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IES Grant

Title: Promoting Alternative Thinking Strategies
Center: NCER Year: 2003
Principal Investigator: Johnson, Deborah Awardee: Children's Institute
Program: Social and Character Development      [Program Details]
Award Period: 4 years Award Amount: $1,800,000
Type: Efficacy and Replication Award Number: R305L030165

Co-Principal Investigator: Hugh Crean

The purpose of this project is to evaluate the impact of the Promoting Alternative Thinking Strategies (PATHS) program, which is designed to strengthen all kindergarten through 5th grade students' emotional literacy, positive peer relations, and social problem-solving. The researchers are evaluating the effects of PATHS in New York and Minnesota.

PATHS consists of volumes of lessons on self-control, emotional understanding, self-esteem, healthy relationships, and interpersonal problem-solving skills. The program also includes training for all school staff on social and character development. The researchers are evaluating the effects of the randomly assigned PATHS program in schools already implementing an indicated K–2 program designed to enhance school adjustment and build social and emotional competencies (the Primary Mental Health Project; PMHP). The schools are located on the fringe of stressed urban communities in two states: New York and Minnesota.

In the complementary research study, the researchers are comparing changes in behavior for high-risk students who participated in the PMHP program in grades K–2 and later received the PATHS intervention with changes in behavior for high-risk students who participated in the PMHP program in grades K–2 but did not later receive the PATHS intervention. The researchers also are testing whether changes in social problem-solving abilities and hostile attribution biases relate to changes in problem behavior.


Journal article, monograph, or newsletter

Crean, H.F., and Johnson, D.B. (2013). Promoting Alternative Thinking Strategies (PATHS) and Elementary School Aged Children's Aggression: Results From a Cluster Randomized Trial. American Journal of Community Psychology, 52(1): 56–72.