Promoting Alternative Thinking Strategies (PATHS) and Elementary School Aged Children’s Aggression: Results from a Cluster Randomized Trial
Rent the article at a discountRent now
* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.Get Access
This study reports on aggressive outcomes from a cluster randomized trial of the Promoting Alternative Thinking Strategies (PATHS) curriculum. Fourteen elementary schools were randomly assigned to intervention or control condition and third grade students were followed through the fifth grade. Teacher and self-reports of student aggression, conduct problems, delinquency, acting out problems, and social information processing (SIP) variables were collected. Linear change for each of the SIP variables was noted with control students demonstrating increased normative beliefs about aggression, increased aggressive social problem solving, increased hostile attribution bias, and increased aggressive interpersonal negotiation strategies over time while PATHS students remained relatively stable. Teachers reported significant curvilinear change in student aggression, conduct problems, and acting out behavior problems; all favoring PATHS students.
- Aber, J. L., Brown, J. L., & Jones, S. M. (2003). Developmental trajectories toward violence in middle childhood: Course, demographic differences, and response to school-based intervention. Developmental Psychology, 39, 324–348. CrossRef
- Achenbach, T. M., McConaughy, S. H., & Howell, C. T. (1987). Child/adolescent behavioral and emotional problems: Implications of cross-informant correlations for situational specificity. Psychological Bulletin, 101, 213–232. CrossRef
- Beets, M. W., Flay, B. R., Vuchinich, S., Snyder, F. J., Acock, A., Li, K. K., et al. (2009). Use of a social and character development program to prevent substance use, violent behaviors, and sexual activity among elementary-school students in Hawaii. American Journal of Public Health, 99, 1438–1445. CrossRef
- Borman, G. D., Hewes, G. M., Overman, L. T., & Brown, S. (2003). Comprehensive school reform: A meta-analysis. Review of Educational Research, 73, 125–230. CrossRef
- Brown, C. H., Wang, W., Kellam, S. G., Muthen, B. O., Petras, H., Toyinbo, P., et al. (2008). Methods for testing theory and evaluating impact in randomized field trials: Intent-to-treat analyses for integrating the perspective of person, place, and time. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 95(Suppl. 1), S74–S104.
- Cohen, J. (1994). The earth is round (p < .05). American Psychologist, 49, 997–1003. CrossRef
- Conduct Problems Prevention Research Group (CPPRG). (1999). Initial impact of the fast track prevention trial for conduct problems: II. Classroom effects. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 67, 648–657. CrossRef
- Conduct Problems Prevention Research Group (CPPRG). (2002). Evaluation of the first 3 years of the fast track prevention trial with children at high risk for adolescent conduct problems. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 30, 19–35. CrossRef
- Conduct Problems Prevention Research Group (CPPRG). (2010). The effects of a multiyear universal social-emotional learning program: The role of student and school characteristics. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 78, 156–168. CrossRef
- Cowen, E. L., Hightower, A. D., Pedro-Carroll, J., Work, W. C., Wyman, P. A., & Haffey, W. G. (1996). School based prevention for children at risk: The primary mental health project. Washington: American Psychological Association. CrossRef
- Cuijpers, P. (2003). Examining the effects of prevention programs on the incidence of new cases of mental disorders: The lack of statistical power. American Journal of Psychiatry, 160, 1385–1391. CrossRef
- Dahlberg, L. L., Toal, S. B., Swahn, M., & Behrens, C. B. (2005). Measuring violence-related attitudes, behaviors, and influences among youths: A compendium of assessment tools, 2nd edition. Atlanta, GA: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
- Dinkes, R., Kemp, J., & Baum, K. (2009). Indicators of school crime and safety: 2009 (NCES 2010–012/NCJ 228478). Washington, DC: National Center for Education Statistics, Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education, and Bureau of Justice Statistics, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice.
- Dodge, K. A. (1986). A social information processing model of social competence in children. In M. Perlmutter (Ed.), Minnesota symposium on child psychology (Vol. 18, pp. 77–125). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.
- Dodge, K. A., Coie, J. D., & Lynam, D. (2006). Aggression and antisocial behavior in youth. In N. Eisenberg, W. Damon, & R. M. Lerner (Eds.), Handbook of child psychology: Vol. 3, social, emotional, and personality development (6th ed., pp. 719–788). Hoboken: Wiley.
- Durlak, J. A., Weissberg, R. P., Dymnicki, A. B., Taylor, R. D., & Schellinger, K. B. (2011). The impact of enhancing students’ social and emotional learning: A meta-analysis of school-based universal interventions. Child Development, 82, 405–432. CrossRef
- Feingold, A. (2009). Effect sizes for growth-modeling for controlled clinical trials in the same metric as for classical analysis. Psychological Methods, 14, 43–53. CrossRef
- Fraser, M. W., Guo, S., Ellis, A. R., Day, S. H., Li, J., Wike, T. L., & Farmer, T. W. (2009). Social and character development in elementary school: Effects from a controlled trial. Manuscript submitted for publication. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina.
