Psychologists identify best aggression-prevention programs in schools

Promising programs should have the ability to measure outcomes using a rigorous research design, use standardized treatment procedures and gather feedback from a variety of sources, including students, teachers, and families.

-- Conduct programs in naturalistic settings
Most aggression prevention programs are conducted in the classroom, while the majority of aggressive acts occur in the unstructured school settings, such as on the playground, in the lunchroom or in the hallways. Successful programs should be adaptable to playgrounds and other naturalistic settings.

-- Evaluate long-term effects
Evaluating both short-term and long-term effects on children in aggression prevention programs allows program designers and facilitators to adapt and improve structure and maximize the long-term benefit to program participants.

Our hope is that studies like this one will help school personnel identify which types of prevention programs are available for implementation, what the important factors are to consider when modifying a prevention program for ones particular school, and what will best help our nations children deal with their aggression before it leads to something more serious, says Dr. Leff.


Contact: Erin McDermott
Children's Hospital of Philadelphia

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