Study schools were located in the Eugene, Oregon school district.
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 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.
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.
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Report Form (CBCL-TRF) Withdrawn Subscale as a measure of emotional/internal behavior.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.