Replication of the positive behavioral impact of ICPS and ICPS-inspired school-based interventions are described in detail in Spivack and Shure (1982), Denham and Almeida (1987), and, more recently, in Shure (1997a; 1997b). There have also been successful replications of outcome measures of ICPS training with parents as well. Staff from the Mental Health Association in Illinois, who conducted 7 weeks of training with parents of culturally diverse backgrounds, found that children learned to express their feelings, think of alternative solutions to problems, and identify possible consequences. Although behavior was not measured, parents reported a change in their own parenting style (use of ICPS dialoging) and new insights into their children's thinking (Caravello, 1992). Qualitative analyses of middle- to upper-income parents yielded the same reported improvements as those measured by systematic rating scales in children (Baumgardner, 1996), suggesting that the generic approach of ICPS is not limited to use with any one specific ethnic or income group.

Training Parents of Children With Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

With single subject design, Aberson (1996) taught ICPS to parents of three second grade children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Measured by teacher and parent ratings on the Behavior Assessment System for Children (BASC) Rating Scale (Reynolds and Kamphaus, 1992) and self-reports, the scores of all three children improved from pre- to post-training on measured depression (e.g., feeling sad, sudden mood changes) and, as rated by their parents, the children had decreased their conduct problems and increased their ability to relate well to others. These parent-trained children also improved in conduct grades on their report cards as rated by their teachers and in their interpersonal relationships. These behavioral improvements remained at 6-month followup assessment. It is notable that, as in the 1978 Shure/Spivack study of nondiagnosed children, these ADHD children generalized their behavior from the setting in which they were trained (the home) to another setting (the school). While hyperactivity and the ability to focus may have to be controlled with medication, Aberson's data suggest that problem-solving skills and behavior can be improved through the use of ICPS strategies. While more research is needed, it is important to recognize that trained ADHD children can learn how to handle anger, find alternative ways to express their anger, and recognize consequences of their behavior, all of which address risk factors that, combined with poor behavior and no training, could contribute to an overall pattern of failure in school and to later delinquency and/or other serious outcomes.

Anecdotal Data

Aberson reports that one of the ADHD children (a lower middle-income girl) would not do her homework, resulting in a constant power struggle in which the mother (a single parent) lost her temper and the child failed at school. After ICPS training, the mother reported listening more to her child, asking the child how she thinks the mother feels when they have to argue and how this problem could be solved. Now the child talks to her mother and does her homework. When Aberson asked, "What are you thinking when you are doing your homework and getting it done?" the child gleefully exclaimed, "I want to get my work done so my mom and teacher will feel proud of me" (a feeling word that is used in the program). This child's grades improved and, as measured by her self-report, so too did her sense of control over her world (locus of control) and self-esteem.

Another child (a middle-income Cuban boy) was initially very dependent on his mother. He would not get dressed in the morning, had to be given his toothbrush, and so on, which resulted in fighting between his parents (the father resented the mother "babying" him). One day during training, the boy asked his mother for an allowance. His mother asked him what he could do to get an allowance and the boy answered, "I can pick up the leaves around the pool and water the plants." The next day he woke up his parents, dressed and ready for school. When his mom asked (very surprised), "Why are you up so early?," her son said, "I want to get my job done before I go to school so I can play with my friend after school." This kind of planning ahead had never occurred before.

Preventing Violence Juvenile Justice Bulletin   ·  April 1999