First Step Next

 

Preschool

Funded by the United States Department of Education (Institute of Education Sciences: R324A150221), the overall purpose of this project is to conduct an efficacy study to replicate the positive effects of the FIRST STEP Next intervention for use with children in pre-k and Head Start settings. FIRST STEP Next is used for improving social/behavioral and academic outcomes to support learning. Ideally, this project will result in an intervention option for serving young children with severely challenging behavior across home and school settings that meets the What Works Clearinghouse evidence standards.

Project Goals:

  • Identify the utility of the intervention (i.e., the degree to which it is feasible and practical for implementation in authentic school settings.)
  • Mantle the FIRST STEP Next intervention for dissemination at the program – rather than the classroom– level by addressing aspects of implementation and sustainability.
  • Investigate participant consumer satisfaction (caregivers and teachers) results that may be associated with positive caregiver/children interaction outcomes attributable to different components of the intervention.
  • Examine factors that may serve as moderators of intervention effects including research site, teacher characteristics, classroom environment, student characteristics, and caregiver characteristics. In addition, we will examine the impact of intervention dosage and implementation fidelity on outcomes.
  • Evaluate factors that would impact FIRST STEP Next’s broad implementation in preschool settings, including (a) distal training and supervision via web-supported methods and (b) expansion of the fidelity measure and the classroom environment to both experimental and control condition.

FIRST STEP Next Activities:

  • One-on-one skill instruction with a behavioral coach: The FIRST STEP Next coach teaches the child a series of school success skills, referred to as Super Student Skills.
  • A classroom game in which the student earns points and praise for displaying school success skills: The FIRST STEP Next coach uses a card, with the color green on one side and red on the other, to provide on-going feedback and points for appropriate behavior in the classroom. Points that are earned during the Green Card Game are exchanged for group activity rewards at school that are shared equally with peers.
  • A home component linking skills introduced at school to the home context:Parents participate in the program by praising and rewarding their child for doing well at school, reviewing school success skills at home, and completing activities that promote positive parent-child interactions.

Who we serve: The study will serve 4- and 5-year-olds with challenging behaviors in preschool and Head Start programs. Sixteen preschool centers (8 in Kentucky and 8 in Oregon) will be recruited to participate in each of 3 years. Each year, 8 centers will randomly be assigned the FIRST STEP Next intervention condition and 8 centers will be randomly assigned to a business-as-usual condition.

Partners:

  • US Department of Education
  • Oregon Research Institute (PI- Ed Feil)
  • University of Oregon (Co-PI: Hill Walker)
  • University of Cincinnati
  • Jefferson County Public Schools

 

Contact:

Dr. Andy Frey

302 Patterson Hall

Louisville, KY 40292

(502) 852-0431

afrey@louisville.edu

Elementary

Funded by the United States Department of Education (Institute of Education Sciences: R324A150179), the overall purpose of the research project is to examine the relative magnitude of immediate, pre-post effects of the FIRST STEP Next intervention and the homeBase intervention via a randomized 2x2 factorial design.  Both interventions target social competency, problem behavior, and academic engagement in school settings for students with challenging behavior.

Project Goals:

  • Examine the magnitude of immediate, pre-post effects for the FIRST STEP Next and homeBase interventions.
  • Examine the maintenance of gains for the FIRST STEP Next and homeBase interventions, and FIRST STEP Next plus homeBase.
  • Examine mediators and moderators of student-level intervention effects and the relationship among implementation measures and changes in caregiver and teacher outcomes.
  • Identify facilitators and barriers to adoption, implementation, and sustainability within and across schools.

FIRST STEP Next Activities:

  • One-on-one skill instruction with a behavioral coach: The FIRST STEP Next coach teaches the child a series of school success skills, referred to as Super Student Skills.
  • A classroom game in which the student earns points and praise for displaying school success skills: The FIRST STEP Next coach uses a card, with the color green on one side and red on the other, to provide on-going feedback and points for appropriate behavior in the classroom. Points that are earned during the Green Card Game are exchanged for group activity rewards at school that are shared equally with peers.
  • A home component linking skills introduced at school to the home context:Parents participate in the program by praising and rewarding their child for doing well at school, reviewing school success skills at home, and completing activities that promote positive parent-child interactions.

homeBase Activites:

homeBase is designed to more effectively engage parents in the intervention process and to alter parental motivation, efficacy, and competency. During homeBase parents are encouraged to investigate their parenting practices and consider modifying those practices consistent with one or more of the five universal principles of positive behavior support that are central to the school module: (1) establish clear expectations; (2) directly teach the expectations; (3) reinforce the display of expectations; (4) minimize attention for minor inappropriate behaviors; and (5) establish clear consequences for unacceptable behavior (Sprague & Golly, 2013).

Who we serve: Over the next four years, 400 K-3 students in the JCPS, Oldham County, and Greater Clark County who have or are at-risk of developing a behavioral disorder will be recruited.  The children will be assigned to four experimental groups (1) FIRST STEP Next -only, (2) homeBase-only, (3) FIRST STEP Next-plus-homeBase, or (4) usual care.

Partners:

  • US Department of Education
  • Oregon Research Institute (Co-PI, John Seeley, Ed Feil, and Jason Small)
  • University of Oregon (Hill Walker and Annemieke Golly)
  • University of Cincinnati (Jon Lee)
  • Jefferson County Public Schools
  • Oldham County Schools
  • Greater Clark County

Contact:

Andy Frey

302 Patterson Hall

Louisville, KY 40292

(502) 852-0431

afrey@louisville.edu