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227

GIRLS REFERRED FROM JUVENILE JUSTICE: TREATMENT NEEDS AND INTERVENTION OUTCOMES. Leslie Leve1, Patricia Chamberlain1, 1Oregon Social Learning Center, Eugene, OR United States

Despite reduced juvenile crime rates, an increasing number of adolescent girls are entering the juvenile justice system with high rates of co-occurring problems. However, effective intervention programs for delinquent girls have yet to be examined empirically. We examined the baseline characteristics and 12-month follow-up outcomes of a randomized intervention trial for girls with chronic delinquency (N = 81). The girls were randomly assigned into an experimental intervention condition (Multidimensional Treatment Foster Care; MTFC) or a control condition (group care). Originally developed as a community-based alternative to incarceration for youth with serious and chronic delinquent behavior, the MTFC model has been evaluated as an alternative placement for youth who are court mandated into various types of group homes and residential care facilities. Community families are recruited, screened, trained, and supervised to provide youth with a structured environment that supports their social and emotional development and learning. One youth is placed in each foster family for 6–7 months. MTFC families, youth, and their biological parents (or other aftercare resource) are supported by program services that include a coordinated array of clinical activities.

This presentation will first describe the baseline characteristics of the girls enrolled in the study. On average, the girls had experienced significant adversity: 70% lived with a parent who had been convicted of a crime, 32% lived in families with an income of less than $10,000, 68% resided in a single-parent family, 58% had attempted suicide, and 73% had committed at least one felony offense. Prior to entering the study, girls had an average of 11.9 criminal referrals (including 1.7 felonies), had been incarcerated in a detention facility 2.7 times, and had been placed out-of-home 2.8 times. Examination of the 12-month outcomes suggests that, overall, MTFC was more effective than group care in reducing delinquency, deviant peer associations, and internalizing symptoms in girls: MTFC girls had significantly fewer days in locked settings; caregivers reported that MTFC girls were significantly less involved in delinquency; MTFC girls showed a trend towards fewer official arrests; MTFC girls had fewer delinquent peer associations; and MTFC girls had lower levels of anxiety at the 12-month assessment. Implications for reducing and preventing girls´ delinquency and for the dissemination of the program to community settings will be discussed.

CONCURRENT 6, MIDDLE CHILDHOOD DEVELOPMENT, Organized symposia

SCHOOL WIDE INTERVENTION PROGRAMS IN ELEMENTARY AND MIDDLE SCHOOL - MATCHING INTERVENTIONS TO STUDENTS' RISK LEVEL AND HIGH-QUALITY IMPLEMENTATION

Chair: Mari-Anne Sorlie


  • Columbia C, Hyatt Regency Washington

228

SCHOOL WIDE INTERVENTION PROGRAMS IN ELEMENTARY AND MIDDLE SCHOOL - MATCHING INTERVENTIONS TO STUDENTS' RISK LEVEL AND HIGH-QUALITY IMPLEMENTATION. Mari-Anne Sørlie1, Terje Ogden2, 1University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway; 2Norwegian Center for Studies of Conduct Problems and Innovative Practise, Oslo, Norway

Behavior problems in school like bullying, truancy, interpersonal conflicts and aggressive behavior are among the most underestimated and undercommunicated problems in school. Even if violence prevention has been high on the school agenda, school-based interventions have almost exclusively focused on school starters and adolescence, leaving children in middle school out of the picture. Also in the middle school, early detection of problems and school wide interventions are crucial indicators of successful programs. However, an increasing number of schools are facing a `program kitchen´ and the challenge of choosing among a large selection of intervention and prevention programs. Among the programs available, evidence based multi-component and school wide programs seem to have the greatest potential for reducing the prevalence of antisocial behavior among students. There is an urgent need for flexible programs that allow for matching interventions to the risk level of the students. Most students are behaving well, yet they need encouragement of prosocial and positive behavior and in certain situations consistent monitoring and firm limit setting. Students at risk need more individual monitoring and support, while high-risk students need intensive and comprehensive interventions including strategies for home-school collaboration.

This session presents three models for school wide programs that cover important aspects of working with problem behavior in school; anti-bullying interventions, school wide discipline plans, social skills training, rule implementation and enforcement and positive behavior support. The first paper presents an intervention package aimed at improving the safety and social behavior in elementary and middle school. The intervention model is based on the Positive Behavioral Support Program (Sprague, Sugai & Walker, 1997; Sugai & Horner, 1994) and the Second Step violence prevention curriculum. The core intervention components are a school wide discipline plan and social skills training. Based on the same theoretical model and principles, the PALS program, presented in the second paper, represents a culturally adapted version of the previous program in the Norwegian middle school context. Important ingredients of the program are establishment of a school wide rule matrix, teaching of positive behavior, functional behavior assessment and Parent Management Training. The third school wide program is Olweus anti-bullying program. This presentation will set focus on various aspects of a very important, but too-little studied part of innovations in school, the implementation process and how this is related to reduction in level of bullying.
229

