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The benefits of chess for the intellectual and social-emotional enrichment in schoolchildren.

Published in 2012, this study evaluated the impact of a weekly after-school chess intervention on students’ cognitive development and behavioral skills in Spain. 170 treatment group students self-selected to participate in the chess program, and 60 randomly selected control group students had the option to play either basketball or soccer after school. Students ages 6-16 completed a cognitive assessment, Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (WISC-R), and a behavioral questionnaire, Multifactor Self-Assessment Test of Child Adjustment (TAMAI). Treatment and control students completed both assessments before and after the study period—one academic year. The authors used ANOVA to compare post-test outcomes for the two groups, controlling for the pre-test group scores. The WISC-R effect size was 0.388 standard deviation units; the TAMAI effect size was -0.471 units. The findings were statistically significant. This study was eligible for inclusion in the systematic literature review and categorized as a Tier III study. While the study provides pre- and post-test scores for both groups, it did not test whether the pre-test results for treatment and control groups were statistically different. Measured effects may be biased due to student self-selection into the chess program.