Development of a kindergarten transitional program for preschool students identified as being at high-risk for behavioral disorders

Institution: Florida International University

Investigator(s): Paulo Graziano, Ph.D., Katie Hart, Ph.D., & William E. Pelham Jr., Ph.D.
Program: Cogmed RM

Background & Aim: Children’s early externalizing behavior problems (e.g., aggression, defiance, inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity) can significantly impact school readiness and subsequent transitions into the early school years. It is thus important that attention be paid to children’s self regulation skills when entering school, as they relate to the ability to control behavior, attention and emotions for the purposes of learning. The aim of the current study is to evaluate the impact of treatment programs for preschoolers including: 1) a child centered intervention (kindergarten summer readiness class with behavioral modification program, emergent literary/numeracy curriculum, and self-regulation training), 2) family centered intervention (parent workshops), and 3) school centered intervention during the kindergarten year aimed at improving children’s school readiness and early success in kindergarten. The current RCT will employ the child centered and family centered interventions prior to introducing the school centered intervention in the Fall. Children will be randomized into three groups.

Group 1 will receive the child centered intervention including Cogmed (self-regulation training). Group 2 will receive the child centered intervention without self-regulation training (placebo or non-adaptive Cogmed), and Group 3 will receive only parenting workshops.

Populations & Sample Size: N = 75 preschool children at risk for developing behavioral disorder (as determined by t-scores 60 and above on the BASC-2 Teacher Report)

Design: Randomized, Placebo controlled, Test-retest