Program

Oct 21, 2010

OVERVIEW

I Can Problem Solve (ICPS), previously
Interpersonal Cognitive Problem Solving, is a school based intervention teaches
problem solving and conflict resolution skills to young children. Designed for
low income pre-school and kindergarten classrooms the intervention teaches
children to think about interpersonal problems in terms of feelings, motives,
consequences and solutions. ICPS attempts to teach children how to think
interpersonal problems through daily classroom activities for the course of
twelve weeks. ICPS has been found to reduce impulsive and inhibited classroom
behavior and promotes social adjustment and increases problem-solving skills in
young children.

DESCRIPTION OF PROGRAM

Target population:
Preschool through sixth grade children from
low-income neighborhoods at risk for at risk for behavioral problems

I Can Problem Solve
(ICPS), formerly Interpersonal Cognitive Problem Solving, is a school-based
intervention to teach young children (nursery through kindergarten)
interpersonal problem-solving skills. Led by a teacher, children participate in
daily twenty-minute sessions that focus on listening to and observing others and
emotional awareness through games and group discussions for eight weeks. The
remaining 4 weeks incorporate the learned skills into a problem solving
curriculum using pictures, puppets and role-playing to help children consider
the solutions and consequences to presented hypothetical interpersonal problems.
All twelve weeks of lessons are fully scripted and implemented by teachers to
groups of six to nine children.

Training costs approximately $1,000 per day and the workbook is $20.

EVALUATION(S) OF PROGRAM

Shure, M.B &
Spivak, G. (1980). Interpersonal Problem Solving as a Mediator of Behavioral
Adjustment in Preschool and Kindergarten Children. Journal of Applied
Developmental Psychology, 1
, 29-44.

Evaluated population:
A total of 219 African American children in federally funded preschool or kindergarten.

Approach:
Researchers identified black children attending federally funded preschool. Ten
centers were exposed to the intervention and ten different centers served as the
control. In the second year of the intervention half of the children from the
ten control centers were exposed to the intervention in kindergarten while the
other half remained controls in the study.

Problem solving
skills and behavior measures were obtained from children prior to and post
intervention. Children were tested with the Preschool Interpersonal Problem
Solving (PIPS) Test to measure Alternative Solution Thinking Abilities. Children
were given a series of situations for which they were asked about how they might
solve the problem presented. Problem solving skills and Consequential Thinking
abilities were also measured with the What Happens Next Game (WHNG) in which
series of actions were presented to children for which they were asked about
what might occur next as a response to each situation. Children were also
assessed with a Causal Test that measured each child’s ability to conceptualize
cause-and-affect when presented with a stated outcome. Behavioral adjustment was
assessed by teacher report of child impatience, emotionality and
dominance-aggression.

Results: No
pre-test differences were observed between intervention and control groups.
Results from the PIPS test indicate that children in the intervention group
improved in the number of alternative solutions given between pre- and
post-testing compared to control group children. On average, children in the
intervention group improved in Consequential Thinking as measured by the WHNG as
compared to control group children. Children exposed to the intervention showed
an increased ability to conceive of a number of consequences to proposed
scenarios. Additionally, children that received the problem solving training
increased their ability to conceptualize cause-and-effect as measured by the
Causal Test. Teacher reports of Behavioral Adjustment indicated that
post-intervention significantly more children in the intervention group had
improved behavior compared to the control group

Shure, M.B. and
Spivak, G. (1982). Interpersonal Problem-Solving in Young Children: A Cognitive
Approach to Prevention. American Journal of Community Psychology, 10(3),
341-356.

Evaluated population:
A total of 219 four and five year old African American children in federally funded preschool or kindergarten.

Approach:In
a follow up study of the effects of ICPS the same children 113 children who
participated in the intervention through ten federally funded preschool centers
and 106 children from ten federally funded preschool centers who constituted the
control were evaluated to investigate the effects of ICPS in the second year. Of
the original 113 children who received the intervention in the first year 69
continued to participate in the study in the second year. The children in the
original intervention group were split into two groups: one to test intervention
holding power which did not receive more training (30), and to evaluate length
of training which received additional training (39). Of the original 106
children in the control group, 65 children continued to participate in the
study; 35 of these children received the intervention for the first time in
kindergarten and 27 continued as a control group. Children’s Interpersonal
Cognitive Problem Solving (ICPS) skills were assessed pre- and post-intervention
using the PIPS test, the WHNG, and the Hahnemann Preschool Behavior (HPSB)
Scale, a teacher report scale of child interpersonal behavior.

Results:
Problem-solving skill assessments indicate that children exposed to the
intervention increased in cognitive problem-solving skills as compared to the
control group. Teacher reported behavior measurements indicate that children who
began the program with behavioral problems and were exposed to the intervention
had improved behavior. There was a significant difference between the
intervention and controls group in behavior improvement. Children who were
trained twice did significantly better than those trained once. Additionally,
children exposed to the intervention in only one year did significantly better
than those who were never exposed.

SOURCES FOR MORE INFORMATION


For more information about the program, please visit: http://www.thinkingpreteen.com/icps.htm

To order materials: http://www.researchpress.com/product/item/4628/ and

http://www.amazon.com/Raising-Thinking-Child-Workbook-Conflicts/dp/0878224580

References

Shure, M.B &
Spivak, G. (1980). Interpersonal Problem Solving as a Mediator of Behavioral
Adjustment in Preschool and Kindergarten Children. Journal of Applied
Developmental Psychology, 1
, 29-44.

Shure, M.B. and
Spivak, G. (1982). Interpersonal Problem-Solving in Young Children: A Cognitive
Approach to Prevention. American Journal of Community Psychology, 10(3),
341-356.

KEYWORDS:
Preschool, Kindergarten, Children, Males and Females, African American, Cost,
Manual, School-based, Skills training, Social Skills/Life Skills, Other Behavior
Problems

Program
information last updated 10/21/10