Program Background

The Coping Power Program grew out of an earlier empirically-supported program, the Anger Coping Program. The Anger Coping Program was also school-based, and produced lower levels of substance use than a control group at a three-year follow-up. However, this program only had a component for children, and some of the children’s other behavioral gains had ebbed by the time of follow-up. The Coping Power Program was developed to take advantage of the encouraging preventive effects of the Anger Coping Program, by expanding on the child-focused intervention and adding a behavioral parent-training component.

Evaluation Design

Five ongoing intervention research studies on the Coping Power program have been funded by various federal agencies, including: the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (CSAP), the National Institute for Drug Abuse (NIDA), the US Department of Justice (DOJ), and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The CSAP study randomly assigned aggressive children to one of four conditions: Coping Power plus a universal intervention, Coping Power alone, the universal intervention alone, or a control condition.

In the first NIDA study, aggressive boys were randomly assigned to one of three conditions: the full Coping Power Program with child and parent components, the Coping Power child component only, or a control condition. All of the high risk children in the NIDA study will be compared to a non-risk group of boys, to determine if the interventions bring the risk children into a normal range.
In a second NIDA study, school counselors are being trained to implement the Coping Power Program. This dissemination field trial is examining the role of training on implementation and sustained use of the Coping Power Program by school counselors.

In the DOJ and CDC studies, the effects of an abbreviated Coping Power Program are being evaluated in a new community by randomly assigning aggressive children to either the Coping Power program or to a control condition. After the intervention year in the DOJ and CDC studies, intervention children are randomly assigned to receive a year-long booster intervention or not, to determine if a booster intervention can effectively maintain the program’s positive effects.

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