Bounce Back

A school- and group-based program designed to improve symptoms of posttraumatic stress, depression, and anxiety among children with posttraumatic stress symptoms.

Bounce Back is comprised of 10 one-hour group sessions of four to six students, two to three individual sessions, and one to three parent education sessions that span a 3-month period. Typically held during school hours, group sessions cover a range of topics, such as relaxation training, cognitive restructuring, social problem solving, positive activities, trauma-focused intervention strategies, and emotional regulation and coping skills. These topics and methods derive from established successful interventions for children with PTSD, including a gradual approach of anxiety-provoking situations and a modified trauma narratives approach.

Program elements designed specifically to function with participants aged 5-11 include identifying feelings and their links to thoughts and actions, using published storybooks to relate concepts and connect engagement activities, and creating personal storybooks as an age appropriate concrete trauma narrative. Student participation is encouraged with games and activities specific to age groups and with “courage cards” tailored to each student. Group sessions are structured, and include agenda setting; review of activity assignments; introduction of new topics through games, stories, and experiential activities; and assigning activities for the next group meeting.

Blueprints has certified two studies evaluating Bounce Back.

In Study 1, Langley et al. (2015) randomly assigned 74 students within four different schools to either immediate intervention or a waitlist control group. Parent- and child-reports of posttraumatic stress and depression, and child reports of anxiety symptoms, were assessed at baseline and three months after baseline (posttest). Compared to the control group at the posttest, treatment students significantly improved on posttraumatic stress symptoms (parent and child reported), anxiety symptoms (child reported), and emotional regulation as well as emotional/behavioral problems (both parent reported). Additionally, a protective factor, self-reported social adjustment, significantly improved for children who received the intervention as compared to children in the control group.

In Study 2, Santiago et al. (2018) conducted a cluster randomized controlled trial in which eight schools and 52 students were assigned to immediate intervention or a waitlist control group. Measures assessing PTSD symptoms, anxiety, depression, coping skills and classroom behavior were collected before the intervention (pretest) and three months after baseline (posttest). Study 2 reported that at the posttest, compared to the control group, students in the treatment group showed improvements in posttraumatic stress symptoms (child reported). In terms of risk and protective factors, the study reported that treatment students, as compared to control students, showed improvements in coping (parent reported).

References:

Langley, A. K., Gonzalez, A., Sugar, C. A., Solis, D., & Jaycox, L. (2015). Bounce Back: Effectiveness of an elementary school-based intervention for multicultural children exposed to traumatic events. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 83(5), 853-865.

Santiago, C. D., Raviv, T., Ros, A. M., Brewer, S. K., Distel, L. M., Torres, S. A., . . . Langley, A. K. (2018). Implementing the Bounce Back trauma intervention in urban elementary schools: A real-world replication trial. School Psychology Quarterly, 33(1), 1.

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GenerationPMTO

A family training program that aims to teach effective family management skills in order to reduce antisocial and problematic behavior in children through trainings implemented in a variety of formats and settings.

GenerationPMTO is a group of theory-based parent training interventions that can be implemented in a variety of family contexts. The program aims to teach effective family management skills in order to reduce antisocial and problematic behavior in children ranging in age from 3-16 years. GenerationPMTO is delivered in group- and individual-family formats, in diverse settings (e.g., clinics, homes, schools, community centers, homeless shelters), and over varied lengths of time depending on families’ needs. Typically, sessions are one week apart to optimize the opportunity for learning and rehearsing new practices. The number of sessions provided in parent groups ranges from 6 to 14; in clinical samples the mean number of individual treatment sessions is 25.

The central role of the GenerationPMTO therapist is to teach and coach parents in the use of effective parenting strategies, namely skill encouragement, setting limits or effective discipline, monitoring, problem solving, and positive involvement. In addition to these core parenting practices, parents are taught to identify and regulate emotions, enhance communication, give clear directions, and track behavior. Finally, the program weaves the promotion of school success throughout relevant components.

