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BUILDING RESILIENCY IN CHILDREN: Preventing Serious Behavior Problems

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Title: BUILDING RESILIENCY IN CHILDREN: Preventing Serious Behavior Problems


1
BUILDING RESILIENCY IN CHILDREN Preventing
Serious Behavior Problems
  • Richard P. West, Ph.D.

Center for the School of the Future Utah State
University
Rich.west_at_usu.edu www.csf.usu.edu
2
ANTISOCIAL BEHAVIOR Defined
  • Recurrent violations of socially prescribed
    patterns of behavior (Simcha-Fagan, Langer,
    Gersten, Eisenberg, 1975, p.7)
  • Opposite of prosocial
  • Hostility, aggression, defiance, willingness to
    violate rules
  • Aversive to others
  • Deviation from accepted rules and expected
    standards
  • Deviance across range of settings
  • Most frequently cited reason for mental health
    services (Achenbach, 1985 Quay, 1986 Reid,
    1993 Walker, Colvin, Ramsey, 1995)

3
ANTISOCIAL BEHAVIOR Facts and Findings
  • More boys than girls
  • Overt and covert types
  • Early antisocial behavior predicts adolescent
    delinquency
  • 70of youth arrested within 3 yrs. of leaving
    school
  • Aggressive behavior is stable over time
  • Identified at 3 or 4 years of age
  • Severe antisocial behavior patterns are more
    stable
  • Antisocial behavior persisting beyond third grade
    is chronic problem
  • Early intervention is only hope
  • Antisocial children are at risk for long term
    problems
  • School adjustment measures predict future arrests
  • (Walker, Colvin, Ramsey, 1995 p. 6)

4
JUVENILE VIOLENCE
  • Adolescents are killing their friends
  • Huge surge in reactive aggression
  • Escalation of weapons use
  • Two pathways to development of violent behavior
  • Key risk factors
  • a. High irritability
  • b. Stressed families
  • Emphasis upon harsh punishment
  • Affiliation with antisocial peers
  • Schools unprepared to deal with violent students
  • Perception of unfair treatment
  • Antisocial behavior at home and school predicts
    violence
  • Lack of parental supervision escalates violence
  • (Walker, Colvin, Ramsey, 1995 p. 363)

5
What Problems Do We Face in Schools?
  • Problem behavior in schools is increasing in
    frequency and intensity.
  • School-wide discipline systems are unclear and
    inconsistently implemented.
  • Educators rely on reactive and crisis management
    interventions to solve chronic behavior problems.
  • Teachers are being asked to do more with less,
    and to teach when students display severe problem
    behavior.
  • Students have limited structured opportunities to
    learn social skills and to receive feedback on
    their use of these social skills.
  • Alternative placements are becoming more
    difficult to find.

Sugai, 1997
6
THE GOOD OLD DAYS?
  • The world is too big for us. Too much is going
    on. Too many crimes, too much violence and
    excitement. Try as you will, you get behind in
    the race in spite of yourself. It is an
    incessant strain to keep pace, and still you lose
    ground. Science empties its discoveries on you
    so fast you stagger beneath them in hopeless
    bewilderment. Everything is high-pressure. Human
    nature cant endure much more.
  • Editorial in the Atlantic Journal, June 16, 1833.

7
THE CHALLENGE
  • All over America, young adolescents experiences
    of growing up have changed dramatically in the
    past two decades. Families, schools, and
    community organizations, the three pivotal
    institutions that once met the crucial
    requirements of adolescents to become productive
    adults, have been slow to adapt to new social
    realities.

