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Program Profile: INSIGHTS into Children's Temperament

Evidence Rating: Effective - More than one study Effective - More than one study

Date: This profile was posted on April 20, 2015

Program Summary

A school-based intervention program delivered to urban elementary students, with the participation of parents and teachers, to address disruptive behaviors. The program was rated Effective. In both studies, authors found that the intervention had a marginal-to-moderate effect on behavior problems exhibited by children.

Program Description

Program Goals/Target Population
INSIGHTS into Children's Temperament is an elementary-school-based comprehensive intervention in which parents, teachers, and clinicians are taught to recognize children’s behavioral expressions of temperaments, and to use temperament-based strategies to improve their relationships with children. They are also provided with alternative attentional and behavioral disciplinary strategies to use with children. Throughout the program sessions, teachers and parents are given a framework to appreciate individual differences in children, and develop child-management strategies directed at reducing behavior problems. INSIGHTS also includes a curriculum for grades K–1, in which puppets are used to teach children strategies for regulating their emotions, attention, and behavior in temperamentally challenging situations.

Program Activities/Program Components
INSIGHTS is a school-based intervention delivered to parents, students, and  teachers through role-playing, discussion, assignments, instruction, and videotaped vignettes in a 10-session curriculum. The teacher and parent sessions are delivered in three parts:

Part 1: “Learning about Child Temperament” teaches the 3 R’s: Recognize, Reframe, and Respond. Teachers and parents learn to recognize a child’s behaviors as part of his/her temperament, to reframe their perceptions of the child by understanding that no temperament is ideal in every situation, and that various responses will influence their interactions with a child and his/her later behavior.

Part 2: “Gaining Compliance” teaches participants to use behavior-management strategies specifically matched to the child’s temperament.

Part 3: “Giving Control” integrates developmentally appropriate strategies learned in earlier sessions to provide additional support for the child who is met with temperamentally challenging situations.

The children’s 10-week curriculum is conducted for 45 minutes per week (during the same timeframe as the teacher and parent programs), using puppets that represent common temperament types. Children view video vignettes that demonstrate each puppet’s response to a range of situations and interact with the puppets and their peers to solve problems that they may face daily.

Program Theory
The intervention was based on an integration of temperament theory (Thomas and Chess 1977), which describes three types of children: a) the easy child, b) the difficult child, and c) the slow-to-warm-up child (in which puppets were modeled to display temperament); parenting; transactional relationships between teachers and students; and prevention science.

 

Evaluation Outcomes

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Study 1
Child Behavior Problems
McClowry and colleagues (2005) found that participation in the intervention program INSIGHTS resulted in a moderate significant impact on child behavior problems at home.

Study 2
Child Behavior Problems
O’Connor and colleagues (2014) found that participation in INSIGHTS resulted in moderate significant reductions in child behavior problems, compared with those who participated in the supplemental reading program. 
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Evaluation Methodology

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Study 1
McClowry and colleagues (2005) evaluated INSIGHTS in six elementary schools in an inner northeastern city. The sample included 148 students, their parents, and their teachers (N=46). Eighty-nine percent of the students were black (N=132), 55 percent were boys, 60 percent of the students lived with single mothers, and 86 percent qualified for free lunch programs. Participating schools were selected from the same school district with comparable sociodemographic characteristics, and assigned randomly to the intervention group or the comparison group. The intervention schools received the INSIGHTS program and the comparison schools received the Read Aloud attention-control program.

First- and second-grade classroom teachers were recruited throughout the six selected schools by attending a 30-minute informational session. A variety of strategies were implemented to recruit parents; and once parents consented to participate, their children had to give assent. Parents were given $30 dollars for baseline data-collection activities, teachers received $20 dollars, and children were given a book. Parents and teachers were given a total of $150 dollars if they participated in the full INSIGHTS intervention.

The intervention was conducted over a 10-week period, by facilitators and puppet therapists, who received 30 hours of training before participating in the program. The parent and teacher programs were conducted at the same time as the children’s intervention program. Program facilitators met weekly with a principal investigator who reviewed videotapes of the parent and teacher sessions while discussing the issues related to the children’s behavior. In the comparison program, Read Aloud, teachers read books to the participating children each week after school and asked the children to draw pictures and talk about the story and its characters. Every 2 weeks during the intervention program, parents in both groups were interviewed by telephone using the well-validated and reliable Parent Daily Report (PDR) to assess child behavior problems.