GenerationPTMO has experienced widespread implementation across several states and international locations. The Blueprints certification of GenerationPMTO is based on four studies – two conducted in the United States, one in Norway, and one in Iceland. An independent research team (not associated with the program developers) conducted the most recently certified study; with this last evaluation, the program meets the requirements for “Model Plus” status on the Blueprints registry.

Forgatch & DeGarmo (1999) randomized 238 recently separated mothers and their sons in grades 1-3 to the intervention (n=153) or to a non-intervention control group (n=85). The participants lived in a moderate-sized city in the Northwest. Results show that compared to the control group at posttest, intervention boys experienced a significant decrease in noncompliance; their mothers experienced reductions in coercive parenting and negative reinforcement and increases in positive parenting, effective parenting practices and adaptive functioning. At 30 months, child internalizing and externalizing behaviors decreased as did maternal depression. At the last follow-up, the intervention significantly reduced the 9-year average and rate of growth in teacher-reported delinquency. Additionally, assignment to the intervention was associated with reduction in average levels of deviant peer associations from baseline to 8 years. Intervention boys and their mothers experienced lower arrest rates and boys experienced delayed age at first arrest compared to the control group.

Bjørknes & Manger (2012) and Bjørknes et al. (2012) conducted a randomized control trial among 96 immigrant families in Norway. Eligible families had a child with or at risk of developing conduct problems. Mothers were randomly assigned to either the intervention (n=50) or to a waitlist control group (n=46) with assessments occurring at baseline and post-intervention. The program improved positive parenting practices and child conduct problems for intervention families as compared to control families.

Sigmarsdóttir et al. (2014) recruited participants from five municipalities in Iceland. Eligible families were referred by schools, educational services or social services and had a child displaying behavioral problems at home and/or in school. Families were randomly assigned to the intervention (n=51) or to a services-as-usual control condition (n=51) in which subjects received a variety of community services normally provided for children with behavioral problems. Parents, teachers, and children completed assessments at baseline and end of treatment (approximately one year after baseline). A significant reduction was found for child adjustment problems (construct comprised of behavior problems, social skills, and depressive symptoms) among children whose parents received the treatment, compared to children in the control condition.

A team of independent evaluators, Akin et al. (2016, 2018), conducted a randomized controlled trial in a Midwestern state with families of children who were in foster care and had a serious emotional disturbance. In this study, 918 families were randomized into intervention (n=461) and control (n=457) groups. Assessments occurred at baseline, posttest, and 6-month follow-up (12 months after baseline). Compared to control group participants at posttest and follow-up, children in the intervention group significantly improved on social emotional functioning, problem behaviors and social skills.

In terms of cost-benefit analysis, Washington State Institute for Public Policy (December 2019) reports $1.87 in measured benefits per $1 spent in implementing GenerationPMTO.

References:

Akin, B. A., Lang, K., McDonald, T. P., Yan, Y., & Little, T. (2016). Randomized trial of PMTO in foster care: Six-month child well-being outcomes. Research on Social Work Practices, 29(2), 206-222.

Akin, B. A., Lang, K., Yan, Y., & McDonald, T. P. (2018). Randomized trial of PMTO in foster care: 12-month child well-being, parenting, and caregiver functioning outcomes. Children and Youth Services Review, 95, 49-63.

Bjørknes, R., & Manger, T. (2012). Can parent training alter parent practices and reduce conduct problems in ethnic minority children? A randomized controlled trial. Prevention Science, 14(1), 52-63.

Bjørknes, R., Kjøbli, J., Manger, T., & Jakobsen, R. (2012). Parent training among ethnic minorities: Parenting practices as mediators of change in child conduct problems. Family Relations, 61, 101-114.

DeGarmo, D. S., Patterson, G. R., & Forgatch, M. S. (2004). How do outcomes in a specified parent training intervention maintain or wane over time? Prevention Science, 5, 73-89.

