Linking the Interests of Families and Teachers (LIFT) is a program designed to decrease delinquent behaviors and promote the positive development of at-risk school-age children and adolescents. Over 10 weeks, the program worked at the school level to improve participants' social skills and provided parent training component to enhance parenting practices. Experimental evaluations of the program show that LIFT inhibits the increase of problem behaviors and fosters social assertiveness, social self-efficacy, and social initiative in participants.
DESCRIPTION OF PROGRAM
Target population: At-risk school-age children and adolescents
The three major components of Linking the Interests of Families and Teachers (LIFT) were (a) classroom-based problem-solving and social skills training, (b) playground-based behavior modification, and (c) group-delivered parent training. LIFT classroom instructors met with all the students in a classroom for one hour twice a week for 10 weeks. The program targeted specific youth social skills, such as opposition, deviance, and social ineptitude, and parenting practices such as disciplining and monitoring.
EVALUATION(S) OF PROGRAM
Evaluated population: 600 first- and fifth-graders from high juvenile crime neighborhoods, 36 socially withdrawn early adolescents
Approach: The study of the Linking the Interests of Families and Teachers (LIFT) program evaluated the program's influence on the delinquent behaviors of 600 first- and fifth-graders from high juvenile crime neighborhoods (Eddy, Reid, & Fetrow, 2000).
Results: Results of the experimental evaluation showed that families in the randomly assigned treatment group demonstrated greater improvements in problem-solving and conflict resolution skills than the randomly assigned control group families. Also, results indicate that participants in the LIFT program successfully lowered levels of adolescent aggression during peer interaction, and were rated by teachers as less aggressive towards peers during play and social interaction, compared to those in the control group. The study also found that, over the three years following the program, LIFT children were less likely than control group children to show an increase in severity in teacher-reported problem behaviors.
Earlier studies indicated that the LIFT program fosters the development of adolescent social assertiveness, social self-efficacy, and social initiative. Posttest results of an experimental study, focused on 36 socially withdrawn early adolescents, found that youth who participated in LIFT showed lower levels of social avoidance than youth in the control group (Ralph et al., 1998). A second experimental study found that participants in the treatment group (n = 382), when compared to those in the control group (n = 289), were more likely to initiate social interactions with peers (Eddy et al., 2000).
SOURCES FOR MORE INFORMATION
Eddy, J. M., Reid, J. B., & Fetrow, R. A. (2000). An elementary school-based prevention program targeting modifiable antecedents of youth delinquency and violence: Linking the Interests of Families and Teachers (LIFT). Journal of Emotional & Behavioral Disorders, 8(3), 165-176.
Ralph, A., Hogan, S. J., Hill, M., Perkins, E., Ryan, J., & Strong, L. (1998). Improving adolescent social competence in peer interactions using correspondence training. Education & Treatment of Children, 21(2), 171-194.
Program also discussed in the following Child Trends publication(s):
Hair, E. C., Jager, J., & Garrett, S. B. (2002). Helping teens develop healthy social skills and relationships: What the research shows about navigating adolescence (Research brief). Washington , DC : Child Trends.
Hair, E. C., Jager, J., & Garrett, S. B. (2001). Background for community-level work on social competency in adolescence: Reviewing the literature on contributing factors. Washington, DC: Child Trends.
SUMMARY & CATEGORIZATION
Program categorized in this guide according to the
Evaluated participant ages: / Program age ranges in the Guide: 6-11
Program components: Clinic/provider-based, School-based, Parent/family
Measured outcomes: Social/emotional, Behavioral problems
Program information last updated 3/15/07
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