The study was conducted in two semirural sites in Minnesota, characterized by families of low and middle socioeconomic status.
The sample consisted of students from 20 schools that were randomly assigned to either the
Early Risers condition (n = 10 schools) or the comparison condition (n = 10 schools). Within
these schools, 95% of kindergarten students were screened using teacher ratings of aggressive-
disruptive behavior on the 25-item Aggression Scale of the Child Behavior Checklist–
Teacher Rating Form (Achenbach, 1991). Children who obtained a t-score greater than 58 on
the Aggression Scale (using gender-specific norms) or who were at or above the 85th percentile
relative to all kindergarten students in their school without dropping below a t-score of 55
were eligible. Students were excluded from the study if their IQ was less than 80 or if they had
a pervasive developmental disorder that required special education placement. Using these
criteria, 341 children were screened in as potential participants; this initial sample consisted
of 173 students in intervention schools and 168 students in comparison schools. During
the baseline year, all students were in kindergarten. Intervention effects were measured after
students in the Early Risers group had received two and three years of implementation. The
analysis sample after three years of implementation included 199 students: Early Risers group
(n = 100) and comparison group (n = 99). Gender information was not available for the analysis
sample. Of the sample of children who received initial parental consent prior to assignment
(n = 245), 69% were boys and 31% were girls. Race and ethnicity information for the study
sample was not presented.
The current report focuses on impacts after two (Appendix D) and three (Appendix C) years of
The Child Skills component included a Monitoring and Mentoring School Consultation Program
during the school year and an annual six-week, full-day summer school program. The Monitoring and Mentoring School Consultation Program consisted of teacher consultation and student mentoring. The summer school program began in the summer following kindergarten and included academic learning centers; training in social skills, art, drama, and sports; largegroup recreation; lunch; recess; and the use of peer mentors. A structured behavior modification program was implemented across all daily activities.
The Family Program consisted of separate but concurrent parent and child sessions held on evenings or weekends from October through May. During the first three years, parent sessions addressed topics such as use of praise and discipline, involvement in schoolwork and learning at home, self-control and problem solving, communication skills, stress management, and social support. The child sessions focused on emotion regulation, conflict resolution, social skills, and understanding school rules. Session content was delivered using video modeling, fantasy play, and role-plays. Home visits, modeled after home-based wraparound mental health service programs, also were used to meet family goals.
Children in the comparison condition did not participate in any aspect of the Early Risers
This study included measures of social skills, adaptability, academic achievement, aggression,
hyperactivity, and impulsivity after two and three years of implementation. For a more detailed
description of these outcome measures, see Appendix B.
Support for implementation
Staff members were required to participate in a formal program of education and training prior
to the implementation of each intervention component. Intervention manuals were obtained
from the original program developers, who also served as project consultants. Staff members,
who received ongoing supervision during the implementation phase, were required to demonstrate
mastery of content and delivery methods.