Forgatch, M., & DeGarmo, D. (1999). Parenting Through Change: An effective prevention program for single mothers. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 67(5), 711-724.

Forgatch, M. S., Patterson, G. R., DeGarmo, D. S., & Beldavs, Z. (2009). Testing the Oregon delinquency model with 9-year follow-up of the Oregon Divorce Study. Development and Psychopathology, 21(5), 637-660.

Martinez, C., & Forgatch, M. (2001). Preventing problems with boys’ noncompliance: Effects of a parent training intervention for divorcing mothers. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 69(3), 416-428.

Sigmarsdóttir, M., Thorlacius, O., Guõmundsdóttir, E. V., & DeGarmo, D. S. (2014). Treatment effectiveness of PMTO for children’s behavior problems in Iceland: Child outcome in a nationwide randomized controlled trial. Family Process, 54, 498-517.

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Blueprints Director Dr. Pamela Buckley presented at the International Conference on Child and Family Maltreatment virtual conference

Dr. Pamela Buckley (Director of Blueprints) participated in a panel at the 36th Annual San Diego International Conference on Child and Family Maltreatment presented by the Chadwick Center for Children and Families at Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego. The virtual conference was held January 23-29, 2021 and was designed to equip and support professionals in the child welfare field to effectively identify and address child maltreatment, trauma, and violence. The presentation, titled “Child Welfare And Evidence Registries: Comparative analysis”, explained the Title IV-E Prevention Services Clearinghouse, which was developed for the Family First Prevention Services Act, and compared it to the California Evidence-Based Clearinghouse (CEBC) and Blueprints for Healthy Youth Development. The purpose was to discuss how registries can inform decision-making in the adoption of evidence-based interventions specific to the child welfare system. In addition to Dr. Buckley, the panel discussion included Dr. Suzanne Kerns and Dr. Sandra Jo Wilson from the Prevention Services Clearinghouse and Jennifer Rolls-Reutz from the CEBC. It started with an overview of the Prevention Services Clearinghouse, followed by a comparative analysis of each registry’s standards and review processes. The panelists then facilitated a discussion around the role of registries in supporting advancements in implementation science specific to child welfare involved families. The panel discussion was available on demand throughout the conference.

Pace Center for Girls

A set of gender-responsive prevention and early intervention programs and services for girls with multiple risk factors for juvenile justice system involvement, which uses a holistic approach to re-engage girls with learning, improve academic performance, and address the underlying trauma that contributes to female delinquency.

Pace Center for Girls (Pace) encompasses a set of gender-responsive prevention and early intervention programs and services for girls with multiple risk factors for juvenile justice system involvement including academic failure, chronic truancy, and dropping out of school.  Pace uses a balanced, holistic approach to re-engage girls with learning, improve academic performance, and to address the underlying trauma that contributes to female delinquency.  The Pace model provides the full academic school day and social service interventions in a safe, trauma-informed, strengths-based environment that reflects an understanding of the lives of girls and responds to their unique needs and challenges.

During a typical day at Pace, girls attend daily core academic classes, including language arts, math, social studies, life skills, and science. Every other week, or as needed, girls attend individual and group counseling sessions that focus on fostering positive behavioral change.  Weekly, or as needed, girls also attend academic advising sessions to plan and monitor academic progress.

Blueprints has certified one study evaluating Pace Center for Girls.

Millenky et al. (2019) conducted a randomized control trial involving 14 Pace Centers in the state of Florida. A total of 1,125 girls who applied to the program were randomized within center to either a treatment group that received Pace services or to a control group whose members received referrals to other community services. At the end of one year (the typical length of the program), significant positive impacts were found on enrollment, attendance, credits earned and suspensions for the treatment as compared to the control girls.

