Aggressive-disruptive behavior in the classroom is associated with academic underachievement, high school drop-out, substance abuse, antisocial behavior and mental disorders. Teacher-delivered interventions, such as the Good Behavior Game (GBG) and Promoting Alternative Thinking Strategies (PATHS), can improve students'on-task and pro-social classroom behaviors and have beneficial impacts in terms of increased high school graduation rates and reduced risk for substance abuse, antisocial behavior and mental disorders. However, the nature of professional development for teachers may limit the proficiency with which universal prevention programs such as these are delivered. Joyce and Showers (2002)'s seminal meta-analysis revealed that training comprised of explication of theory, demonstrations, practice and feedback does little to impact teacher practice unless it is coupled with classroom coaching. Although there is a growing body of research on the impact of coaching on teacher proficiency, to date, limited work has been done to develop a training model for coaches. This R21 application will develop, examine the feasibility/acceptability, and provide preliminary data for web-based training and mentoring (WBTM) for coaches who support teacher implementation of two universal preventive interventions (i.e., PATHS and GBG). The WBTM is a one-time online training paired with weekly web-based mentoring sessions designed to develop coach skills in (1) the use of effective coaching strategies (e.g., rapport building, modeling, observation, feedback), (2) the use of data to inform coach decision- making, and (3) how to reduce barriers to implementation. The goals of this proposal are to: (1) develop engaging and effective web tools to train school-based coaches, (2) examine the initial feasibility of the WBTM among 4 school-based coaches (e.g., ease of technology, time required);(3) to conduct in-depth interviews with WBTM participants to elicit perspectives on: (a) feasibility of coaching model, training and mentoring, (b) relevance of coaching model, training, and mentoring, (c) satisfaction with coaching model, training, and mentoring, (d) content, and (e) any changes to coach efficacy related to training/mentoring;(4) to revise the WBTM based on the initial pilot with 4 coaches;and (5) to examine the preliminary efficacy (as indicated by coach fidelity to the model and teacher implementation) of the WBTM in a pilot in which coaches are randomized to receive either WBTM or in-person training and mentoring. The outcome of the proposed studies will provide preliminary evidence for a WBTM protocol to facilitate the skill development of coaches supporting teachers who deliver universal preventive interventions and valuable pilot data for a future R34 involving the WBTM.

Public Health Relevance

Youth who exhibit disruptive behaviors in school are at risk for academic underachievement, high school drop-out, substance use, and mental health problems. Teacher-delivered preventive interventions can improve students'classroom behavior and coaching can improve teachers'proficiency at delivering interventions in the classroom setting, thereby potentially enhancing the effectiveness of the intervention itself. This study addresses the public health needs of urban youth attending public elementary schools by developing and testing a model of coach training and mentoring that can be implemented using web-based technology, thereby extending the availability of coaching supports for two universal preventive interventions (i.e., Promoting Alternative Thinking Strategies and the Good Behavior Game) to a larger number of urban schools in which teachers strive to achieve high quality delivery of the program so that their students can attain behavioral and academic success.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
Exploratory/Developmental Grants (R21)
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Community-Level Health Promotion Study Section (CLHP)
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Sims, Belinda E
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Johns Hopkins University
Other Health Professions
Schools of Public Health
United States
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