8
Factors that Contribute to Antisocial Behaviors
  • Home (Dishion Patterson)
  • Inconsistent management
  • Punitive management
  • Lack of monitoring
  • Community (Biglan, 1995)
  • Antisocial network of peers
  • Lack of prosocial engagements
  • School (Mayer, 1995)
  • Punitive disciplinary approach
  • Lack of clarity of rules, expectations, and
    consequences
  • Lack of staff support
  • Failure to consider and accommodate individual
    differences
  • Academic failure

Sugai, 1997
9
Table 1. Risk Factors that Predict Adolescent
Problem Behavior
Factors Targeted Directly (?) and Indirectly (?)
by this Initiative
Substance Abuse
Teen Pregnancy
School Drop-Out
Delinquency
Violence
10
Table 1. Risk Factors that Predict Adolescent
Problem Behavior
Factors Targeted Directly (?) and Indirectly (?)
by this Initiative
Factors Targeted Directly ( ) and Indirectly ( )
by this Initiative
School Drop-Out
Substance Abuse
Teen Pregnancy
Violence
Delinquency
11
Table 1. Risk Factors that Predict Adolescent
Problem Behavior
Factors Targeted Directly (?) and Indirectly (?)
by this Initiative
Substance Abuse
School Drop-Out
Teen Pregnancy
Delinquency
Violence
12
Table 1. Risk Factors that Predict Adolescent
Problem Behavior
Factors Targeted Directly (?) and Indirectly (?)
by this Initiative
Substance Abuse
School Drop-Out
Teen Pregnancy
Delinquency
Violence
13
Table 1. Risk Factors that Predict Adolescent
Problem Behavior
Factors Targeted Directly (?) and Indirectly (?)
by this Initiative
Factors Targeted Directly ( ) and Indirectly ( )
by this Initiative
Substance Abuse
School Drop-Out
Teen Pregnancy
Violence
Delinquency
14
RISK or RESILIENCY?
  • RISK FACTORS predict future problems
  • PROTECTIVE FACTORS shield from the effects of
    risk factors
  • VULNERABILITY denotes increased susceptibility to
    risk
  • RESILIENCY is the ability to resist or surmount
    risk

15
VULNERABILITY
  • increases according to the number and intensity
    of risk factors (including the length of time
    exposed)

16
RESILIENCY
  • increases according to the number and intensity
    of protective factors

17
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18
PROTECTIVE FACTORS Aspects of peoples lives
that counter risk factors or provide buffers
against them
  • Individual Characteristics
  • Gender
  • A resilient temperament
  • A positive social orientation
  • Intelligence
  • Bonding
  • Attached to positive families, friends, school,
    and community
  • Healthy Beliefs and Clear Standards
  • Adopted from those to whom the youth is bonded
  • Clear, positive standards
  • High expectations

19
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20
More Assets Mean Less High Risk Behavior
217,000 6th- to 12th-grade Youth, 318
Communities, 33 States 1999-2000 School Year
21
More Assets Mean More Positive Behavior/Attitude
217,000 6th- to 12th-grade Youth, 318
Communities, 33 States 1999-2000 School Year
22
School-Based Responses to Antisocial Behavior
  • Least effective responses to school violence are
  • Counseling
  • Psychotherapy
  • Punishment (Gottfredson,1997 Lipsey, 1991
    Lipsey Wilson, 1993 Tolan Guerra, 1994)
  • Exclusion is the most common response for
    conduct-disordered, juvenile delinquent, and
    behaviorally disordered youth (Lane Murakami,
    1987)
  • Punishing problem behaviors without a school-wide
    system of support is associated with increased…
  • Aggression
  • Vandalism
  • Truancy
  • Tardiness
  • Dropping out (Mayer, 1995 Mayer
    Sulzer-Azaroff, 1991)

23
School-Based Responses to Antisocial Behavior
  • Most effective responses to school violence are
  • Social skills training
  • Academic and curricular restructuring
  • Behavioral interventions(Gottfredson, 1997
    Lipsey, 1991, 1992 Lipsey Wilson, 1993 Tolan
    Guerra, 1994)

24
The Solution to the Problem of Antisocial Behavior
  • SCHOOL ORGANIZATION
  • High commitment from principal and teachers
  • Intensive training of key personnel
  • School-wide rewards based upon positive
    incentives rather than negative sanctions
  • SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMS
  • Comprehensive in scope and intensive in
    application
  • Address changing individual and community norms
    about violence and appropriate behaviors
  • Sensitivity to cultural differences in social
    interaction patterns and styles
  • Practice in real-life situations
  • Rewards for positive behavior
  • Multiple instructional techniques (e.g.
    role-playing, modeling, direct teaching, and
    feedback)
  • Guerra Williams, 1996