References:

Millenky, M., Treskon, L., Freedman, L., & Mage, C. (2019). Focusing on girls’ futures: Results from the evaluation of PACE Center for Girls. MDRC.

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Accelerated Study in Associate Programs (ASAP)

A post-secondary college-based prevention program that aims to address potential barriers to academic success and promote credit accumulation and associate degree completion in college students through comprehensive advisement and career and tutoring services provided by dedicated advisers.

The City University of New York (CUNY) Accelerated Study in Associate Programs (ASAP) is a comprehensive program for college students seeking an associate degree. ASAP is designed to help participating students earn their associate degrees as quickly as possible, with the goal of graduating at least 50 percent of students within three years. The program provides students with structured and wide-ranging supports, including financial resources (e.g., tuition waivers for students in receipt of financial aid with a gap need, textbook assistance, and MetroCards to assist with transportation), structured pathways to support academic momentum (e.g., full-time enrollment, block scheduled first-year courses, immediate and continuous enrollment in developmental education, winter and summer course-taking), and support services such as advisement, tutoring, and career development.

CUNY ASAP’s first replication partnership began in 2014 through a collaboration with a research and evaluation nonprofit organization called MDRC, the Ohio Department of Higher Education, and three Ohio community colleges that implemented programs based on ASAP.  In the Ohio programs, students were encouraged to attend specific sections of existing “student success” courses that addressed goal setting, study skills, and academic planning. In addition, throughout the duration of the program, students were connected to colleges’ existing career services, and students in developmental education courses were required to attend tutoring.  Students were also required to meet with a program adviser twice per month in the first semester, with requirements in the later semesters varying depending on the adviser’s determination of the student’s support level group, as in the CUNY ASAP advisement model. Program advisers also had student caseloads in line with the CUNY ASAP model. In addition, students received a tuition waiver that filled any gap between their existing grant financial aid and tuition and fees, textbook assistance, and a monthly gift card of $50 to help students purchase groceries or gas and to serve as an incentive to meet other program requirements (for example, attending advising appointments).  The Ohio programs were managed locally with dedicated staffing and oversight from college leadership to support data collection, reporting, and iterative improvement.

Since the first ASAP replication project in Ohio, CUNY ASAP has gone on to partner with colleges in four additional states.

Blueprints has certified two studies evaluating ASAP.

In Study 1, Scrivener et al. (2015) and Weiss et al. (2019) reported on a multi-site experimental trial in which 896 students from three City University of New York community colleges were randomly assigned to a control group or to receive the ASAP intervention. At the end of three years (posttest), students in the treatment group, compared to students in the control group, had higher session enrollment, earned more cumulative credits, and completed degrees at a higher rate. Additionally, during the three years post-intervention, students who participated in ASAP continued to earned more credits and complete degrees at a higher rate, as well as earn their degrees more quickly than their control counterparts.

In Study 2, Miller et al. (2020) conducted a multi-site randomized control trial with 1,501 students attending three community colleges in Ohio. Using administrative records, evaluators found that by posttest (three years after baseline), treatment students showed significant improvements relative to control students on degree completion (mostly at the associate level) and registering at a 4-year college.

References:

Miller, C., Headlam, C., Manno, M., & Cullinan, D. (2020). Increasing community college graduation rates with a proven model: Three-year results from the Accelerated Study in Associate Programs (ASAP) Ohio demonstration. MDRC.

Scrivener, S., Weiss, M., Ratledge, A., Rudd, T., Sommo, C., & Fresques, H. (2015). Doubling graduation rates: Three-year effects of CUNY’s Accelerated Study in Associate Programs (ASAP) for developmental education students. New York: MDRC.

