Aggression Replacement Training®
Aggressive behavior by children and adolescents is a serious problem in homes and schools, on the streets, and in communities. Perseus House, Inc. uses an intervention program, Aggression Replacement Training®, which has been implemented across the nation since its creation in 1987. It has proven to reduce offending behavior and has been the focus of numerous research studies.
Aggression Replacement Training® is an intensive ten (10) week life-skills program in which youth attends one (1) hour group sessions three (3) times per week. In these sessions, participants gain tools that allow them to solve problems, make decisions, and interact positively in social situations. The Aggression Replacement Training® curriculum consists of three components:
- Structured Learning Training (Skillstreaming)
The teaching of a series of interpersonal skills that address various social situations and is an alternative to aggressive behavior. An example of a few of the skills being taught would be: “Making a Complaint”, “Keeping out of Fights”, and Understanding the Feelings of Others”. Each youth role-plays the skill in group and with practice and feedback, will progress to using the skill outside the classroom.
- Anger Control Training
The focus is on teaching youths self-control in dealing with their anger. Techniques for reducing and managing feelings of anger in difficult situations are introduced and role-played. The goal is to empower the youth through positive anger control methods. This enables them to have a variety of options in dealing with a problem rather than the single option of aggression.
- Moral Reasoning
A new ‘problem situation’ is presented to the group each week, with each group member responding to questions to the moral dilemma presented in the scenario. The component is designed to help correct the youth’s thinking errors and leads him/her to see there are other ways of acting in different situations. Throughout the group discussions, youths are exposed to the different perspectives of other group members. The purpose of the discussion is to facilitate mature reasoning in order for the youth to make more mature decisions in social situations.
In partnership with the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare’s Office of Children, Youth and Families (OCYF), PCCD’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) has committed to the provision of resources to support the proliferation of quality prevention and intervention programs aimed at promoting positive youth development and preventing violence, delinquency, substance abuse and other problem behaviors in children and adolescents.
Aggression Replacement Training® is one of the Evidence-Based Practices that is sponsored by the Juvenile Justice Resource Center through the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency.
The Resource Center is a collaborative effort that brings together key stakeholders in the Commonwealth including the Department of Public Welfare’s Offices of Children, Youth and Families (OCYF) and Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (OMHSAS), the Juvenile Court Judges’ Commission (JCJC), the Pennsylvania Council of Chief Juvenile Probation Officers, the Departments of Education and Health, as well as grantees and community-based and residential service providers. PCCD manages the operations of the Resource Center, with oversight performed by Pennsylvania’s State Advisory Group, the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Committee.
- Steve Nowicki (2007) encourages all community members to teach critical skills related to emotional intelligence. Daniel Goleman’s (2010) research has further shown the importance of teaching social intelligence both with students and adults. Therefore, a strong empirical base is being created that shows that programs can develop social skills as well as academic skills. There is a growing body of research supporting the strong impact that enhanced social and emotional behaviors can lead to success in school and in life.
- We can call this “social, emotional, and academic learning”.
- Aggression Replacement Training®, supported by its’ large body of research, has promoted Social-Emotional Intelligence within the framework of competency development, since its origins with Dr. Goldstein.