The effects of an early intervention program on students' social classroom behaviors
The impact of a secondary prevention program for primary grade students with school adjustment problems in a North Texas School District was examined in this study. The subjects consisted of 138 Kindergarten through fourth graders across 19 elementary schools. The experimental group was selected from students who participated in the Growth Center Project. The control group was matched to the experimental group by gender, grade, race, and handicapping condition.
The students in the experimental group worked with trained volunteers a minimum of one hour a week for twelve sessions. Pre- and post-measures were administered to the teachers of this group. Beginning six week grades were compared to the students' grades at the end of the sessions. Additionally, the type of activities the student and volunteer engaged in were recorded in the volunteer log. The experimental group post-measures were also administered to the teachers of the control group as a normative measure.
The design of this study was a pre-test/post-test nonequivalent design. The differences between the pre- and post-treatment scores obtained on the Social Skills Rating System--Social Skills Questionnaire Teacher Form, the seven standard scores on the Texas Features of Emotional Disturbance (TX-FED) Instrument System--Teacher Checklist of Child Behavior, the two total scores on the Fort Worth ISD Child Behavior Rating Scale, and the students' grades were analyzed for significance. If the differences were significant, then univariate t-tests were done on each dependent variable. The post-treatment scores for the experimental group were then compared with the matched group normals and analyzed for significance. Differences were then followed-up with post hoc univariate t-tests.
A marked improvement was noted in the social behavior of the experimental group following twelve treatment sessions, even though a significant improvement was not seen in these students' grades. Both scales of the Fort Worth ISD Child Behavior Rating Scale reflected a significant improvement after treatment. Although, the students participating in the Growth Center Project did not obtain mean scores equivalent to the non-referred matched control group, they otherwise demonstrated relative and significant improvements.