Mar 15, 2007


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.


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.


Evaluated population: 600 first- and fifth-graders from high juvenile
crime neighborhoods, 36 socially withdrawn early adolescents

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,

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 Posttest results of an experimental study, focused on 36 socially withdrawn early adolescents, found that youth who participated in LIFT showed lower levels of social avoidance than youth in the control group (Ralph et al., 1998).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).



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.

Website: or

Program also discussed in the following Child Trends publication(s):

E. C., Jager, J., & Garrett, S. B. (2002). Helping teens develop healthy
social skills and relationships: What the research shows about navigating
(Research brief). Washington , DC : Child Trends.

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.

KEYWORDS: Children, Adolescents, Elementary, Co-ed, High-Risk, Urban, School-Based,  Clinic/Provider-Based, Parent or Family Component, Parent Training/Education, Skills Training, Social Skills/Life Skills, Aggression, Delinquency, Alcohol Use, Marijuana/Illicit/Prescription Drugs, Other Behavioral Problems

Program information last updated 3/15/07