 Mindsets Academy social emotional learning programs implemented.

Tabulation of the data showed a 54% reduction in the number of students referred for disciplinary action. It also showed a 46% decrease in the total number of incidents.

Liberty Middle School Student Behavior 2013 - 2014

Liberty Behavioral Impact

Study #2

From 2007 to 2014, Arnall Middle School expended considerable effort to reduce the number of student disciplinary referrals from a concerning 1,154 to 223 over a 6-year period. Clearly, their leadership did some amazing work. In 2014, Arnall MS implemented the 7 Mindsets Academy program as a measure toward furthering the school’s positive progress.

For the 2014/2015 school year, the total number of disciplinary referrals dropped to just 84. This created even more benefits to the school climate and a reduction in the administrative cost of interventions thanks to increased attendance and heightened engagement.

Arnall Middle School Student Behavior 2007 - 2015

Arnall Behavioral Impact