Linking the Interests of Families and Teachers

Prevention; Ages 6–11

Effectiveness

(Read the criteria for this rating)
  • Promising delinquency program

Description

Linking the Interests of Families and Teachers (LIFT) is a school-based intervention for the prevention of conduct problems such as antisocial behavior, involvement with delinquent peers, and drug/alcohol use. LIFT is a universal intervention designed for all first- and fifth-grade elementary school boys and girls and their families living in at-risk neighborhoods characterized by high rates of juvenile delinquency. It is based on the view that the most reasonable interventions for child conduct problems utilize an existing service system with widespread access to children, are conducted at the earliest possible point in the life of a child, and target malleable precursors of later conduct problems. The main goal of LIFT is to decrease children’s antisocial behavior and increase their prosocial behavior.

LIFT targets the school, peers, and the family in the following ways:

  • The classroom component contains twenty 1-hour sessions taught over ten weeks. Each session follows the same format: lecture and role play on a specific social or problem-solving skill, structured group skills practice, unstructured free play, and skills review and daily awards. These activities are similar for both first- and fifth-graders; however, fifth-graders also receive a study skills component.
  • A modification of the Good Behavior Game serves as the playground component. Each class is divided into small groups for playground play. Children can earn rewards by exhibiting positive problem-solving skills and suppressing negative behaviors while on the playground.
  • Parents are taught how to create a home environment that is most conducive to the ongoing practice of good discipline and supervision through a series of six meetings at their child’s school. Each meeting provides a review of the results from home practice exercises, a lecture, discussion and role plays of issues for the current week, and a presentation of home practice exercises for the following week. When parents are unable to attend a group meeting, a member of the LIFT staff attempts to meet with them individually in their home or provides the parents with a packet of materials covering the content of the missed session.

An evaluation of immediate, posttest results indicated significant changes in each targeted area of child and parent behaviors as a result of participating in the LIFT program.

  • LIFT had a significant decrease of physical aggression on the playground for children in the treatment group, compared with the control group, and these effects were most dramatic for children who rated most aggressive at pretest.
  • LIFT mothers who displayed the highest preintervention levels of aversive behaviors showed the largest reductions, compared with control mothers.
  • Teacher-rating data indicated a significant increase in positive social skills and classroom behavior in children receiving the LIFT program.

Risk Factors

Individual
Antisocial/delinquent beliefs
Few social ties (involved in social activities, popularity)
General delinquency involvement
High alcohol/drug use
Life stressors
Makes excuses for delinquent behavior (neutralization)
Poor refusal skills
Family
Low parental attachment to child/adolescent
Poor parental supervision (control, monitoring, and child management)
Poor parent-child relations or communication
Peer
Association with antisocial/aggressive/delinquent peers; high peer delinquency
Peer alcohol/drug use

Endorsements

OJJDP Blueprints Project: Promising program

Contact

Dr. J. Mark Eddy
E-mail: marke@oslc.org

References

Eddy, J. M.; Reid, J. B.; and Fetrow, R. A. (2000). “An Elementary School-Based Prevention Program Targeting Modifiable Antecedents of Youth Delinquency and Violence: Linking the Interests of Families and Teachers (LIFT).” Journal of Emotional and Behavioral Disorders, 8(3):165–176.

Reid, J. B.; Eddy, J. M.; Fetrow, R. A.; and Stoolmiller, M. (1999). “Description and Immediate Impacts of a Preventive Intervention for Conduct Problems.” American Journal of Community Psychology, 27(4):483–517.

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