Weiss, M., Ratledge, A., Sommo, C., & Gupta, H. (2019). Supporting community college students from start to degree completion: Long-term evidence from a randomized trial of CUNY’s ASAP. American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, 11(3): 253-297. doi.org/10.1257/app.20170430

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Professor and Blueprints Advisory Board member Larry Hedges of Northwestern University co-authored a working paper that addresses challenges to research, particularly randomized control trials, posed by Covid-19

Blueprints Advisory Board member Dr. Larry Hedges of Northwestern University, and his colleague Dr. Beth Tipton (also of Northwestern) have published a working paper titled “Addressing the Challenges to Educational Research Posed by Covid-19.” In this paper, Hedges and Tipton discuss how the Covid-19 pandemic has disrupted many aspects of our society, including the conduct of ongoing research, especially randomized field trials. This paper seeks to identify some of the problems that may arise because of this disruption, which may be different depending on the current stage of the trial. Hedges and Tipton identify some possible responses to the disruption with an emphasis on those that may permit investigators to capitalize on work already done and investments already made. Read the full working paper here: https://www.ipr.northwestern.edu/our-work/working-papers/2020/wp-20-47.html

Professor and Blueprints Advisory Board Member Velma McBride Murry of Vanderbilt University elected into the National Academy of Medicine

Blueprints Advisory Board member Dr. Velma McBride Murry, Lois Autrey Betts Endowed Chair and university professor, departments of health policy and human and organizational development, Vanderbilt University, is one of 100 new members recently elected to the National Academy of Medicine (NAM). The NAM (formerly the Institute of Medicine) was established in 1970 as the health arm of the National Academies. With just more than 2,000 members, NAM provides independent and trusted scientific advice nationally and globally. Dr. Murry is recognized for her work developing, evaluating, and implementing novel, strength-based, family preventive intervention programs, including the first technology family-based prevention designed to foster positive development and adjustment among youth. Her research addresses critical issues that confront underserved rural populations and emphasizes ways to harness the strengths and cultural assets that marginalized families and communities use to navigate challenging situations. Read more about the NAM and this announcement here: https://nam.edu/national-academy-of-medicine-elects-100-new-members-2020/

Interview with Professor and Blueprints Advisory Board member Larry Hedges, Yidan Prize for Education Research Laureate 2018

It is difficult for policymakers to interpret and apply large numbers of studies, many of which appear to have contradictory conclusions. Blueprints Advisory Board member Larry Hedges was awarded the Yidan Prize (the world’s largest education prize) in 2018 for his statistical methods for meta-analysis that provide tools to sort through studies and understand program impacts with greater confidence. Listen to a 10-minute interview with Professor Hedges to learn about the methods he has developed for taking a more systematic approach in learning what works:

https://yidanprize.org/interview-with-professor-larry-hedges-yidan-prize-for-education-research-laureate-2018/

Implementation during the COVID-19 pandemic of interventions rated by Blueprints as Model/Model Plus and Promising

In May and June 2020, Blueprints self-funded a survey conducted with contacts listed for the 17 Model/Model Plus and 77 Promising Programs on how evidence-based interventions have responded to, and begun to plan for, the aftermath of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The survey contained eight questions and 58 of the 94 programs surveyed responded (for a 62 percent response rate). The full survey and survey responses can be downloaded by going here: Blueprints-Covid-survey-responses_DirectorLtr14

Dr. Karl Hill Webinar: Why use Evidence and Where to Find it: Blueprints for Healthy Youth Development

Description: Dr. Karl Hill led a webinar “Why Use Evidence and Where to Find It: Blueprints for Healthy Youth Development,” in which he discusses the importance of employing evidence and prevention science in substance misuse prevention work. Watch the presentation here.

Presenter:  Dr. Hill is the director of the Program on Problem Behavior and Positive Youth Development and Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience at the University of Colorado Boulder. The Program includes Blueprints for Healthy Youth Development, the Center for the Study and Prevention of Violence and the Center for Resilience and Well-being in Schools. Dr. Hill’s work over the last 30 years has focused on understanding two questions: What are optimal family, peer, school and community environments that encourage healthy youth and adult development? And: How do we work with communities to make this happen?