WWC review of this study

First Step to Success: An early intervention approach for preventing school antisocial behavior.

Walker, H., Kavanagh, K., Stiller, B., Golly, A., Severson, H., & Feil, E. (1998). Journal of Emotional and Behavioral Disorders, 6(2), 66–80. Retrieved from: https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ567432

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
     examining 
    46
     Students
    , grade
    K
At least one statistically significant positive finding
Meets WWC standards without reservations

Reviewed: March 2012

Emotional/internal behavior outcomes—Substantively important positive effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
index

Child Behavior Checklist- Teacher Report Form (CBCL-TRF): Withdrawn subscale

First Step to Success vs. None

Posttest

Kindergarten;
46 students

3.08

4.09

No

 
 
10
External behavior outcomes—Statistically significant positive effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
index

Early Screening Project (ESP): Adaptive Behavior

First Step to Success vs. None

Posttest

Kindergarten;
46 students

28.8

22.24

Yes

 
 
38
More Outcomes

Child Behavior Checklist- Teacher Report Form (CBCL-TRF): Agression subscale

First Step to Success vs. None

Posttest

Kindergarten;
46 students

13.08

23.71

Yes

 
 
34

Academic engaged time (AET): Kindergarten

First Step to Success vs. None

Posttest

Kindergarten;
46 students

87.32

69.05

Yes

 
 
33

Early Screening Project (ESP): Maladpative Behavior

First Step to Success vs. None

Posttest

Kindergarten;
46 students

23.52

31.86

Yes

 
 
32

Characteristics of study sample as reported by study author.


  • 37% Free or reduced price lunch

  • Female: 26%
    Male: 74%
  • Race
    Not specified
    7%
    White
    93%

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    Oregon

Setting

Study schools were located in the Eugene, Oregon school district.

Study sample

Forty-six kindergarten children were randomly assigned to the intervention group (n = 25) or to a wait-list control condition (n = 21). A table of random numbers was used to assign each pool of participants comprising Cohorts 1 and 2 to either an intervention or wait-list control condition. The study included two cohorts of students; Cohort 1 included 24 students who were in kindergarten during the 1993–94 academic year, and Cohort 2 included 22 students who were in kindergarten during the 1994–95 academic year. Participants were 26% female, 7% were of racial/ ethnic minorities, and 37% were classified as low income. Students were described as exhibiting antisocial behaviors, including victimizing others, severe tantrums, and aggression.

Intervention Group

Intervention students were exposed to both the CLASS and HomeBase components of the program. The intervention was delivered by eight trained consultants, in conjunction with the classroom teachers and parents or primary caregivers. HomeBase consisted of six lessons for parents or caregivers to help increase their child’s performance. The consultant visited the home weekly after the 10th day of the CLASS program to conduct the one-hour lesson, which also included parent-child games. All children received the First Step to Success intervention over a course of three months.

Comparison Group

The control condition did not utilize First Step to Success. Students assigned to the control group were put on a waiting list and received First Step to Success following its termination for participants in the treatment group.

Outcome descriptions

Four measures of external behavior were assessed immediately following completion of First Step to Success in kindergarten. These measures included teacher ratings on the Early Screening Project (ESP) Adaptive and Maladaptive Behavior scales, which are adaptations of the Systematic Screening for Behavior Disorders (SSBD), as well as the Child Behavior Checklist–Teacher Report Form (CBCL-TRF) Aggression Subscale, and a measure of academic engaged time (AET). This study also included the Child Behavior Checklist–Teacher Report Form (CBCL-TRF) Withdrawn Subscale as a measure of emotional/internal behavior. For a more detailed description of these outcome measures, see Appendix B.

Support for implementation

Eight program consultants (graduate students, teachers, school counselors, and teacher aides) were recruited and trained by First Step to Success developers to implement the intervention. Each consultant was assigned to two or three children. Training procedures included lectures, videotaped demonstrations, role playing, feedback, and self-evaluation. In the second year, those consultants who chose to participate again were given a refresher training course. New second-year consultants were given intensive training that included using the returning consultants as peer coaches.

 

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