Program

May 24, 2007

OVERVIEW

A cognitive-behavioral training program was developed to
help behaviorally disordered adolescents increase their self-control and
decrease their frequency of aggressive behavior. In an experimental study
in which classrooms were randomly assigned, students in classes assigned to
receive this training were observed engaging in aggressive behavior significantly
less frequently than students assigned to the control group following the
intervention. Additionally, students in classes assigned to receive this
training were rated higher by their teachers on a measure of self-control than
were control students. Awarding incentives to students who used skills
taught in this program did not significantly increase the program’s
effectiveness.

DESCRIPTION OF PROGRAM

Target population: Behaviorally disordered
adolescents

This program, adapted from Lochman, Nelson, and Sims’ Anger
Control Program Model, consisted of 12 30- to 40-minute lessons. These
lessons were intended to familiarize students with a sequential strategy for
dealing with problem situations. This strategy involved delaying
impulses, defining the problem, considering alternative solutions to the
problem, considering the consequences of those alternatives, and implementing a
good solution. Lessons provided students with opportunities to discuss
and practice the components of this strategy and the strategy as a whole.

EVALUATION(S) OF PROGRAM

Etscheidt, S. (1991). Reducing Aggressive
Behavior and Improving Self-Control: A Cognitive-Behavioral Training Program
for Behaviorally Disordered Adolescents. Behavioral Disorders, 16(2),
107-115.

Evaluated population: A total of 24 male and six female
behaviorally disordered students aged 12 to 18 served as the subjects for this
study. These 30 students made up six classes at a school for students who
had been removed from normal school for behavioral reasons.

Approach: The six classes of students were randomly
assigned to one of two treatment groups or to a control group. Treatment
Group I received the training program over the course of three weeks.
Treatment Group II also received the training program over the course of three
weeks. In addition, students in classes assigned to this group received
an incentive for using skills taught in the training program. Based on
individual baseline levels of aggressive behavior, students in Treatment Group
II were given contracts that specified behavior goals. If a student met
these goals, he/she was granted the opportunity to listen to music for the last
ten minutes of the class period. Classes assigned to the control group did
not receive the training program or any incentives.

All six classes of students were observed for 40 minutes
every morning for three weeks before the training program began and again, for
another three weeks, after the program ended. Trained observers, blind as
to which group the class they were observing was assigned to, recorded each
occurrence of aggressive behavior and kept track of how often each individual
student engaged in aggressive behavior. Additionally, each teacher rated
each individual student on a measure of self-control before and after the
training program.

Results: Pre-intervention, there were no significant
differences between groups on measures of observed aggressive behavior or on
teacher ratings of self-control.

Post-intervention observations revealed that students in
Treatment Group I engaged in significantly less aggressive behavior than
students in the control group. Students in Treatment Group II also
engaged in significantly less aggressive behavior than students in the control
group. Differences in observed aggressive behavior between Treatment
Group I and Treatment Group II were not statistically significant.

Post-intervention teacher-ratings indicate that students in
Treatment Group I had significantly better self-control than students in the
control group. Students in Treatment Group II were also rated as having
significantly better self-control than control students. Differences in
teacher ratings between Treatment Group I and Treatment Group II were not statistically
significant.

SOURCES FOR MORE INFORMATION

Program materials are not available for purchase.

References:

Etscheidt, S. (1991). Reducing Aggressive
Behavior and Improving Self-Control: A Cognitive-Behavioral Training Program
for Behaviorally Disordered Adolescents. Behavioral Disorders, 16(2),
107-115.

KEYWORDS: Adolescence
(12-17), Adolescents (12-17), Youth (16+), Young Adults (18-24), Behavioral
Problems, Disruptive Behavior Disorders, School-based, Middle School, Counseling/Therapy, Co-ed.

Program information last updated on 5/24/07.

Subscribe to Child Trends

Short weekly updates of recent research on children and youth.