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Program Profile: SNAP® Girls

Evidence Rating: Promising - One study Promising - One study

Date: This profile was posted on March 07, 2016

Program Summary

Formerly known as SNAP® Girls Connection, the program includes concurrent child and parent groups, as part of a multi-component intervention for girls with disruptive behaviors and their families. The program focuses on self-control, problem solving, and emotion regulation to improve pro-social skills and reduce disruptive behavior. The program is rated Promising. The girls in the treatment group displayed significantly lower levels of behavior problems than the girls in the comparison group.

Program Description

Program Goals
SNAP® Girls (Stop Now And Plan), formerly known as SNAP® Girls Connection, is a specialized, family-focused intervention for girls (6–11 years) who are reported as experiencing conduct, oppositional, and/or externalizing problems. The program was developed in Canada and has affiliates throughout Canada, the United States, and various European countries. Participants and their parents meet in separate groups once a week for 13 weeks. Individually and in their group meetings, girls learn how to regulate their emotions, practice self-control, and improve problem-solving skills, with a special emphasis on challenging cognitive distortion—which thereby helps the children make better choices in the moment. The goal is to reduce the girls’ disruptive behavior, risk of police contact, and discipline issues while also improving parent-management skills. 
 
Program Theory
The conceptual framework of the program draws on five core treatment theories based on a developmental approach that include Systems, Social Interactional Learning, Cognitive-Behavioral, Attachment, and Feminist Theories. The program has a cognitive–behavioral foundation, emphasizing the emotional, social information-processing, and skill difficulties common in children displaying aggressive behaviors.
 
Program Components
SNAP® Girls includes two 13-week programs that that run concurrently, using structured, manualized curricula: SNAP® Girls Children’s Group for girls and SNAP® Parenting Group for parents. Groups are created based on age, risk level, and group cohesion (e.g., maturity levels and developmental needs). The curricula and approach differ slightly, according to the age of the girls. For the younger girls (ages 6–8) the focus is on behavior management using rote learning, visual prompts, and simplified worksheets.  For the older girls (ages 9– 11) the focus is more on cognitive distortions such as: thinking she is bad if she does something wrong; generalizing by saying, “I’m an idiot,” instead of focusing on the situation; or saying she “can’t stand” something instead of acknowledging that she doesn’t enjoy it. The 13-week SNAP® Parenting group provides the caregivers with effective child management strategies with a special emphasis on challenging cognitive distortions or thinking errors, reducing isolation, and enhancing parent-child relationships.

In addition to the girls’ and parents’ programs, the participants are offered adjunct services, including school advocacy, tutoring, individual and family counseling. For girls that have completed the SNAP Girl's group, there is also a manualized mother-daughter group called Girls Growing Up Healthy that focuses on enhancing relationship capacity, healthy relationships, and physical and sexual health.

Evaluation Outcomes

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Overall, Pepler and colleagues (2010) found that the girls in the SNAP® Girls treatment group displayed significantly lower levels of behavior problems than the girls in the waiting-list comparison group on seven of the eight parent-reported measures used in the study.

Study 1
Externalizing Problem
The girls in the treatment group displayed significantly lower levels of externalizing problem behaviors, compared with the girls in the waiting-list comparison group.

Rule Breaking
The girls in the treatment group displayed significantly lower levels of rule breaking, compared with the girls in the waiting-list comparison group.

Aggression
The girls in the treatment group displayed significantly lower levels of aggression, compared with the girls in the waiting-list comparison group.

Conduct Disorder
The girls in the treatment group displayed significantly lower levels of conduct disorder, compared with the girls in the waiting-list comparison group.

Social Problems
The girls in the treatment group displayed significantly lower levels of social problems, compared with the girls in the waiting-list comparison group.

ADHD
The girls in the treatment group displayed significantly lower levels of ADHD, compared with the girls in the waiting-list comparison group.

Internalizing Problems
The girls in the treatment group displayed significantly lower levels of internalizing problems, compared with the girls in the waiting-list comparison group.

Indirect Aggression
There were no significant differences in indirect aggression between the girls in the treatment group and those in the waiting-list comparison group.
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Evaluation Methodology

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Study 1
Pepler and colleagues (2010) used a prospective quasi-experimental design to evaluate SNAP® Girls. Families in Canada were recruited through routine community referrals, presentations, and advertisements. Of 200 referrals, 103 completed the intake assessment process and 87 consented to participate in the study. Using stratified random assignment, participants were separated by age (6–8 and 9–11 years) and severity of behavior problems (a median split on the externalizing score of the Brief Child and Family Phone Interview: low < 82; high ≥ 82). Of the 87 families stratified, 80 were included in the final study sample (45 in the treatment group and 35 in the waiting-list comparison group). Girls and their families in the treatment group participated in either a younger (6–8 years) or older girls’ (9–11 years) group during the winter session (starting in January). Girls and their families in the waiting-list comparison group started the session in April of the first or second year.