25
THE MOST EFFECTIVE PREVENTION PROGRAMS in
reducing risk and improving the long-term
outcomes for antisocial children
  • Offer comprehensive and intensive services
  • Are able to respond flexibly and promptly to a
    wide variety of needs of the individual, family,
    and school (or other setting)
  • Are open to the diverse needs of a family at
    risk, and
  • Have staff who are able to invest the time and
    possess the skills necessary to establish
    relationships based upon mutual respect and trust

Schorr, 1988
26
Characteristics of Schools That are Safe and
Responsive to All Children
  • Focus on academic achievement
  • Involve families in meaningful ways
  • Develop links to the community
  • Emphasize positive relationships among students
    and staff
  • Discuss safety issues openly
  • Treat students with equal respect
  • Create ways for students to share their concerns
  • Help children feel safe expressing their feelings
  • Have in place a system for referring children who
    are suspected of being abused or neglected
  • Offer extended day programs for children
  • Promote good citizenship and character
  • Identify problems and assess progress toward
    solutions
  • Support students in making the transition to
    adult life and the workplace

Early Warning Timely Response A Guide to Safe
Schools, 1998
27
The Best Schools Prevention Programs…
  • Focus on known risk factors in communities,
    families, peer groups
  • Assess both the number of risk factors and time
    exposed to risk
  • Regularly document warning signs
  • Develop protective factors
  • Focus on academic achievement, meaningful family
    involvement,
  • links to the community, positive relationships
    among students
  • and staff.
  • Provide schoolwide systems of support for all
    students
  • Provide targeted classroom interventions for
    students at greater risk
  • Attend more to positive than negative student
    behaviors
  • Emphasize generalized skill development
  • Eliminate coercive control measures

28
COERCION is an aggressive ACTION that produces
the following REACTIONS
ESCAPE AVOIDANCE COUNTER AGGRESSION
COERCION the use or threat of PUNISHMENT
This ACTION/REACTION destroys the
TEACHING/LEARNING process
COERCION WEAKENS RELATIONSHIPS
29
Research on Coercion
  • ? Coercive interchanges are much more frequent in
    the families of aggressive children.
  • ? The aversive behavior of one person is usually
    responded to with aversive behavior of the other
    person.
  • ? The mother is the focus for the majority of
    coercive behaviors.
  • ? When mothers give in or comply with the childs
    coercive behavior, such behavior immediately
    decreases.
  • ? Mothers of children with behavior problems are
    more likely to provide attention following
    deviant behavior.
  • ? Mothers of problem children are more likely to
    provide commands.
  • ? Mothers of problem children administer more
    frequent punishment.
  • ? Parents of problem children utilize more
    punishment than parents of non-problem children.
  • Kazdin, 1985

30
COERCION is largely INEFFECTIVE with YOUTH AT
RISK
31
PREVENTION PLUS is...
  • Intensive SKILL BUILDING...
  • across MULTIPLE ENVIRONMENTS...
  • accomplished by developing strong, PERSONAL
    RELATIONSHIPS with youth...
  • and using NON-COERCIVE strategies that promote
    learning.

32
Prevention Plus Elements
Focus
Universal Targeted
All Students At Risk
Rules Values Common Language
Instructions Individual Negotiations Contracts
Clear Communication of Behavioral Expectations
System-wide Advisement Extra-Curricular Programs
Mentoring Relationship-building
Relationships and Bonding
  • Skill-Building Emphasis
  • Academic Skills
  • Social Skills
  • Self-management Skills

