Implementing a Primary Prevention Social Skills Intervention in Urban Preschools: Factors Associated with Quality and Fidelity
Department of Psychiatry; Department of Family Medicine and Community Health
Medical Subject Headings
Interpersonal Relations; Child Behavior; Social Behavior; Child, Preschool
Education | Mental and Social Health | Psychiatric and Mental Health | Psychiatry and Psychology
RESEARCH FINDINGS: Preschool behavior problems are of increasing concern to early childhood educators. Preventive interventions are being developed, but implementation in under-resourced child care programs is challenging. This study describes the implementation of an adapted Second Step curriculum to increase children's social skills and decrease behavior problems in preschool classrooms. Teacher training/coaching, organizational supports, and procedures for sustainability are described. Measures included baseline classroom characteristics, lesson completion and fidelity, and teacher satisfaction. Teachers completed 88% of the lessons across two years. Follow-up monitoring in Year 3, once all training was terminated, found 95% of lessons were delivered with higher fidelity than the first two years. Teachers were satisfied with training, felt the curriculum improved children's social skills, and stated they would continue to use the curriculum. Lesson completion and fidelity were associated with various teacher characteristics, training attendance, classroom characteristics, teacher and child turnover, and the percent of children with developmental delays in the classroom.
PRACTICE: Results support the implementation strategy and suggest that paying attention to teacher morale, general skill development, and a period of on-going support for training is important and will lead to sustainable and high implementation rates.