the effects of social and emotional learning programs were equivalent to a 10 percent point gain in test performance (Durlak, Weissberg, et al., 2007). Students participating in the program also demonstrated improvements in school attendance, school discipline, and grades. Hoagwood, Olin, et al. (2007) found similar results in a review of school-based interventions that targeted psychological problems, with 15 of 24 studies showing benefits for both psychological functioning and academic performance. However, the academic effects were modest and often short-lived.

Reviews of violence prevention initiatives support their efficacy in reducing violence and aggressive behavior (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2007; Hahn, Fuqua-Whitley, et al., 2007). Based on a systematic review and meta-analysis of 53 universal prevention interventions, the CDC Task Force on Community Preventive Services recommends the use of universal school-based programs for preventing violence and improving behaviors in school. The effects of the reviewed programs were generally greater among preschool and elementary school-age children (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2007).

A recent report by the surgeon general disputes the myth that nothing works with respect to treating or preventing violent behavior (U.S. Public Health Service, 2001c). The report identifies 7 model and 21 promising programs, primarily school-based, for preventing either violence or risk factors for violence.2

The Center for the Study and Prevention of Violence applies a rigorous set of criteria (experimental design, effect size, replication capacity, sustainability) to identify programs effective in reducing adolescent violent crime, aggression, violence, or substance abuse. The center has identified 11 model programs and 17 promising programs,3 several of which are highlighted in this and the next chapter. Most have demonstrated positive effects on multiple problem outcomes.

Combined School and Family Interventions in Elementary School

A number of interventions that combine multiple types of programs (e.g., parenting and schools) or multiple levels (e.g., universal and selective) are beginning to emerge, primarily in elementary schools. The Incredible Years Program (see Box 6-2) combines parent and school interventions and has been tested in both preschool and elementary settings.

In some cases, integrated efforts have included a family or school-based




See Other recommended school-based programs not highlighted in these chapters listed on this site include the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program and the I Can Problem Solve Program.

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