This study evaluated the effectiveness of the Early Risers "Skills for Success" Program when implemented by neighborhood family resource centers available to urban children and their families. Kindergarten and first-grade children (n = 327) enrolled in 10 schools were screened for aggressive behavior, and randomized to two model variations of the Early Risers Program or a no-intervention control condition. The full-strength model (CORE + FLEX) included child and parent/family components whereas the partial model (CORE-only) offered only the child component. The intervention was delivered over two continuous years. CORE + FLEX children showed higher levels of program attendance than their CORE-only counterparts but no differences on outcomes measures were observed between models. When both program models were collapsed and compared to controls, program children showed significant gains on measures of school adjustment and social competence, the most aggressive program children showed reductions in disruptive behavior, and program parents reported reduced levels of stress.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This study was supported by a grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (R01 DA11062) awarded to Gerald J. August. The authors express their gratitude to Anthony R. Wagner, President of Pillsbury United Communities, who has been an ardent supporter of Early Risers from its early years and paved the way for the collaboration that supported this study. We also thank Ms. Yvonne Olsen, Vice President of Pillsbury United Committees, who served as our collaborative partner, and whose dedi- cation and commitment to inner-city families was instrumental in making this program successful. We are also grateful to the principals and teachers of the Minneapolis Public Schools who participated in this study and cooperated in its implementation. Last, we acknowledge the significant contribution made by our research manager, Ms. Barrie Berquist, who coordinated the many complex issues of screening, recruitment, assessment, and tracking of participants.