Program

Jul 27, 2012

OVERVIEW

This social-relations intervention is designed to inhibit responses of violence and aggravation from aggressive/rejected, and nonaggressive/rejected boys. Rejected children were defined as those disliked by their peers and deficient in leadership skills. The intervention includes elements of positive social skills training and cognitive-behavioral treatment, that promote deliberate, non-impulsive problem-solving. The program was effective with aggressive/rejected boys in promoting positive social skills and behavioral strategies. The intervention was not shown to be effective for nonaggressive/rejected boys.

DESCRIPTION OF PROGRAM

Target population: Black boys, ages 9-12, who were found to be aggressive and rejected or children who were considered rejected but not aggressive by their peers.

The social-relations intervention is designed to provide aggressive or rejected boys with positive social-skills training to promote prosocial behaviors and problem-solving, and to reduce aggressive responses. The program consists of four components: social problem-solving, positive-play training, group-entry skills training, and dealing effectively with strong negative feelings. The components are designed to alter rejected children’s low acceptance by peers, and affect their responses to interpersonal conflicts and problems. The training occurs over the course of 26 individual and 8 small-group sessions. Seven sessions are dedicated to social problem-solving, and nine sessions are dedicated to enhancing skills involved in positive relationships. Group and individual sessions occur during the school day. Staff members are encouraged to vary the time spent on various parts of the curriculum. Children receive feedback about their social behavior.

EVALUATION(S) OF PROGRAM

Lochman, J. E., Burch, P. R., Curry, J. F., & Lampron, L. B. (1984). Treatment and generalization effects of cognitive-behavioral and goal-setting interventions with aggressive boys. Journal of Consulting & Clinical Psychology, 52(5), 915-916.

Evaluated population: A total of 76 boys who attended 8 different elementary schools and ranged in age from  9 to 12 years were evaluated. The sample was 53 percent black and 47 percent white. The children selected to participate had the highest teacher ratings of aggression.

Approach: Students were randomly assigned to four groups consisting of anger coping, goal setting, anger coping plus goal setting, or a control group.  The subjects in the anger coping group and the anger-coping-plus-goal-setting group met weekly for 12 sessions. These sessions focused on increasing the boys’ social problem-solving skills. The boys assigned to the goal setting treatment met for 8 weeks to establish goals, monitor goals, and receive contingent reinforcement. Data were collected prior to the intervention and again 4 to 6 weeks after the intervention. Measures included scales for aggression, passivity, self-esteem, and problem-solving skills, as well as peer ratings of social acceptance and aggression.

Results:  Children in both anger-coping interventions displayed significant reductions in disruptive and aggressive behaviors when compared with the control group. Boys in the anger-coping-plus-goal-setting group reduced their aggressive behavior compared with those in the control group and those in the goal setting group. Boys in the anger coping group reduced their aggression compared with those in the goal setting group, and had higher home-related self-esteem compared with their own pre-treatment scores. There were no significant effects for social acceptance.

Lochman, J. E. (1992). Cognitive-behavioral intervention with aggressive boys: Three-year follow-up and preventive effects. Journal of Consulting & Clinical Psychology, 60(3), 426-432.

Evaluated population: A total of 145 boys were assigned to three conditions: anger-coping (AC), untreated aggressive (UA), and nonaggressive (NON).  The AC group–31 boys identified by their teachers as aggressive and disruptive–was recruited from three annual cohorts of boys who had received the AC intervention and were followed up to examine longer-term effects. . The 52 boys in the UA group had not been treated for aggression or had not yet been assessed. The 62 NON boys were identified by their peers as nonaggressive.

Approach: The subjects received a follow-up assessment occurring from 2.5 to 3.5 years after the Anger Coping intervention ended. The Anger Coping intervention was delivered as described in the studies above, with the addition that some of the AC boys received a booster intervention consisting of six more sessions the year after they participated in the original intervention.  Participants in the 12- and 18-session interventions were followed. Of the sample, 34 percent of the boys could not be found or re-assessed. Parental consent was obtained for 62 percent of the boys who were re-contacted. Self-reported data were collected on substance use, behavior deviance, alcohol use, self-esteem, and data on social problem solving, and classroom behavior (ratings of passive off-task and disruptive-aggressive behaviors) were collected by trained observers.

Results:  The cognitive-behavioral intervention had effects in certain areas of functioning among aggressive boys. Compared with the UA group, the AC group had lower levels of substance use and higher levels of self-esteem. The UA group had more substance use, more behavioral deviance, lower self-esteem, and more off-task classroom behavior than the NON group. More detailed comparisons between the AC and the UA group revealed that the AC group had lower drug involvement, lower negative consequences of alcohol use, higher levels of home-related self-esteem, and lower rates of irrelevant problem solutions. There were no significant differences in classroom behavior between AC and UA groups. Additionally, there were no significant differences on any of the outcome measures between the AC and NON groups.

SOURCES FOR MORE INFORMATION

References

Lochman, J. E. (1985). Effects of different treatment lengths in cognitive behavioral interventions with aggressive boys. Child Psychiatry & Human Development, 16(1), 45-56.

Lochman, J. E. (1992). Cognitive-behavioral intervention with aggressive boys: Three-year follow-up and preventive effects. Journal of Consulting & Clinical Psychology, 60(3), 426-432.

Lochman, J. E., Burch, P. R., Curry, J. F., & Lampron, L. B. (1984). Treatment and generalization effects of cognitive-behavioral and goal-setting interventions with aggressive boys. Journal of Consulting & Clinical Psychology, 52(5), 915-916.

KEYWORDS: Aggression, Skills Training, Black or African American, Social and Emotional Health Other, School-Based, Gender-Specific (Male Only), Conduct/disruptive Disorders, Marijuana/Illicit/Prescription Drugs, Alcohol Use, Urban, Counseling/ Therapy, Social Skills/Life Skills, Delinquency, Children, Adolescents, Elementary, Males and Females (co-ed).

Program information last updated 07/27/12.

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