Program

Nov 05, 2010

OVERVIEW

Parent management training and social skills training is a dual-component
intervention that aims to prevent delinquent behavior in boys by teaching
disruptive boys prosocial skills and self-control and training their parents to
properly manage their sons’ behavior. A random assignment evaluation has found
the program to have a positive impact on achievement, fighting, adjustment, and
delinquent behavior.

DESCRIPTION OF PROGRAM

Target population:
Elementary school boys who are at-risk for later delinquent behavior

Parent management training and social skills training is an intervention for
elementary school boys who are considered to be at risk for delinquent behavior
based on teacher ratings of disruptiveness. The two-year intervention consists
of parent management training and social skills training in order to target poor
parenting skills and poor social skills, which may be linked to delinquency.

The parent management training is based on Oregon Social Learning Center’s
parent management training. It involves giving parents a reading program;
training parents to monitor their children’s behavior, give them positive
reinforcement for prosocial behavior, punish effectively without being abusive,
and manage family crises. It also helps parents generalize what they have
learned. Parent management training is scheduled to involve one session every
two weeks over the course of two years, but the psychologist or social worker
who is working with the families has the option of deciding to have more or
fewer sessions depending on the families’ needs.

The social skills training component is also conducted by psychologists and
social workers and occurs in school in small groups. The first year of social
skills training involves nine sessions focused on prosocial skills and includes
coaching, peer modeling, role playing, and reinforcement contingencies. The
second year of social skills training involves ten sessions focused on
self-control and includes coaching, peer modeling, self-instruction, behavior
rehearsal, and reinforcement contingencies.

EVALUATION OF PROGRAM

Evaluated population:
1,034 boys in kindergarten classes in low socioeconomic areas of Montreal made
up the total sample for the longitudinal study. In order to qualify, both
parents had to be born in Canada, have fewer than 14 years of schooling, and be
native French speakers. The total sample included an at-risk subsample of 248
boys who had disruptive scores above the 70th percentile as evaluated
by teacher questionnaires. Of these at-risk boys, 172 families agreed to
participate in the intervention. Most of the boys were seven years old at the
beginning of the treatment.

Approach:
Families in the at-risk subsample were randomly assigned to the treatment
condition, a no-treatment contact control group, which provided data for a
separate study of disruptive boys’ social interactions, or a no-treatment no
contact control group. Baseline evaluations were conducted at the end of the
kindergarten year, and the intervention began four months later at the beginning
of the first grade year. Data were collected yearly for three years after the
end of the intervention from teachers, parents, students, school records, and
classmates on achievement, fighting, adjustment, delinquent behavior, and
perceptions of antisocial behavior. Also children reported their perceptions of
their parents’ behavior.

Results:
There were positive impacts on achievement (at the one and three-year
follow-ups), fighting (at the three-year follow-up), global adjustment (at the
three-year follow-up), and delinquent behavior (at the three-year follow-up).
There was no impact on mothers’ rating of boys’ antisocial behavior or boys’
perceptions of their parents’ behavior.

SOURCES FOR MORE INFORMATION

References

Tremblay, R.E.,
Vitaro, F., Bertrand, L., LeBlanc, M., Beauchesne, H., Boileau, H., & David, L.
(1992). Parent and child training to prevent early onset of delinquency: The
Montreal longitudinal-experimental study. McCord, J., & Tremblay, R.E. (Eds.),
Preventing antisocial behavior: Interventions from birth through adolescence(pp.117-138). New York: The Guilford Press.

KEYWORDS:
Children (3-11), Elementary, Male Only, High-Risk, Urban, Parent or Family
Component, Parent Training/Education, Skills Training, Academic
Achievement/Grades, Aggression/Bullying, Delinquency, Social Skills/Life Skills

Program
information last updated 11/5/10

Subscribe to Child Trends

Short weekly updates of recent research on children and youth.