Families included in the study came from the following backgrounds: white (41.9 percent), African Canadian (22.6 percent), Pacific Islander (3.2 percent), Latino (3.2 percent), Native Canadian (3.2 percent), and other (25.8 percent). The girls ranged in age from 5 to 11 years. There were no differences between the treatment and waiting-list comparison groups on family demographics; there were also no significant differences on the girls’ internalizing or externalizing problems, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), social problems, or conduct disorder.

The parent-reported Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) was used to obtain measures of girls’ behavior problems (including externalizing problem behaviors, rule breaking, aggression, conduct disorder, social problems, ADHD, and internalizing problems).The National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth (NLSCY) was used to measure indirect aggression.

To compare the treatment and waiting-list comparison groups, analyses of variance (ANOVAs), analyses of covariance (ANCOVAs), and mixed-model approaches were used on each outcome variable, controlling for the initial level of behavior problems. Posttests occurred following the completion of the treatment group’s participation in the program (i.e. 3 months after the pretests).
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Cost

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On average, it costs approximately $3,900 for a child and her family to participate in the SNAP® Girls program. For more information about costs, visit the program’s Web site: https://childdevelop.ca/snap/snap-affiliates
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Implementation Information

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Physical requirements/location: The program should take place in a child- and family-friendly location accessible by public transportation. The physical space should have at least two rooms; one for the child group and another for the parent group. The child group room should be at least 14’ x 16 feet’; have a round table that seats nine individuals (two adults and seven children); a dry erase or chalk board, wall space to post program materials; and a video camera, monitor, and playback device. The parent group room should have adequate seating and space for participants, a monitor, and playback device.

Training requirements/provider certification: Providers should include senior staff with administrative and clinical skills to oversee the program and provide leadership, and program-specific staff such as full-time family and child workers. The number of staff should be dependent on the number of children to be served per year. Trained staff should be able to engage high-risk children and their families, demonstrate clinical competencies such as group-facilitation skills (parent and child), adhere to program manuals, have access to community resources, and participate in ongoing consultation and evaluation activities. 
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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
Pepler, Debra, Margaret Walsh, Amy Yuile, Kathryn Levene, Depeng Jiang, Alice Vaughan, and Jeanine Webber. 2010. “Bridging the Gender Gap: Interventions with Aggressive Girls and Their Parents.” Prevention Science 11:229–38.
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Additional References

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

Banyan Community Services. N/d. “SNAP Girls®.” Hamilton, ON: Banyan Community Services, accessed January 28, 2016.
http://www.snapconnection.org/

Banyan Community Services 2016. “Stop Now and Plan.” Hamilton, ON: Banyan Community Services, accessed January 28, 2016.
https://childdevelop.ca/snap/

Lipman, Ellen, Meghan Kenny, and Marjorie Waymouth. 2007. Banyan Community Services-Girls Connection Program Final Evaluation Report. Hamilton, Ontario: Offord Centre for Child Studies.

Pepler, Debra, Margaret Walsh, and Kathryn Levene. 2004. “Interventions for Aggressive Girls: Tailoring and Measuring the Fit.” In M. Moretti, C. Odgers, and M. Jackson (eds.). Girls and Violence: Contributing Factors and Intervention Principles: Perspectives in Law and Psychology Series. New York, N.Y.: Kluwer Academic/Plenum Press.
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Related Practices

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

Early Self-Control Improvement Programs for Children
This practice consists of programs designed to increase self-control and reduce child behavior problems (e.g., conduct problems, antisocial behavior, and delinquency) with children up to age 10. Program types include social skills development, cognitive coping strategies, training/role playing, and relaxation training. This practice is rated Effective for improving self-control and reducing delinquency.

Evidence Ratings for Outcomes:
Effective - One Meta-Analysis Juvenile Problem & At-Risk Behaviors - Self-Control
Effective - One Meta-Analysis Crime & Delinquency - Multiple crime/offense types
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Program Snapshot

Age: 6 - 11

Gender: Female

Race/Ethnicity: Black, Asian/Pacific Islander, Hispanic, White, Other

Geography: Suburban, Urban

Setting (Delivery): Other Community Setting

Program Type: Cognitive Behavioral Treatment, Family Therapy, Gender-Specific Programming, Group Therapy, Parent Training, Wraparound/Case Management

Targeted Population: Females, Families

Current Program Status: Active

Listed by Other Directories: Model Programs Guide

Program Developer:
Leena K. Augimeri
Director, SNAP Scientific & Program Development, and Centre for Children Committing Offences
Child Development Institute
46 St. Clair Gardens
Toronto, Ontario M6E 3V4
Phone: 416.603.1827 ext: 3112
Fax: 416.654.8996
Email

Researcher:
Margaret Walsh
Manager, SNAP Research, Evaluation and Data Systems
Child Development Institute
46 St. Clair Gardens
Toronto, Ontario M6E 3V4
Phone: 416.603.1827 ext: 3121
Fax: 416.654.8996
Email

Training and TA Provider:
Nicola Slater
Manager, SNAP Affiliate Development & Relations
Child Development Institute
46 St. Clair Gardens
Toronto, Ontario M6E 3V4
Phone: 416.603.1827 ext: 3148
Fax: 416.654.8996
Email