COMBINING SCHOOL WIDE DISCIPLINE PLAN AND SECOND STEP VIOLENCE PREVENTION CURRICULUM.. Mari-Anne Sørlie1, Terje Ogden2, Dan Olweus3, Reidar Tyholdt3, Jefferey Sprague4, 1University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway; 2Norwegian Center for Studies of Conduct Problems and Innovative Practise, Oslo, Norway; 3Research Center for Health Promotion, Bergen, Norway; 4Institute of Violence and Destructive Behavior, Eugene, OR United States

This paper describes a universal intervention package aimed at improving the safety and social behavior of students in elementary and middle schools. Its goals were to assist schools to provide effective educational services, behavioral supports and social-behavioral skills teaching to all students in the school. Nine treatment and six comparison (no-intervention) elementary and middle schools in three communities participated. Descriptive data were used to evaluate the one-year effects of the intervention. The treatment schools implemented a school-wide discipline plan based on the Positive Behavioral Support (Sprague, Sugai & Walker, 1997; Sugai & Horner, 1994) approach in addition to the Second Step violence prevention curriculum (Grossman et al., 1997) for one year. Comparison schools were not restricted in their use of interventions but received neither systematic technical assistance and training nor data based feedback on their performance. Regarding changes in office discipline referrals, treatment schools generally showed greater reductions.

Treatment school students showed improved social skill knowledge. Perceptions of school safety were not different across the schools after one year. In focus group interviews across some treatment and comparison schools, treatment school personnel generally reported improved operation of their schools and motivation to continue with the intervention. Comparison schools cited the need for improved school-wide intervention and technical assistance as a top need. Results are discussed relative to the need for examination of sustained use of the intervention over multiple years and more frequent and detailed outcome

measures.



230

PALS - A SCHOOL WIDE MULTI-COMPONENT INTERVENTION PROGRAM. Mari-Anne Sørlie1, 1University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway

In a Norwegian school wide pilot project, “Positive Behavior, Supportive Interactions and Learning Environments in School” (PALS), the students´ adaptation and social competence is stimulated and promoted through supportive social learning conditions. The aim is to strengthen the students´ capacity for coping with developmental challenges and risk factors in school, and to prevent and reduce problem behavior in all the school arenas. An intervention model with three intervention levels (universal, selected and indicated) and interventions matched to the students´ risk level is implemented in four Norwegian primary schools. The three-year intervention model is a culturally adjusted version of the Positive Behavior Support Program (PBS) developed by Sprague, Horner, Sugai and Walker, University of Oregon. The program components are ranging from school wide rules and reactions to rule breaking behavior thorough proactive classroom management, social skills training, positive behavior support, collective and team-based instructions, individual teacher supervision and Parent Management Training (Patterson, Forgatch & colleges, Oregon Social learning Center) - a treatment program offered at the individual level to parents of high-risk students. . The program evaluation is based on a pre-post and multi-informant design, with comparison groups (four pilot schools and four “neighbour” schools). Results from this pilot study will be presented. The presentation will focus on change over time between the pilot and comparison schools. The results are promising, even not fully convincing. There was a significant reduction in behavior problems over time in treatment schools (measured at school- and class level), as compared to the comparison schools. Problem behavior measured at the individual level also showed significant reduction over time, but the reduction was greater in comparison than in pilot schools. The results however indicate that the PALS-program might have differential effects (i.e. better outcomes for boys than girls, for immigrants than Norwegian students, for high-risk than low-risk students). High implementation quality and collective efficacy were significantly related to positive changes. Results are discussed in relation to the research design, gender and needs for further program refinement.



231

DISSEMINATION AND EFFECTIVENESS OF THE OLWEUS BULLYING PREVENTION PROGRAM. Mari-Anne Sørlie1, Reidar Tyholdt2, Dan Olweus3, 1University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway; 2Reseach Center for Health Promotion, Bergen, Norway; 3University of Bergen, Bergen, Bergen Norway

In six recent large-scale studies, the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program (OBPP) has produced substantial reductions in bully/victim problems in school, typically in the 30 - 50% range. The Norwegian government has ensured wide dissemination of the program through grants over a five-year period starting in 2001. A "train-the-trainer" model for implementation has been applied. The trainers/instructors trained by the Olweus group teach key personnel in the schools, who in turn lead regular staff discussion groups to build staff knowledge and skills in preventing and handling bully/victim problems. The schools put a considerable amount of time and energy into this training of their staff and the staff discussion groups constitute a vital part of the implementation of the OBPP program. Several factors affecting the degree of implementation of the program at both the school and teacher levels have been identified in earlier research (Kallestad & Olweus, 2003). The focus of the present paper is on the possible contribution of factors associated with the staff discussion groups. Data collected from more than 2000 staff from a considerable number of elementary and junior high schools participating in the program about one year into the implementation period of 18 months, give information about various aspects of the implementation process. These data have been related to aggregated student data on the level of bully/victim problems from the same schools at two different points in time, before the schools started implementing the program and after one year, used as an index of the degree of reduction in the level of problems. Preliminary analyses indicate several interesting and meaningful findings. Results from more detailed and extensive analyses will be presented at the conference. The paper will shed light on the too-little studied process of implementing a well-developed program in school settings.



