The Skills, Opportunities, and Recognition (SOAR) program was designed for the general population and high-risk children (those with low socioeconomic status and low school achievement) who are attending grade school and middle school. This multidimensional intervention decreases juveniles’ problem behaviors by working with parents, teachers, and children. It intervenes early in children’s development to increase prosocial bonds, strengthen attachment and commitment to schools, and decrease delinquency.
Teachers receive instruction that emphasizes proactive classroom management, interactive teaching, and cooperative learning. When implemented, these techniques minimize classroom disturbances by establishing clear rules and rewards for compliance; increase children’s academic performance; and allow students to work in small, heterogeneous groups to increase their social skills and contact with prosocial peers. In addition, first-grade teachers teach communication, decision making, negotiation, and conflict resolution skills, and sixth-grade teachers present refusal skills training. The project’s success lies in its combination of parent and teacher training.
Parents receive optional training programs throughout their children’s schooling.
Evaluations have demonstrated that the project improves school performance, family relationships, and student drug/alcohol involvement at various grades.
At the end of Grade 2, SOAR students, compared with control students, showed:
At the beginning of grade 5, SOAR students, compared with control students, had:
At the end of Grade 6, high-risk youths, compared with control youths, were more attached and committed to school, and SOAR boys were less involved with antisocial peers.
At the end of Grade 11, SOAR students, compared with control students, showed:
Researchers found that the benefits of SOAR lasted through age 21. The students, now young adults, were engaged in less risky sexual behavior and had less history of violence and less heavy use of alcohol.
OJJDP Model Programs Guide: Effective program
OJJDP Blueprints Project: Promising program
Mr. Karl G. Hill, Project Director
Seattle Social Development Project
9725 Third Avenue, NE, Suite 401
Seattle, WA 98115-2024
Phone: (206) 685-3859
Fax: (206) 543-4507
Web site: http://depts.washington.edu/ssdp/papers.shtml
Hawkins, J. D.; Smith, B. H.; Hill, K. G.; Kosterman, R.; Catalano, R. F.; and Abbott, R. D. (2007). “Promoting Social Development and Preventing Health and Behavior Problems During the Elementary Grades: Results From the Seattle Social Development Project.” Victims & Offenders, 2:161–181.
Hawkins, J. D.; Kosterman, R.; Catalano, R. F.; Hill, K. G.; and Abbott, R. D. (2005). “Promoting Positive Adult Functioning Through Social Development Intervention in Childhood: Long-Term Effects From the Seattle Social Development Project.” Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, 159:25–31.