Description: Researchers will team up with students and teachers in order to implement positive behavior relation intervention teams in middle school classrooms for students at risk for Emotional/Behavior Disorders.
Start: July 1, 2016
End: June 30, 2017
Sponsor: University of Kansas Center for Research, Inc.
Principal Investigator: Paul Caldarella
Project Description: Emotional/Behavior Disorders (EBD) are a major struggle for many people. These include characteristics such as an inability to learn, inability to build or maintain relationships with peers or teachers, or exposition of inappropriate behaviors under normal circumstances. Studies have shown that 1 in 10 children in the United states have a mental disorder that is detrimental to their learning or development. Many families cannot financially afford to treat these disorders as therapy programs can cost hundreds of dollars. Therefore, many students have shown behavioral problems throughout their schooling or even failed to complete school. Dr. Caldarella and his research team are focusing on implementing evidence-based interventions in order to avoid and improve severe problem behavior in middle-school aged children. BYU researchers will be teaming up with a project formed by the University of Kansas in order to test this program. The program they are applying is named “CW-FIT” which stands for Class-wide Function-related Intervention Teams. This intervention is part of shared development/research initiative that will span over three years. One step of this program will include identifying students at risk for EBD. Teachers who have agreed to participate in this project will identify the students in their classes with behavioral problems. After consent has been obtained, the teaching process begins. This includes teaching CW-FIT social skills by helping students identify their inappropriate behaviors and replace them with functional correct behaviors. This includes giving students and teachers access to materials and activities. Most of this teaching will occur on a class-wide basis but may also occur in small groups. Next, researchers will monitor teacher, class, and student effects. Dr. Caldarella is primarily concerned with further validating the CW-FIT program; however, previous studies have shown that this program can increase student learning, behavior, and social interactions. By determining the efficacy of this program, teachers will be better prepared to help students with EBD improve their learning and behaviors.
Intellectual Merit: Previous research in the effectiveness with the CW-FIT program has been completed by the University of Kansas in 12 different classes in 4 schools. Dr. Caldarella’s study is part of a multi-efficacy study that will expand on prior research and help in determining the usefulness of the CW-FIT program with a more diversified national sample. Previous research studies have shown important outcomes in students decreasing their disruptive behaviors, increasing their behaviors when working on assignments, and increasing the teacher’s attention to positive student behaviors. The positive outcomes of previous studies with the CW-FIT program have consistently shown that students in the program have significantly better results than those students in the control group. Efficacy
Broader Impact: If the efficacy of the CW-FIT program can be determined through this research project as well as others, then this program will be able to benefit many students with EBD throughout the country. The goal of this program is to help students to improve their behaviors and learning capabilities to better themselves. Eventually, as this program is validated through extensive research, many students with EBD will potentially be better able to function in the classroom. The goal is to help students increase their learning, behavior, and social interactions with peers and teachers.