A preliminary analysis was conducted to determine differences at baseline between participants in both groups. An analysis of covariance was performed to examine the outcomes in the study.  
               
Study 2
O’Connor and colleagues (2014) conducted an evaluation of the INSIGHT intervention program, using a sample of 22 elementary schools in an urban area, in which 11 schools were randomly assigned to INSIGHTS. The remaining 11 schools were assigned to a supplemental reading program (attention-control condition). The sample included 435 children and their parents, and 122 teachers. The majority of parent–child pairs began participating in the study when the children were in kindergarten (N=329), while the remaining enrolled in the study in the first grade (N=106). A large percentage (90 percent) of students qualified for reduced or free school lunch, were African American (75 percent), and participated with their biological mothers (84 percent). Demographics for teachers resembled that of the students (61percent African American). A random table of numbers was used to assign the schools to either the INSIGHTS program or to the supplemental reading program.

The data for the intervention was collected in 5 data periods, or waves. The baseline data for kindergarten students was collected in the winter of the year prior to the intervention, Wave T1. Intervention data for kindergarten students was collected in the second wave, T2. Baseline data for 1st-grade students was collected in Wave T3, and intervention data in T4. Follow-up data was collected in Wave T5, in late spring, after intervention data was collected for 1st-grade students. Child behavior problems were measured by the Sutter-Eyberg Student Behavior Inventory (Eyberg and Pincus 1999) across all five intervention waves. Teachers reported behaviors such as “acts defiant when told to do something” or “is overactive and restless.”

A fitted, unconditional growth model was used to examine the measurement throughout the intervention. 
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Cost

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A 2-day workshop is offered for school teachers. An 8-week workshop is offered for a group of 6–8 parents. Sessions last for two hours. For information regarding cost and availability for INSIGHTS, please go to http://insightsintervention.com/.
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Implementation Information

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For available intervention workshop dates and materials please visit http://insightsintervention.com/
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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
McClowry, Sandee, David Snow, and Catherine Tamis-LeMonda. 2005. “An Evaluation of the Effects of “INSIGHTS” on the Behavior of Inner City Primary School Children.” Journal of Primary Prevention 26(6):567–83.

Study 2
O’Connor, Erin E., Elise Cappella, Meghan McCormick, and Sandee McClowry. 2014. “An Examination of the Efficacy of INSIGHTS in Enhancing the Academic and Behavioral Development of Children in Early Grades.” Journal of Educational Psychology 106(4):1156–69.                               
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Additional References

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

Chess, S., and Thomas, A. 1984. Origins and Evolution of Behavior Disorders. New York, N.Y.: Bruner/Mazel. [Reprinted in 1987 as paperback; Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press].

Eyberg, S.M., and Pincus D. 1999. Eyberg Child Behavior Inventory and Sutter-Eyberg Student Behavior Inventory-Revised: Professional Manual. Lutz, Fla.: Psychological Assessment Resources.

McClowry, Sandra G., David Snow, Catherine Tamis-LeMonda, and Eileen Rodriguez. 2010. “Testing the Efficacy of INSIGHTS on Student Disruptive Behavior, Classroom Management, and Student Competence in Inner City Primary Grades.” School Mental Health 2(1):23–35.
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Program Snapshot

Age: 4 - 7

Gender: Both

Race/Ethnicity: Black, Hispanic, White, Other

Geography: Urban

Setting (Delivery): School

Program Type: Classroom Curricula, Conflict Resolution/Interpersonal Skills, Parent Training

Current Program Status: Active

Listed by Other Directories: Model Programs Guide

Program Developer:
Sandee McClowry
Professor
New York University, Applied Psychology
246 Greene Street, 507W
New York NY 10003
Phone: 212.998.5297
Website
Email

Researcher:
Elise Cappella
Associate Professor
New York University, Applied Psychology
246 Greene Street, 8th Floor
New York NY 10003
Phone: 212.992.7685
Website
Email