CONCURRENT 7, PROMOTING WELL-BEING, Organized symposia

PATHWAYS TO A HOPEFUL FUTURE: VIOLENCE PREVENTION AND POSITIVE YOUTH DEVELOPMENT

Chair: Sofia Herrera

  • Capitol A

232

PATHWAYS TO A HOPEFUL FUTURE: VIOLENCE PREVENTION AND POSITIVE YOUTH DEVELOPMENT. Sofia Herrera1, 1Fuller Seminary, School of Psychology, Pasadena, CA United States

Many approaches to youth violence prevention are guided by a risk/resilience model, which emphasizes the reduction of validated risk factors. By contrast, a Positive Youth Development (PYD) approach to violence prevention advocates the development of personal and social resources, which both buffer the deleterious influence of risks and promotes the well being of youth. A working assumption of a PYD approach is that all youth possess individual and ecological assets that posses the potential of being marshaled to enhance health and life opportunities. There is growing support for the use of PYD approaches in community-based programs that enhance the lives of young people (Benson, 1997; Wheeler, 2000). To date, few approaches to violence prevention adopt an explicit emphasis on promoting well-being through PYD strategies. An explicit focus on the developmental resources and promotion of wellbeing within violence prevention implies a strengthening of the ecological infrastructure supporting youth in a given community. A full spectrum approach to theory and practice acknowledges the role risk and protective factors play in predicting youth violence and promoting developmental success. This symposium summarizes findings from a community-based examination of a PYD approach to violence prevention. The papers recognize the primary role of violence related risk factors, developmental resources, and thriving for informing a full-spectrum prevention program. The papers will address issues of assessment, program evaluation, and empirical support for the proposed model. The initial paper in this symposium proposes thriving as multi-dimensional construct of well-being in youth. This paper provides an overview of the concept various ways positive outcomes have been measured in the literature. Thriving is proposed as a summary construct that approximates well-being in a contextually sensitive manner. A proposed measure of thriving is introduced with analysis of its psychometric properties are reviewed. The second paper reviews a “best practice” program evaluation protocol designed to assess program adherence and obstacles to identified best practices of violence prevention. The presentation includes an analysis of a PYD related prevention program, which illustrates the evaluation procedure and a program applying PYD principles in prevention. The final paper presents result from the test of a PYD model of thriving. Analysis is based on data gathered in an epidemiological survey of youth from community used to identify violence prevention programs. The results provide initial support for a model that demonstrates the dual influence of developmental resources as buffers to risk and supports to thriving in youth.



233

EVALUATING BEST PRACTICES AND POSITIVE YOUTH DEVELOPMENT STRATEGIES IN COMMUNITY-BASED YOUTH VIOLENCE PREVENTION PROGRAMS. Lisseth Rojas-Flores1, Wayne Aoki2, Sagawa Joel3, 1Fuller Seminary, Pasadena, CA United States; 2Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena, CA United States; 3Fuller Seminary, School of Psychology, Pasadena, CA United States

There have been increasing efforts to disseminate empirically derived Best Practices to community-based youth violence prevention programs (Thornton, Craft, Dahlberg, Lynch, & Baer, 2002). However, the dissemination of such information has yet to come to full fruition, and many programs continue to employ practices outside the Best Practices literature (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2001). This disparity between research and practice, however, does not definitively suggest that these programs are indeed ineffective in their attempt to prevent youth violence. Rather, suggests that many of community-based programs may indeed be working to prevent youth violence through the employment of practices supported by the Positive Youth Development (PYD) literature. Recent findings suggest that the traditional risk-prevention model for youth violence can be augmented by incorporating PYD principles and practices. This paper will focus on the development of a Best Practices and Positive Youth Development program evaluation tool for community-based youth violence prevention programs. This program evaluation protocol was created based on extensive research on the best knowledge currently available form the fields of public health, psychology, sociology, and criminology which help prevent negative developmental outcomes among youth. The Best Practices and Positive Youth Development program evaluation tool aims to: 1) identify a program´s alignment with empirically derived “best practices” in violence prevention, 2) identify obstacles to program´s implementation of “best practices, and 3) identify program components that are consistent with and promote developmental resources and positive youth development. In order to provide guidance on the assessment of a program´s Best Practices and PYD competence, indicators for each criterion, and a scoring system for measuring performance across all domains were developed. A case study of a community-based youth violence program which illustrates the evaluation procedure and highlights a program applying PYD principles in prevention will be presented.



