The Coping Power Program (CPP) is a cognitive-based intervention delivered to aggressive children and their parents during the children’s transition to middle school. The program aims to increase competence, study skills, social skills, and self-control in aggressive children as well as to improve parental involvement in their child’s education.
Target Population and Program Components
The program has a component aimed at the parents of children in intervention classrooms. The child component of CPP lasts 16 months and includes 22 fifth grade sessions and 12 sixth grade sessions. The parent component is administered over 16 sessions, which provides the parents with instruction on parenting skills, including rule setting, appropriate punishment, stress management, and family communication.
The parent component concentrates on parenting and stress-management skills, while the child component involves the use of school-based focus groups and emphasizes anger management and social problem–solving skills. Parents also meet with CPP staff to help them understand and prepare for future adolescence-related and general education issues, and to give them the tools necessary for a smooth transition to middle school.
The Coping Power Program is a multicomponent intervention based heavily on cognitive–behavioral therapy, which emphasizes increasing and exercising parenting skills and the child’s social skills. The child component of CPP draws from anger management programs that concentrate on decision-making, attributions, and peer pressure.
8 to 13
The Coping Power Program (CPP) was initially developed in the United States; the studies reporting outcome effects after one year (studies 1 and 2) both showed promising, although sometimes inconsistent, effects particularly in study 2. However, an evaluation 5 years after the beginning of the intervention in the Netherlands (study 3) showed no effects, although the study did include a smaller sample size. While the preponderance of evidence suggests promising outcomes, there were some inconsistent findings, which should be considered prior to implementation.
Lochman and Wells (2003) found that the CPP groups had significantly lower scores of self-reported delinquency when compared with the control condition.
Overall the treatment group had significantly lower self-reported substance use than the control group. In particular the authors note that older and moderate-risk children in the treatment group report significantly lower substance use than the control group. However, there was no significant difference between younger high-risk treatment children and the control group.
The treatment group significantly improved their aggressive behavior in school scores as reported by the teacher compared with the control group. This result was seen across treatment conditions.
Lochman and Wells (2004) found that there were no significant differences between the experimental and control groups on measures of overt delinquency (minor assault, felony assault, robbery). However, the experimental group had significant lower covert delinquency (minor theft, felony theft, fraud, destruction of property) than the control group.
The boys in the experimental group had significantly lower substance use scores than the control group on the parent measure scale. Using the child self-report measure, however, there were no significant differences.
The experimental group had significantly better teacher ratings of aggressive behavior than the control group.
Zonnevylle–Bender and colleagues (2007) found that there were no significant differences between treatment and control groups on the delinquency scale.
The treatment group had significantly lower lifetime use of marijuana, compared with the control group, with 13 percent of the treatment group and 35 percent of the control group reporting having lifetime marijuana use. However, there were no significant differences between groups on usage within the last month.
There were no significant differences between treatment and control groups in lifetime or past-month alcohol use.
The treatment group had significantly lower use of cigarettes in the last month, compared with the control group, with 17 percent of the treatment and 42 percent of the control group reporting cigarette smoking in the last month. There were, however, no significant differences on lifetime use of cigarettes.
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