Education & Treatment Alternatives - Erie, PA

Workshop Objective and Contents

Workshops on student aggression, assaultive and delinquent youth, and juvenile gangs featuring SkillStreaming, Aggression Replacement Training, and the Prepare Curriculum, three progressively, more comprehensive intervention programs designed to enhance the ProSocial behavior of aggressive, acting-out or delinquent adolescents and younger children.

SkillStreaming is our interpersonal skills training approach, consisting of modeling, role play, performance feedback and transfer training. Our several evaluations of its efficacy revealed high levels of skill acquisition but more modest levels of skill transfer and maintenance. Adding Anger Control Training (what not to do) to SkillStreaming (what to do) plus Moral Reasoning Training (why to do it) yielded Aggression Replacement Training, shown by us to result in substantially improved transfer/maintenance effects-including major reductions in recidivism among delinquent youth on parole.

Adolescent, younger child, parent and gang-oriented versions of this intervention each appear efficacious. Encouraged by these findings, and their positive implications for the general strategy of training psychological competencies via social learning methods, we have put forth a much expanded intervention, the Prepare Curriculum, which in turn incorporates, but goes far beyond, Aggression Replacement Training in the ProSocial contents of its constituent, course-length components.

Workshops offered present the rationale and background underlying these companion interventions, their specific procedures, materials, application and administrative challenges, evaluation results, and so forth. School violence and vandalism are another major workshop focus, including its magnitude and impact, as well as “best practice” solutions targeted to administrators, teachers, as well as aggressive students themselves. Juvenile gangs, both as they function in schools and in the community, are examined in depth. Considered are their history, current demographics, forms of aggression, recruitment, reasons for joining, codes of behavior, membership paths and, most especially, intervention approaches.

Workshop format includes lecture, demonstration, participation and implementation planning. Throughout these two-day workshops, whether the topic focused upon is the ProSocial skills training methods we have developed, school violence or juvenile gangs, major emphasis is given to generalization techniques, that is, effective means for increasing the likelihood that ProSocial skills learned in the training setting (school, institution) will actually transfer to other settings (home, street, playground, work) and endure over time.