Methods: Data come from an ongoing RCT testing the EACP across 40 middle schools in Alabama and Maryland. This presentation will specifically focus on 706 7th graders (59.7% male; 69.6% African-American, 3.6% Hispanic). Schools were randomly assigned to EACP or to a control condition. Approximately 6 7th graders were identified at baseline through a teacher screening process for aggressive behavior and enrolled into the project. The EACP was provided over the course of the 7th grade year, with 1-year follow up in the spring of the 8th grade year. Analyses were conducted on the teacher ratings using the Behavior Assessment System for Children (BASC).
Results: At baseline, over 50% of the sample was in the at-risk or clinically significant range for low adaptive skills and high externalizing problems; approximately 20% was at-risk for or clinical significant for internalizing problems. Three-level hierarchical linear models were conducted on teacher-reported BASC t-scores across three time points (baseline, post-intervention assessment and one year follow-up). Relative to controls over time, EACP youth experienced significant (p<.05) improvements in adaptability (b = 1.98), and reductions in aggression (b = - 2.15), attention problems (b = - 1.58), conduct problems (b = - 1.58), hyperactivity (b = - 2.36), depression (b = - 2.56), and anxiety (b= - 2.36), as well as the two composite scales of externalizing (b = - 2.05) and internalizing problems (b = - 2.62).
Conclusions: These preliminary results suggest that the structured cognitive-behavioral targeted prevention program, which includes youth, parent, and teacher elements, can be adapted for use with early adolescents, and have significant effects on teacher ratings of not only externalizing problems, but also internalizing problems over time. Notably, teachers during the follow-up year were unaware of the intervention condition of the adolescents. As such, the findings provide compelling evidence of the potential for transdiagnostic effects on internalizing as well as externalizing problems in adolescents in the school setting.