Name of Institution: University of Nebraska
Principal Investigator: Dr. Susan Sheridan
Title: Evaluation of Efficacy of CBC for Addressing Disruptive Behaviors of Children at Risk for Academic Failure
Purpose: Students with behavior problems fail more courses, earn lower grades, miss more days of school, and are more likely to be retained in grade than their peers without behavioral problems. The purpose of this study is to learn the effectiveness of Conjoint Behavioral Consultation (CBC), a structured family-school intervention addressing the disruptive and challenging behavior of elementary school students at risk for academic failure. At the end of the project, the results will show whether CBC in one large district improves the academic performance and social skills and reduces the disruptive behavior of elementary students.
Setting: Approximately 90 classrooms in grades 1-3 a minimum of 10 elementary schools in the Lincoln Public School District will participate in the evaluation. The elementary school population in the Lincoln Public Schools is 81 percent white, 8 percent African-American, 6 percent Hispanic, 4 percent Asian, and 1 percent Native American. One-third (34 percent) of students are eligible to receive free or reduced-price lunch.
Populations: Approximately 270 children in grades 1-3 with disruptive and challenging behaviors and their parents or primary caregivers will participate.
Intervention: CBC is a structured, data-based consultation intervention that aims to improve academic and behavioral outcomes for at-risk students and promote parental involvement in educational interventions. The intervention consists of 4-6 consultation meetings and on-going contact with a consultant, parent, and teacher for approximately 7-8 weeks. The meetings are devoted to identifying a target problem, setting up a behavioral plan, teach and parent training regarding cross-setting interventions, and assessing whether behavior has changed as desired. Maintenance meetings occur once per month for the next three months. CBC has been implemented in the Lincoln Public Schools and in schools in Utah and Wisconsin for several years. Previous research using single case designs and small sample size experimental methodology has found promising results for the CBC program.
Research Design and Methods: A two-cohort randomized experimental design will be used, 45 classrooms will be in Cohort 1 and 45 classrooms in Cohort 2. 45 classrooms will be randomly assigned to the treatment group, and 45 classrooms will be randomly assigned to the control group. Children in each treatment and control group classroom will be screened to identify those eligible for the study because of their disruptive and challenging behaviors. Three children will be randomly selected from the eligible children each classroom. Families of children in treatment classes will receive the CBC intervention and children in control classes will receive traditional behavioral and/or academic support. Children in cohort 1 will receive services in the first year of the study and will be followed for 3 years, and children in cohort 2 will receive services in the second year of the study will be followed for 2 years.
Control Condition: Families of children in the control classes will receive traditional support as is typically provided by schools, including therapists, counselors, and specialists.
Key Measures: Student outcomes will be assessed using the Woodcock-Johnson Tests of Achievement, behavioral observations, and parent and teacher assessments of behavioral and social skills. Parent surveys will be used to assess parent participation in problem-solving, parental self-efficacy, parental role construction, and parent-teacher relationship. Teacher surveys will be asked to assess the parent-teacher relationship, teacher practices related to parent involvement, and teacher beliefs related to parental involvement.
The fidelity of implementation will be measured by tape recording of meetings as well as parent and teacher logs. Independent teams of classroom observers will collect data on how the teacher is implementing the behavioral strategies.
Data Analytic Strategy:The analysis strategy uses both cross-sectional and hierarchical linear models. Growth curve modeling will be used to examine long-term effects. The study will examine the immediate and long-term impacts on outcomes for students with disruptive behavior, including academic performance, behaviors, and social skills. In addition, the study will examine the immediate and long-term impact on parental self-efficacy and involvement in their children's education. In addition, the study will examine whether teachers' relationships with parents and beliefs/practices pertaining to parental involvement predict parent and student outcomes.