Reducing developmental risk for emotional/behavioral problems: A randomized controlled trial examining the Tools for Getting Along curriculum

Ann P. Daunic, Stephen W. Smith, Cynthia W. Garvan, Brian R. Barber, Mallory K. Becker, Christine D. Peters, Gregory G. Taylor, Christopher L. Van Loan, Wei Li, Arlene H. Naranjo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Researchers have demonstrated that cognitive-behavioral intervention strategies - such as social problem solving - provided in school settings can help ameliorate the developmental risk for emotional and behavioral difficulties. In this study, we report the results of a randomized controlled trial of Tools for Getting Along (TFGA), a social problem-solving universally delivered curriculum designed to reduce the developmental risk for serious emotional or behavioral problems among upper elementary grade students. We analyzed pre-intervention and post-intervention teacher-report and student self-report data from 14 schools, 87 classrooms, and a total of 1296 students using multilevel modeling. Results (effect sizes calculated using Hedges' g) indicated that students who were taught TFGA had a more positive approach to problem solving (g=.11) and a more rational problem-solving style (g=.16). Treated students with relatively poor baseline scores benefited from TFGA on (a) problem-solving knowledge (g=1.54); (b) teacher-rated executive functioning (g=.35 for Behavior Regulation and .32 for Metacognition), and proactive aggression (g=.20); and (c) self-reported trait anger (g=.17) and anger expression (g=.21). Thus, TFGA may reduce risk for emotional and behavioral difficulties by improving students' cognitive and emotional self-regulation and increasing their pro-social choices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)149-166
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of School Psychology
Volume50
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2012

Keywords

  • Aggression
  • Anger control
  • Cognitive-behavioral intervention
  • Executive function
  • Prevention
  • Social problem solving

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Education

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