SNAP Girls Connection is based on SNAP ORP and is designed to reduce externalizing behaviors and increase prosocial skills in aggressive girls and increase parenting effectiveness for their parents. The program has three components: one for just girls, one for just parents, and one for girls and parents together. An experimental evaluation of the girl and parent components found a positive impact on parent ratings of externalizing problems, conduct disorder, ADHD, social problems, and internalizing problems, but no impact on parent ratings of indirect aggression or on teacher rating of any of these outcomes. There was also a positive impact on rational parenting and reducing parental rejection, but no impact on parenting consistency, ineffective parenting, positive interaction, parental monitoring, and parental nurturance.
DESCRIPTION OF PROGRAM
Target population: Aggressive girls, ages 5-11 years, and their parents
SNAP Girls Connection is based on SNAP ORP and is guided by feminist perspectives. The program has a theme of relationship-building and focuses on individual behaviors, primary relationship contexts (family, parent-child), and secondary relationship contexts (peers, school, community). It is designed to reduce girls’ externalizing behaviors, increase their prosocial skills, and increase parenting effectiveness for parents. The program includes three group courses: SNAP Girls Club, SNAP Parenting, and Girls Growing Up Healthy. Girl Club is a 12-session cognitive behavioral program that focuses on skill development, social problem solving, emotional regulation, assertiveness, and anger management. The sessions are adapted for younger groups (6-8) and older groups (9-11). SNAP Parenting is a 12-session program for parents, based on positive relationship development, and focusing on contingent responses, monitoring, and developing anger management and relationship skills. Girls Growing Up Healthy is a mother-daughter group that addresses sexual and physical health issues and is designed to enhance mother-daughter relationships. Adjunct services, including school advocacy, tutoring, and family counseling are also available to participants.
EVALUATION OF PROGRAM
Evaluated population: Eighty-seven girls between 5 and 11 years old and their parents participated in the study. The average age for the girls was 8.6 years. Sixty-eight percent of the families were single-parent, female-led families. Sixty-three percent of the families had an annual income of less than $30,000, and 45 percent had an income of less than $20,000. The sample was 42 percent Caucasian, 23 percent African Canadian, 3 percent Pacific Islander, 3 percent Latino, 3 percent Native Canadian, and 26 percent other race/ethnicity.
Approach: Participating families were stratified based on child age and severity of behavior problems and then randomly assigned to the intervention or the waitlist control group. The intervention involved SNAP Girls Club and SNAP Parenting, but not Girls Growing Up Healthy. Data were collected at baseline and post-treatment (3 months after baseline) from parent and teacher reports on girls’ externalizing problems, conduct disorder, ADHD, social problems, internalizing problems, and indirect aggression. Data were collected on parents’ parenting skills from their report of parenting consistency, rational parenting (the extent of punitive interactions between parents and children), ineffective parenting, and positive interaction, and from girls on parental rejection, parental monitoring, and parental nurturance. Only 63 percent of parents completed all assessments, but there were no measured differences between girls who had complete data and those who were missing data. There were no differences at baseline between girls in the intervention group and those in the waitlist control group.
Results: There was a significant reduction in parent-rated externalizing problems, conduct disorder, ADHD, social problems, and internalizing problems for girls in the intervention group, compared with those in the waitlist control group. The effect sizes were 0.51 for externalizing problems, 0.46 for conduct disorder, and 0.41 for internalizing problems. There was no impact on parent-rated indirect aggression or on teacher rating of any of these behavior problems.
For parenting skills, there was a positive impact on parent report of rational parenting and child reports of parental rejection . There was no impact on parent ratings of consistency, ineffective parenting, or positive interaction, or on child reports of parental monitoring or parental nurturance.
SOURCES FOR MORE INFORMATION
Pepler, D., Walsh, M., Yuile, A., Levene, K., Jiang, D., Vaughan, A., & Webber, J. (2010). Bridging the gender gap: Interventions with aggressive girls and their parents. Prevention Science, 11, 229-238.
KEYWORDS: Children, Female Only, High-Risk, Manual, Parent or Family Component, Parent Training/Education, Skills Training, Conduct/Disruptive Disorders, Other Mental Health, Social Skills/Life Skills, Parent-Child Relationship
Program information last updated on 5/7/13.