Presentation on theme: "Kristin D. Anderson, Psy.D., NCSP¹, Thomas K. Pedigo, Ed.D., NCSP¹, Vann B. Scott, Jr., Ph.D.² & Bonnie L. Craven, M.A., LAPC¹ 1- Savannah Child Study."— Presentation transcript:
Kristin D. Anderson, Psy.D., NCSP¹, Thomas K. Pedigo, Ed.D., NCSP¹, Vann B. Scott, Jr., Ph.D.² & Bonnie L. Craven, M.A., LAPC¹ 1- Savannah Child Study Center, 2- Armstrong Atlantic State University Abstract The purpose of this poster session is to outline implementation of an evidence-based social skills curriculum in a clinic setting with children ages 4 to 9. Results of the outcome measure completed by parents who participated in the curriculum with their child/children were collected before and after implementation of the program. Results were analyzed to determine if child participants made significant improvement in social competence. Group Social Skills Training: Implementing the Incredible Years Curriculum Background The Incredible Years small group childrens training series is a comprehensive video-based curriculum for groups of children with behavior problems (Webster-Stratton, 2004). The curriculum is designed for weekly meetings over 18 to 20 weeks. In addition to videos, group methods include puppets, coaching and reinforcement, and role-plays. These techniques are used to train children in the following skill areas: emotional literacy, empathy and perspective taking, communication, problem-solving, anger management and appropriate school behaviors (Webster-Stratton). In addition to the child training program, the Incredible Years offers a basic parent training series involving group discussion, video vignettes and weekly homework assignments. The focus the parent program is on the following areas: interactive play and reinforcement, nonviolent discipline including time out and planned ignoring, logical and natural consequences, and problem-solving (Webster-Stratton). The Incredible Years treatment program has demonstrated both short- and long-term effectiveness for clinic-referred children with conduct problems across two randomized control group studies (Webster-Stratton & Hammond, 1997; Webster-Stratton, Reid, & Hammond, 2001; Webster-Stratton, Reid, & Hammond, 2004). In particular, results revealed that combining parent training with child training produced more significant improvement across a range of outcome variables than either treatment condition alone (Webster-Stratton, 2004). Results Method A significant improvement in SI scores (Pre-program M = 86.95, SD = vs. Post-program M = 98.37, SD = 11.87) was observed following implementation of the Incredible Years Program, t (18) = 4.90, p =.001. Additionally, each of the BERS-2 sub-scales scores demonstrated a significant improvement following implementation of the Incredible Years Program, with the exception of AS (see Table 1). Table 1. BERS-2 sub-scale mean scaled scores following Incredible Years Program. BERS-2 Sub-scale PRE-prog M (SD) POST-prog M (SD)t- test df p IS 6.42 (1.80) 8.74 (2.35) <.001 FI 8.63 (1.95) (2.01) <.005 IaS 8.26 (2.79) 9.68 (2.58) <.05 SF 7.63 (2.38) 9.68 (2.65) <.001 AS 9.63 (1.89) (2.50) =.24 Overall, internal consistency reliability estimates were acceptable to good across all sub-scales of the BERS-2 across both pre and post measures with the one exception of Pre-AS scores (see Table 2). Table 2. BERS-2 sub-scale internal consistency (Cronbach's alpha) reliability estimates. BERS-2 Sub-scale PRE-program POST-program IS FI IaS SF AS Poster presented at the Annual Convention of the National Association of School Psychologists: Chicago, IL (March 3, 2010) This study was conducted and data were gathered at the Savannah Child Study Center in Savannah, GA. The group leaders were trained clinicians (one masters and one doctoral level) who implemented the parent and child programs according to guidelines provided in the Incredible Years manuals. The child participants were referred to the clinic for behavioral and emotional concerns. Each child participant completed a comprehensive assessment through which it was determined that social skills training was a primary goal of intervention. Participants were 13 males and 6 females aged 4 to 9 years (M = 6.63; SD = 1.61) who carried diagnoses such as Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, Autism or Aspergers Disorder, Mood Disorders or Adjustment Disorders. Children and parents participated in the curriculum on a weekly basis for 18 weeks during one-hour sessions. Outcome data was collected using the Behavioral and Emotional Rating Scale - Second Edition (BERS-2; Epstein, 2004). Ratings on the BERS-2 were collected at pre- and post-group timeframes. The BERS-2 rating form for parents includes five scales assessing the following areas: interpersonal strength (IS), family involvement (FI), intrapersonal strength (IaS), school functioning (SF), and affective strength (AS). The BERS-2 also provides a strength index (SI). Data were analyzed to determine outcome results utilizing a repeated measures t-test. Discussion Results of this study provide evidence of the effectiveness of the Incredible Years program for a sample of clinic-referred youth. Participants showed significant improvement in social competence following completion of the curriculum. In addition, participants demonstrated significant progress across nearly all areas assessed on the outcome measure including interpersonal strength (ability to regulate emotions and behaviors in social situations), family involvement, intrapersonal strength (self-concept), and school functioning, The single exception was affective strength (ability to accept affection and express feelings), though the results trended in the expected direction. Furthermore, results of the internal consistency analysis of the BERS-2 scale items indicates acceptable to good reliability on all scales (at pre- and post) with the exception of the scale for affective strength. There are several limitations of this study, most notably with project design. Due to the setting, the researchers did not have a control group or alternate treatment group to compare clinical participants. Therefore, results may not be generalized to the general population of clinic-referred children ages 4 to 9. In addition, because parent and child training groups co-occurred we cannot determine the independent impact of each training program on changes in behavior.