234

THRIVING AND VIOLENCE RISK AMONG YOUTH: A TEST OF A POSITIVE YOUTH DEVELOPMENT AND PREVENTION. James Furrow1, David Foy2, Warren Brown3, 1Fuller Seminary, School of Psychology, Pasadena, CA United States; 2Pepperdine University, Thousand Oaks, CA United States; 3Fuller Seminary, Pasadena, CA United States

This paper examines the test of a theoretical model predicting thriving among high school youth. Informed by theories of Positive Youth Development, the model proposes a dual role for developmental resources found in families, schools and neighborhoods. While prevention efforts often focus on reducing risk exposure or increasing protective factors to buffer risk behavior, this model assumes that resources function to decrease risk exposure and increase well-being. The model seeks to inform prevention efforts where a primary aim often focuses exclusively upon the causes of youth violence. We argue that such an approach while helpful, may unnecessarily limit the scope of prevention strategies rather than maximizing resources that promote positive youth development. This project continues an effort to promote a broad- spectrum approach to youth violence prevention through research, program evaluation, and community education. The proposed model predicts that active parental monitoring, school bonding, and living in a caring /supportive neighborhood will reduce the likelihood that a youth will be exposed to risk factors common to youth violence. The model also predicts that developmental resources will promote thriving. Participants were selected by random telephone dialing from a city in Southern California. The sample includes 587 ethnically diverse, male (N = 321) and female (N= 266) participants between the ages of thirteen to seventeen (x = 15.08). The majority of the participants were either Hispanic (46.2%), Caucasian (26.3%), or African American (19.8%) youth. Each completed a phone survey consisting of 252 questions compiled from established measures to assess resources, risk factors, and behavioral and psychological outcomes. Two latent variables represent risk factors of youth violence and developmental resources as predictors of thriving outcomes which include measures of resourcefulness, meaning and purpose, fulfillment of potential, hopeful future, positivity, and future orientation. Analysis of Moment Structures program was used to test the fit of the proposed model to the data. The final model model demonstrates a good fit to the data c2 (31.43, p =.14, df = 24; GFI = .99, AGFI = .98, CFI = .98, RMSEA = .02), (See Figure 1.) The model illustrates the robust direct and indirect effect of developmental resources upon thriving outcomes (R2 = .30). Reduction of risk exposure is related to thriving behavior. These results provide initial support for prevention models that incorporate a focus on developmental resources as protective factors and for the role of a developmental infrastructure in optimizing developmental outcomes among youth.



235

POSITIVE YOUTH DEVELOPMENT MODEL OF THRIVING. Linda Wagener1, Pamela Ebstyne King1, Wil Schultz1, 1Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena, CA United States

A Positive Youth Development (PYD) model of prevention, in contrast to traditional deficit oriented or treatment approaches has its primary goal the facilitation of positive developmental outcomes. A PYD approach thus involves three steps: the articulation and measurement of positive outcomes, the identification of resources associated with those outcomes, and the strengthening of the developmental infrastructure by increasing the resources available to youth. This study focuses on the development of the first two stages of this process: the identification and measurement of positive outcomes and the identification of resources associated with these outcomes. Thriving is a concept that is recently receiving increased scholarly attention as a possible denotation for positive developmental outcomes. Based on extensive review of the literature (King, et al, 2004a) as well as interviews with scholars and practitioners of youth development (King, et al 2004b), several factors relevant to adolescent thriving were identified. These include future orientation, positive values, resourcefulness, happiness, fulfillment of potential, and contribution to community. Developmental resources were identified that have generally been linked to positive developmental outcomes in youth. These include parent involvement, positive child-parent relationships, presence of invested adults (other than parents), neighborhood resources, positive school orientation, and strong social ties with peers. Participants were selected by random digit telephone dialing from a Southern California community. The sample includes 587 ethnically diverse male and female participants between the ages of 13-17 (x=15.08). Participants were administered by telephone a survey consisting of 252 questions that included 27 items selected to estimate a multi-dimensional thriving construct. A principle components analysis was conducted using an oblique rotation given the probable correlation of thriving items. Results of the analysis suggest a 7-factor solution, which explained 62.2% of the variance (Table 1). A total of 26 items with factor loadings above .50 were identified along with the seven major factors. Estimates of internal consistency were used to evaluate reliability of factor scales. Chronbach alpha´s ranged between .82 and .65 for six of the seven scales. The two-item personal efficacy scale had poor internal consistency <. 60 and was deleted from further analysis. Summated scales were created based on the factor scores and these scale scores were correlated with the student´s reported involvement in community service (r = .20 - .12), providing initial support for construct validity of the measure.


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