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IES Grant

Title: Evaluation of Homework, Organization, and Planning Skills Program: A Conceptual Replication
Center: NCER Year: 2019
Principal Investigator: Power, Thomas Awardee: Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
Program: Social and Behavioral Context for Academic Learning      [Program Details]
Award Period: 5 years (07/01/2019 - 06/30/2024) Award Amount: $3,950,738
Type: Effectiveness Award Number: R305A190222

Co-Principal Investigator: Nissley-Tsiopinis, Jenelle

Purpose: The purpose of this study is to conduct a conceptual replication of an IES Efficacy study that showed the HOPS (Homework, Organization, Planning Skills) intervention improved organizational, time management, and planning (OTMP) skills for middle school students with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). In this study, an independent research team will test whether HOPS yields similar benefits under routine practice conditions for the full range of students who have OTMP skills deficits, not just those with a formal diagnosis of ADHD.

Project Activities: The independent research team will evaluate HOPS when implemented by school counselors to determine whether OTMP skills, homework performance, and academic achievement improve in the current and subsequent school year for those with OTMP challenges. The research team will study the role of implementation and school climate for the effectiveness of HOPS. They will also examine HOPS' costs and cost-effectiveness relative to typical school services for these students.

Products: Products include information about the effectiveness of HOPS delivered by school counselors compared to services as usual for middle school students with OTMP challenges. Other products include information about costs and cost-effectiveness of school counselor delivered HOPS. The research team will present findings to school administrators, provide workshops for interested parents, and work with the Mid-Atlantic Regional Educational Laboratory to determine how to use project findings and lessons learned to improve student academic outcomes. The research team will also produce peer-reviewed publications and a final dataset.

Structured Abstract

Setting: The setting for this study is a range of suburban and urban schools in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

Sample: The sample will include about 240 students in grades 6 to 8 with OTMP deficits (160 participating in HOPS; 80 in control), their parents, and school counselors in 30 schools.

Intervention: HOPS is a 16-session skills training program provided individually to students in grades 6 to 8 who have OTMP skills deficits that contribute to academic difficulties. The program offers two parent consultations to promote generalization and maintenance of effects beyond the school setting. School counselors will administer HOPS with minimal technical support, as designed by the developer in an IES Development and Innovation study.

Research Design and Methods: The independent research team will use a cluster randomized design to compare HOPS to treatment-as-usual. They will randomly assign schools to condition at a 2 (HOPS) to 1 (wait-list control group) ratio. Each school will participate in the study for 3 years. To be responsive to the multiple work demands placed on counselors during a school year, schools will enroll students over two years (4 students per year). Students will be selected into the study through teacher nomination and ratings of OTMP skills deficits. The research team will assess student outcomes immediately post treatment and at 6 months after baseline assessment for all students and at 12 months after baseline for students in grades 6 and 7 who receive HOPS. The team will also consider the influence of school climate and support on HOPS impact.

Control Condition: In schools randomly assigned to the control group, students will receive typical school services during their first year of participation. These students will receive HOPS in the year following study enrollment.

Key Measures: Parents and teachers will rate and report on adolescents' OTMP skills and homework performance. The research team will score homework samples for completeness and accuracy. Teachers will rate students' academic functioning and provide grades. The research team will use a multi-method battery to assess student and parent engagement with HOPS. They will code audio and video recordings of student and parent sessions to assess implementation fidelity. School administrators and staff will complete rating scales to assess school organizational climate.

Data Analytic Strategy: The research team will use linear mixed-effects models to examine intervention and moderator effects (grade level, severity of organization problems, severity of ADHD and oppositional defiant behavior symptoms, and medication status at baseline) at post-treatment and follow up. The models will account for the multi-level (students within counselors/schools) nature of the data. The research team will use structural equation modeling to determine whether changes in OTMP skills lead to improvements in academic achievement.

Cost Analysis: The research team will calculate total costs (labor and non-labor) associated with the implementation of HOPS in each school. They will calculate an incremental cost-effectiveness (ICE) ratio for each outcome measure for effects that differ significantly from the control group.

Related IES Projects: Organizational Skills Interventions for Children with ADHD (R305A100996); Efficacy of an Organizational Skills Intervention for Middle School Students with ADHD (R305A130011)