In the past decade, elementary school settings have been overwhelmed by increasing numbers of behaviorally at-risk children who are unresponsive to the minimal but necessary demands of schooling. It is of critical importance to get behaviorally at-risk children off this trajectory or pathway as soon as possible in their school careers through early, coordinated interventions that are delivered via collaborative partnership arrangements between child behavior experts, parents, school staff, and peers. The proposed project will address this continuing need by developing training materials to facilitate the dissemination of the evidence- based First Step to Success (FSS;Walker, Kavanagh, Stiller, Golly, Severson, &Feil, 1997) intervention that is designed to achieve secondary prevention goals and outcomes for behaviorally at-risk children in grades K-3. The FSS is a selected early intervention approach that is appropriate for children who experience moderate-to- severe behavior problems in the beginning stages of their school careers. The overall aim of the proposed project will develop an interactive multimedia web-based training program for effectively implementing the FSS intervention. The project will produce an interactive web-based program for training coaches to conduct the FSS intervention in schools, and work with students, teachers, and parents to carry out the program. A full set of FSS concepts and skills will be presented in the program using a variety of methods including video, text, animated graphics, audio narration, and interactive programming. We will solicit feedback about the program design and components in three focus groups with school professionals and test usability with four groups of school professionals both with and without experience with the FSS program before conducting a large trial evaluating the efficacy of the training program. The training program will be assessed for general usability, consumer satisfaction, knowledge gained and self-efficacy, by having 40 new coaches from eight school districts trained using the FSS-T program and subsequently implementing the program in 80 primary grade classrooms. The treatment fidelity will also be assessed via direct observations by an FSS expert. The program will then be modified and prepared for dissemination, based on participant feedback and results of the evaluation study.
Challenging behavior patterns severely stress the classroom management skills of teachers, disrupt peer relations, lead to social isolation and affiliation with deviant peer groups, and are increasingly being seen in younger children. It is critically important to implement early intervention programs with children who are developing behavior problems rather than intervening after patterns are well-established and more difficult to change. This web-based interactive program will be designed to train behavioral coaches in the implementation of the First Step to Success (FSS) early intervention program. The FSS has been proven as an efficacious program for early intervention with primary grade students who exhibit socially aggressive and anti-social behaviors.