Training School Personnel to Facilitate a Family Intervention to Prevent Conduct Problems

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Early Education and Development


This study evaluates school personnel perceptions, knowledge, and behaviors before and after a 36-hr training program designed to prepare early childhood school personnel for implementation of an after-school family preventive intervention for conduct problems. Participants were 40 female school personnel (22 professionals and 18 paraprofessionals). Research Findings: Participation and satisfaction with the training program were high. Before training, school personnel responded correctly to 53% to 66% of knowledge questions and indicated that they would be “somewhat comfortable to comfortable” in facilitating the after-school groups with families. Before training, professionals had greater knowledge than paraprofessionals; there was no difference in initial comfort level by professional status. Trainees made substantial gains in knowledge related to cognitive–behavioral strategies for preschoolers, program philosophy, and group facilitation skills, responding correctly to 69% to 77% of questions. These large effects on knowledge were not moderated by professional status. There were no significant changes in comfort level. Gains in knowledge in cognitive–behavioral strategies generalized over time (5 months) but not across contexts (into the classroom). Practice or Policy: This study provides preliminary evidence for the feasibility and potential efficacy of a training program to prepare early childhood school personnel to implement an after-school family preventive intervention for conduct problems.


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