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Program Profile: SMART Team

Evidence Rating: No Effects - One study No Effects - One study

Date: This profile was posted on February 25, 2013

Program Summary

A multimedia software program that engages young teenagers in learning new skills to resolve conflicts and avoid violence. The program is rated No Effects. There were no significant differences in aggressive behavior between the treatment and control group.

Program Description

Program Goals
SMART Team (Students Managing Anger and Resolution Together) is a multimedia software program that uses games, simulation, animation, cartoons, and interactive interviews that engage adolescents in learning new skills to resolve conflicts and avoid violence. The computer-assisted intervention allows for interactivity, flexibility, personalization, and anonymity—aspects that may appeal to the target population.

The program has three major components:
  • Anger management. Animation, interactive assessment interviews, and games teach students to recognize situations that can trigger anger, as well as how to handle their anger.
  • Perspective taking. Games show students anger-causing situations from the different perspectives of people involved in those situations. Interviews of celebrities and older kids are shown to demonstrate how they handle conflict.
  • Dispute resolution. An interactive mediation tool guides students in generating solutions to their conflict, resulting in a printed contract.
Target Population/Program Activities
SMART Team is an eight-module, multimedia software program that teaches violence prevention concepts and methods to students in grades 6 through 9 (11 to 15 years old). The program’s content may be used in conjunction with conflict mediation curricula and other violence prevention strategies. Students can independently access modules for information, to build skills, or to resolve a conflict, eliminating the need for trained adult implementers.

Evaluation Outcomes

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Study 1
Aggressive Behavior

The Bosworth et al. (2000) study found no significant differences in aggressive behavior between the treatment and control group when measured with the self-report scale.

Awareness, Beliefs, Efficacy, and Intentions
The treatment group had significantly higher scores in self-awareness and intentions to use nonviolent strategies, with significantly diminished beliefs that supported violence compared with the control group. However, there were no significant differences between the groups in self-efficacy, i.e., the confidence in using nonviolent strategies.
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Evaluation Methodology

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Study 1
Bosworth et al. (2000) collected data from a middle school near a large Midwestern U.S. city in 1995. The authors described the student population as “diverse,” with 12 percent from the inner city and 20 percent living in the nearby low-income rural area. The middle school randomly placed students on one of three teams at the beginning of each year to organize their academic activities. Each grade (6th, 7th, and 8th) had three teams of 100 to 120 students. Students had little interaction with other teams throughout the school day. The intervention randomly assigned two teams from each grade to the SMART Team (Students Managing Anger and Resolution Together; formerly called SMART Talk) condition and one team to the control condition. The lack of contact between teams, which minimized potential for contamination between treatment conditions, was one reason why researchers conducted randomization at the team level rather than the individual level.

The sample consisted of 558 students. Fifty-four percent were girls; 46 percent were boys. The group consisted of 42, 31, and 27 percent of 6th, 7th, and 8th graders, respectively. The sample was 84 percent white, 9 percent African American, 4 percent biracial, and 4 percent of other ethnicities. The sample’s family arrangements varied: 49 percent of the children lived with both parents; 20 percent lived with a parent and stepparent; 28 percent lived with a single parent; and 3 percent reported other living arrangements (foster care, living with grandparents, etc.).

The study looked at baseline equivalency and performed repeated measures with multiple analysis of variance, with additional multivariate analysis to assess the effects of one semester of intervention. However, the analysis only featured pre- and posttests with no follow-up.
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Cost

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There is no cost information available for this program.
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Evidence-Base (Studies Reviewed)

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These sources were used in the development of the program profile:

Study 1
Bosworth, Kris, Dorothy Espelage, Tracy DuBay, Gary Daytner, and Kathryn Karageorge. 2000. “Preliminary Evaluation of a Multimedia Violence Prevention Program for Adolescents.” American Journal of Health Behavior 24(4):268–280.
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Additional References

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These sources were used in the development of the program profile:

Bosworth, Kris, Linda L. Dahlberg, Dorothy Espelage, Gary Daytner, and Tracy DuBay. 1996. “Using Multimedia to Teach Conflict-Resolution Skills to Young Adolescents.” American Journal of Preventive Medicine 12(5):65–74.

Bosworth, Kris, Dorothy Espelage, and Tracy DuBay. 1998. “A Computer-Based Violence Prevention Intervention for Young Adolescents: Pilot Study.” Adolescence 33(132):785–795. (This study was reviewed but did not meet CrimeSolutions.gov criteria for inclusion in the overall program rating.)
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Related Practices

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Following are CrimeSolutions.gov-rated practices that are related to this program:

School-Based Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) Programs
Designed to foster the development of five interrelated sets of cognitive, affective, and behavioral competencies, in order to provide a foundation for better adjustment and academic performance in students, which can result in more positive social behaviors, fewer conduct problems, and less emotional distress. The practice was rated Effective in reducing students’ conduct problems and emotional stress.

Evidence Ratings for Outcomes:
Effective - One Meta-Analysis Juvenile Problem & At-Risk Behaviors - Multiple juvenile problem/at-risk behaviors
Effective - One Meta-Analysis Mental Health & Behavioral Health - Internalizing behavior



Universal School-Based Social Information Processing Interventions for Aggression
School-based violence prevention interventions that target social information-processing difficulties in students, aiming to reduce the aggressive and disruptive behavior of school-aged children. The practice is rated Promising for reducing aggressive behavior in school-aged children.

Evidence Ratings for Outcomes:
Promising - One Meta-Analysis Juvenile Problem & At-Risk Behaviors - Aggression



Targeted School-Based Social Information-Processing Interventions for Aggression
This practice examines targeted prevention efforts for particular students that attempt to improve one or more aspects of the students’ social information processing, aiming to prevent and/or reduce aggressive or violent behavior in school-aged children. The practice is rated Effective for reducing aggressive behavior in school-aged children.

Evidence Ratings for Outcomes:
Effective - One Meta-Analysis Juvenile Problem & At-Risk Behaviors - Aggression



School-Based Conflict Resolution Education
This practice aims to reduce school-based conflict and encourage long-term prosocial behavior. It teaches students to understand the nature of the conflict and provides options for responding. This practice is rated Promising for multiple problem or at-risk behaviors. Student participants in the programs reported significantly fewer antisocial behaviors than students in the control group.

Evidence Ratings for Outcomes:
Promising - One Meta-Analysis Juvenile Problem & At-Risk Behaviors - Multiple juvenile problem/at-risk behaviors
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Program Snapshot

Age: 11 - 15

Gender: Both

Race/Ethnicity: Black, White, Other

Geography: Rural, Suburban, Urban

Setting (Delivery): School

Program Type: Conflict Resolution/Interpersonal Skills, Violence Prevention

Current Program Status: Active

Listed by Other Directories: National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices