Program

Aug 27, 2014

OVERVIEW

The multi-method psycho-educational intervention is designed to promote the healthy adjustment of children entering kindergarten who have been identified by their parents as having high rates of disruptive behavior. This intervention includes both a parent-training component and a specialized classroom component. Results from an experimental evaluation where children were randomly assigned to one of four conditions (control, parent-training only, specialized classroom only, or combination of parent-training and specialized classroom) indicate that random assignment to the specialized classroom component significantly impacts children’s adaptive behavior, attention, aggression, self-control, social skills, and externalizing behavior. The parent component was not found to significantly impact any outcome.

DESCRIPTION OF PROGRAM

Target population: Children entering kindergarten with high levels of disruptive behavior

The multi-method psycho-educational intervention was created to enhance the adjustment and academic development of urban children entering preschool who had been identified by their parents as having disruptive behavior (aggressive, hyperactive, impulsive, and inattentive behavior). The nine-month treatment program consisted of both a parent-training component and a specialized treatment classroom component. The parent-training consisted of 10 weekly group sessions that were designed to enhance parents’ knowledge of the causes of defiant behavior, and to enhance parents’ parenting skills. Following the training sessions, parents received additional support through monthly booster sessions throughout the remainder of the academic year. The specialized treatment classrooms were located within public schools, and were overseen by teachers and teacher aides who were trained and supervised by both a “master teacher,” who had previously worked in a special school for children with ADHD, and a trained child psychologist. Children in the specialized treatment classrooms received multiple behavioral interventions (e.g., token systems, group cognitive-behavioral self-control training, group social skills training, group anger control training, a daily school report card with home-based reinforcement), and a specialized, accelerated curriculum that emphasized children’s academic skills (reading, spelling, math, and handwriting).

EVALUATION(S) OF PROGRAM

Barkley, R.A., Shelton, T.L., Crosswait, C.R., Moorehouse, M., Fletcher, K., Barrett, S., Jenkins, L., & Metevia, L. (2000). Multi-method psycho-educational intervention for preschool children with disruptive behavior: Preliminary results at post-treatment. Journal of Child Psychology & Psychiatry, 41(3) 319-332.

Evaluated population: The final sample included 158 children (42 in the control group, 39 in the parent-training group, 37 in the treatment classroom group, and 40 in the parent-training combined with the treatment classroom group). On average, participants were 4.8 years of age at baseline, and 66.5% were male and 33.5% were female.

Approach: To assess the impact of the intervention had on children’s academic performance and adjustment, children were randomly assigned to one of four conditions (control, parent-training only, specialized classroom only, or combination of parent-training and specialized classroom). To ensure gender was evenly divided among the four groups, children were randomized within gender. Randomization was violated for eight of the 158 children (two sibling sets had to be in the same condition, and six children could not be bused to the treatment classroom). Data were collected before (pretest) and after (posttest) receiving the intervention. Outcome variables collected include structured clinical interviews, psychological and academic tests (IQ, academic knowledge, and academic skills), behavioral observations, and parent and teacher report of children’s behavior (aggression, delinquency, attention problems, classroom behavior, and mother-child interactions), social skills, and self-control.

Results: Results from the evaluation indicated that only the specialized classroom intervention significantly impacted children’s development. Children in the specialized classroom intervention had significantly higher rates of adaptive behavior, self control, and social skills than children in the control group. Additionally, children in the specialized classroom intervention had significantly lower rates of externalizing behavior, attention problems, and aggression than children in the control group. However, it did not impact academic skills and knowledge, psychiatric disorders, or internalizing behaviors.There was no main effect of participation in the parent training on any of the child outcomes. However, nearly one-third of parents did not attend any training sessions, 25 percent attended 1-4 sessions, 29 percent attended 5-8 sessions, and 13 percent attended 9-14 sessions.

Shelton, T.L., Barkley, R.A., Crosswait, C., Moorehouse, M., Fletcher, K., Barrett, S., Jenkins, L., & Metevia, L. (2000). Multimethod psychoeducational intervention for preschool children with disruptive behavior: Two-year post-treatment follow-up. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 28(3), 253-266.

Evaluated population: This study is a follow-up to the study described above, and is restricted to the 150 children who participated in the post-intervention evaluation.

Approach: The goal of the evaluation was to understand whether the improved outcomes that were seen in the children who participated in the classroom intervention persisted over time.  The same outcome variables collected in the previous study were collected at annual follow-up evaluations. Intent-to-treat analyses were used and missing values were replaced with the most recent score collected forward (either from the first follow-up, if available, or from the post-intervention evaluation).

Results: Among the 150 children with a post-intervention evaluation and at least one follow-up, a total of 73 children had participated in the classroom intervention, and 77 children had not. There were no significant differences between groups in any of the outcomes that were assessed at follow-up.

 

SOURCES FOR MORE INFORMATION

References

Barkley, R.A., Shelton, T.L., Crosswait, C.R., Moorehouse, M., Fletcher, K., Barrett, S., Jenkins, L., & Metevia, L. (2000). Multi-method psycho-educational intervention for preschool children with disruptive behavior: Preliminary results at post-treatment. Journal of Child Psychology & Psychiatry, 41(3) 319-332.

Shelton, T.L., Barkley, R.A., Crosswait, C., Moorehouse, M., Fletcher, K., Barrett, S., Jenkins, L., & Metevia, L. (2000). Multimethod psychoeducational intervention for preschool children with disruptive behavior: Two-year post-treatment follow-up. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 28(3), 253-266.

KEYWORDS: Preschool, Kindergarten, Males and Females (Co-ed), Urban, School-based, Parent or Family Component, Parent Training/Education, Conduct/Disruptive Disorders, Anxiety Disorders/Symptoms, Depression/Mood Disorders, Academic Achievement/Grades, Social Skills/Life Skills, Parent-Child Relationship, Aggression.

Program information last updated 08/27/14

 

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