Expectations Modeling Practice Fluency Evaluation
Planned And Opportunistic Teaching
Recognition for Appropriate Behavior
Praise Notes/Boards Recognition Programs Good
Behavior Game
Instructive Praise
33
Prevention Plus 1994-1996
Prevention Plus at-risk students improved over
non-participating peers in standardized
measures of….
Academic Achievement (KTEA) Social
Competence (Teacher Ratings-SSBS) Social
Competence (Student Self-Ratings-SSRS) Anti
Social Behavior (Teacher Ratings-SSBS)
Prevention Plus (1/2 Standard Deviation) Preve
ntion Plus (1/2 Standard Deviation) Prevention
Plus Prevention Plus
Other At-Risk Other At-Risk (No
Change) Other At-Risk (No Change) Other
At-Risk
34
Prevention Plus 1993 - 1998 Mound Fort Middle
School
DIRECT MEASURES OF VIOLENT DISRUPTIVE BEHAVIOR
Fights Suspensions 69 Safe School
Violations 77 Court Referrals 84 Gang-Related
Activities 81
35
PREVENTION PLUS is different from many other
models of preventing antisocial behaviors
MORE INTENSIVE -- opportunities throughout the
day to practice successful behaviors MORE
COMPREHENSIVE -- broad array of skills
(academic, interpersonal, self-ma
nagement), and wide range of settings MORE
EFFECTIVE USE OF PERSONNEL -- everyone teaches,
everyone mentors LESS
COERCIVE -- emphasis on building skills MORE
EMPHASIS ON POSITIVE RELATIONSHIPS -- creates a
context for change and an
example of success
36
THERE ARE EARLY WARNING SIGNS OF VIOLENCE TO
SELF AND OTHERS
  • Certain behavioral and emotional signs that, when
    viewed in context, can signal a troubled child.
  • Early warning signs provide us with the impetus
    to check out our concerns and address the childs
    needs.
  • Early warning signs allow us to act responsibly
    by getting help for the child before problems
    escalate.
  • It is important to avoid inappropriately labeling
    or stigmatizing individual students because they
    appear to fit a specific profile or set of early
    warning indicators.

Early Warning Timely Response A Guide to Safe
Schools, 1998
37
Early Warning Signs
  • Social withdrawal
  • Excessive feelings of isolation and being alone
  • Excessive feelings of rejection
  • Being a victim of violence
  • Feelings of being picked on and persecuted
  • Low school interest and poor academic performance
  • Expression of violence in writings and drawings
  • Uncontrolled anger
  • Patterns of impulsive and chronic hitting,
    intimidating, and bullying behaviors
  • History of discipline problems
  • Past history of violent and aggressive behavior
  • Intolerance for differences and prejudicial
    attitudes
  • Drug use and alcohol use
  • Affiliation with gangs
  • Inappropriate access to, possession of, and use
    of firearms
  • Serious threats of violence

Early Warning Timely Response A Guide to Safe
Schools, 1998
38
Imminent Warning Signs
  • Serious physical fighting with peers or family
    members
  • Severe destruction of property
  • Severe rage for seemingly minor reasons
  • Detailed threats of lethal violence
  • Possession and/or use of firearms and other
    weapons
  • Other self-injurious behaviors or threats of
    suicide

Early Warning Timely Response A Guide to Safe
Schools, 1998
39
Similarities in Prevention Approaches
LEVELS OF INTENSITY BASED UPON LEVELS OF RISK
40
(No Transcript)
41
Relationship between Risk and Academic
Achievement Is English the primary language
spoken at home?
42
Relationship between Risk and Academic
Achievement Have you moved more than once in
the past three years?
43
Relationship between Risk and Academic
Achievement Do you regularly attend community,
social, or religious meetings?
44
Relationship between Risk and Academic
Achievement Do your neighbors generally monitor
their childrens activities?
45
Relationship between Risk and Academic
Achievement Do you generally approve of your
childs closest friends?
46
Relationship between Risk and Academic
Achievement Do you have a high school
diploma/GED?
47
Relationship between Risk and Academic
Achievement Do you have Internet access at
home?
48
Relationship between Risk and Academic
Achievement (Indicators of School Quality- ISQ)
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