The Interpersonal Cognitive Problem Solving (ICPS) curriculum is an effective social skill development program for preschool children ages 3–7. ICPS is used by teachers to modify behavior by focusing on the thinking processes instead of the behaviors themselves. The ICPS skills relate to high-risk behaviors that may develop into serious problems, such as violence and substance abuse. Its central theme is that certain interpersonal cognitive thinking skills play a crucial role in the social adjustment of both parent and child (Shure, 1999).
The ICPS curriculum was tested with a sample of 4- to 5-year-old African-American children drawn from ten federally funded Head Start programs (Shure and Spivack, 1988). Overall, the researchers found that the ICPS curriculum improved children’s problem-solving skills and behavioral adjustment. Decreases in behavior problems and aggressive and socially inappropriate behavior were observed. Other evaluations of the curriculum confirm the effectiveness of ICPS as a social competence enhancement/behavior modification program (Shure, 1999). Given the positive results of the ICPS studies, Shure and Spivack adapted the program to the home and successfully trained mothers to use ICPS methods.
Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention: Promising program
Myrna B. Shure, Ph.D.
MCP Hahnemann University
Broad and Vine Streets, MS 626
Philadelphia, PA 19102
Phone: (215) 762-7205
Shure, M. B. (1999). “Preventing Violence the Problem-Solving Way.” Juvenile Justice Bulletin. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. NCJ 172847. Many other project publications are cited in this bulletin, which is available at National Criminal Justice Reference Service: http://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/172847.pdf.
Shure, M. B., and Spivack, G. (1988). “Interpersonal Cognitive Problem Solving.” In R. H. Price, E. L. Cowen, R. P. Lorion, and J. Ramos-McKay (eds.), Fourteen Ounces of Prevention: A Casebook for Practitioners. Hawthorne, NY: Aldine, pp. 69–82.
Gottfredson, D. C.; Wilson, D. B.; and Najaka, S. S. (2002). “The Schools.” In J. Petersilia and J. Q. Wilson (eds.), Crime: Public Policies for Crime Control. Oakland, CA: Institute for Contemporary Studies Press, pp. 149–189.