- Gandhi, A. G., Murphy-Graham, E., Petrosino, A., Chrismer, S. S., & Weiss, C. H. (2007). The devil is in the details: Examining the evidence for “proven” school-based drug abuse prevention programs. Evaluation Review, 31, 43–74. doi:10.1177/0193841X06287188. CrossRef
- Graham, J. W. (2009). Missing data analysis: Making it work in the real world. Annual Review of Psychology, 60, 549–576. CrossRef
- Greenberg, M. T., & Kusche, C. A. (2006). Building social and emotional competence: The PATHS curriculum. In S. R. Jimerson & M. J. Furlong (Eds.), The handbook of school violence and school safety: From research to practice (pp. 395–412). Mahwah: Erlbaum.
- Greenberg, M. T., Kusche, C. A., & Mihalic, S. F. (2002). Blueprints for violence prevention, book ten: Promoting alternative thinking strategies (PATHS). Boulder: Center for the Study and Prevention of Violence.
- Hahn, R., Fuqua-Whitley, D., Wethington, H., Lowy, J., Crosby, A., Fullilove, M., et al. (2007). Effectiveness of universal school-based programs to prevent violent and aggressive behavior: A systematic review. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 33(Suppl. 2), 114–129. CrossRef
- Hightower, A. D., Work, W. C., Cowen, E. L., Lotyczewski, B. S., Spinell, A. P., Guare, J. C., et al. (1986). The teacher-child rating scale: A brief objective measure of elementary children’s school problem behaviors and competencies. School Psychology Review, 15, 393–409.
- Holder, H. (2010). Prevention programs in the 21st century: What we do not discuss in public. Addiction, 105, 578–581. CrossRef
- Huesmann, L. R. (1988). An information-processing model for the development of aggression. Aggressive Behavior, 14, 13–24. CrossRef
- Huesmann, L. R., & Guerra, N. G. (1997). Children’s normative beliefs about aggression and aggressive behavior. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 72, 408–419. CrossRef
- Kam, C. M., Greenberg, M. T., & Kusche, C. A. (2004). Sustained effects of the PATHS curriculum on the social and psychological adjustment of children in special education. Journal of Emotional and Behavioral Disorders, 12, 66–78. CrossRef
- Lochman, J. E., & Dodge, K. A. (1994). Social-cognitive processes of severely violent, moderately aggressive, and nonaggressive boys. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 62, 366–374. CrossRef
- McClelland, G. H., & Judd, C. M. (1993). Statistical difficulties of detecting interactions and moderator effects. Psychological Bulletin, 114, 376–390. CrossRef
- Nelson, S. E., & Dishion, T. J. (2004). From boys to men: Predicting adult aggression from middle childhood sociometric status. Development and Psychopathology, 16, 441–459. CrossRef
- Orpinas, P. (2009). Measurement manual: Description of aggression, victimization, and social skills scales. University of Georgia, Athens: Unpublished document.
- Orpinas, P., & Frankowski, R. (2001). The aggression scale: A self-report measure of aggressive behavior for young adolescents. Journal of Early Adolescence, 21, 50–67. CrossRef
- Raudenbush, S. W., Bryk, A. S., Cheong, Y. F., & Congdon, R. T. (2004). HLM 6: Hierarchical linear and nonlinear modeling. Chicago: Scientific Software International.
- Renk, K. (2005). Cross-informant ratings of the behavior of children and adolescents: The “Gold Standard”. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 14, 457–468. CrossRef
- Reynolds, C. R., & Kamphaus, R. W. (2004). Behavior assessment system for children, 2nd edition, manual. Minneapolis, MN: Pearson Assessments.
- Social and Character Development Research Consortium. (2010). Efficacy of schoolwide programs to promote social and character development and reduce problem behavior in elementary school children (NCER 2011–2001). Washington, DC: National Center for Education Research, Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education.
- Spybrook, J., Bloom, H., Congdon, R., Hill, C., Martinez, A., & Raudenbush, S. (2011). Optimal design plus empirical evidence: Documentation for the “Optimal Design” software. Available at http://www.wtgrantfoundation.org/resources/consultation-service-and-optimal-design.
- Vuchinich, S., Flay, B. R., Aber, L., & Bickman, L. (2012). Person mobility in the design and analysis of cluster-randomized cohort prevention trials. Prevention Science, 13(3), 300–313. CrossRef
- Wilson, S. J., & Lipsey, M. W. (2007). School-based interventions for aggressive and disruptive behaviors: Update of a meta-analysis. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 33(Suppl. 2), S130–S143. CrossRef
- Promoting Alternative Thinking Strategies (PATHS) and Elementary School Aged Children’s Aggression: Results from a Cluster Randomized Trial
American Journal of Community Psychology
Volume 52, Issue 1-2 , pp 56-72
- Cover Date
- Print ISSN
- Online ISSN
- Springer US
- Additional Links
- Promoting alternative thinking strategies (PATHS)
- Social and character development
- Children’s aggressive behavior