Counselor-Level Predictors of Sustained Use of an Indicated Preventive Intervention for Aggressive Children

Abstract

Despite widespread concern about the frequent failure of trained prevention staff to continue to use evidence-based programs following periods of intensive training, little research has addressed the characteristics and experiences of counselors that might predict their sustained use of a program. The current study follows a sample of school counselors who were trained to use an indicated preventive intervention, the Coping Power program, in an earlier dissemination study, and determines their levels of continued use of the program’s child and parent components in the 2 years following the counselors’ intensive training in the program. Counselor characteristics and experiences were also examined as predictors of their sustained use of the program components. The Coping Power program addresses children’s emotional regulation, social cognitive processes, and increases in positive interpersonal behaviors with at-risk children who have been screened to have moderate to high levels of aggressive behavior. The results indicated that counselors’ perceptions of interpersonal support from teachers within their schools, their perceptions of the effectiveness of the program, and their expectations for using the program were all predictive of program use over the following 2 years. In addition, certain counselor personality characteristics (i.e., conscientiousness) and the level of actual teacher-rated behavior change experienced by the children they worked with during training were predictors of counselors’ use of the program during the second year after training. These results indicate the central importance of teacher support and of child progress during training in the prediction of counselors’ sustained use of a prevention program.

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Acknowledgments

The completion of this study was supported by a grant, awarded to the first author, from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (R01 DA016135)

Conflict of Interest

Dr. Lochman and Wells are coauthors on the manual for the Coping Power Program published by Oxford University Press. There are no other disclosures for the other authors.

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Correspondence to John E. Lochman.

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Lochman, J.E., Powell, N.P., Boxmeyer, C.L. et al. Counselor-Level Predictors of Sustained Use of an Indicated Preventive Intervention for Aggressive Children. Prev Sci 16, 1075–1085 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11121-014-0511-1

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Keywords

  • Sustained use
  • Prevention
  • Aggression
  • Counselor perceptions
  • Counselor personality