. "6 Family, School, and Community Interventions." Preventing Mental, Emotional, and Behavioral Disorders Among Young People: Progress and Possibilities. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 2009.
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Preventing Mental, Emotional, and Behavioral Disorders Among Young People: Progress and Possibilities
behavior, and substance use, primarily in middle school group settings (see Chapter 7 for discussion of programs that specifically target substance use and abuse). Many of these interventions involve social skills training using cognitive components that alter perception and attributions or a curriculum designed to change behaviors to improve social relationships or promote nonresponse to provocative situations. Universal interventions are often designed to affect school structure; improve classroom management; or improve students’ relationships, self-awareness, or decision-making skills. Selective and indicated interventions tend to focus on skill development.
A growing body of research shows that many negative outcomes, such as psychopathology, substance abuse, delinquency, and school failure, have overlapping risk factors and a significant degree of comorbidity (Feinberg, Ridenour, and Greenberg, 2007). Emerging evidence suggests that some programs have positive effects on several of these outcomes (Wilson, Gottfredson, and Najaka, 2001). Numerous meta-analyses of school-based preventive interventions have been conducted, varying in the specific types of programs included, the age range of the interventions, and the target problems. All have reviewed one or more outcomes related to antisocial behavior, violence and aggression, or substance abuse and found significant but small to modest effects on measured outcomes. Although both universal (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2007; Hahn, Fuqua-Whitley, et al., 2007) and selective/indicated interventions show positive effects, effect sizes tend to be greatest for high-risk groups (Wilson and Lipsey, 2006b, 2007; Beelman and Losel, 2006; Mytton, DiGuiseppi, et al., 2006; Wilson, Lipsey, and Derzon, 2003; Wilson, Gottfredson, and Najaka, 2001), and greater for improvements in social competence and antisocial behavior than in substance abuse.
Meta-analyses provide support for the positive effects of behavioral interventions (Wilson and Lipsey, 2007; Mytton, DiGuiseppi, et al., 2006; Wilson, Gottfredson, and Najaka, 2001) as well as cognitively oriented interventions (Wilson and Lipsey, 2006a, 2006b). There is some indication that programs combining behavioral and cognitive aspects can impact multiple outcomes, specifically social competence and antisocial behavior (Beelmann and Losel, 2006). Wilson, Lipsey, and Derzon (2003) found significant effects of school-based programs on aggressive behavior. Wilson and Lipsey (2007) conclude that program effects have practical as well as statistical significance and forecast that such programs would lead to a 25-33 percent reduction in the base rate of aggressive problems in an average school.
Few programs to date have focused on classroom or behavior management. A meta-analysis that included two such programs found them to have a sizable impact on delinquency (Wilson, Gottfredson, and Najaka, 2001). There is strong evidence for the long-term effects of at least