Research has shown that developing adolescents require necessary behavioral and social-emotional skills to promote a successful transition into a more demanding environment. Without the skills to adapt to their environment, many adolescents are at greater risk of experiencing an array of negative outcomes. However, many negative outcomes in adolescence, such as truancy and drug use, are notoriously difficult to treat due to their greater severity relative to early childhood problem behaviors. In addition, the various challenges often observed in adolescence, such as reduced flexibility in secondary schools and decreasing parental involvement, can hinder effective intervention implementation.
This yearlong project focuses on identifying the extent to which family-school partnerships improve long-term outcomes for children as they become adolescents. The research goal is to learn whether there are lasting positive outcomes into adolescence — for example, reduced risk for depression, violence, truancy and drug use — when parents and teachers of at-risk students work as partners in elementary school to address behavioral challenges.
The study explores the long-term effectiveness of Conjoint Behavioral Consultation (CBC), an evidence-based intervention that promotes parent and teacher partnerships and joint problem-solving to address student needs at home and school. Throughout decades of research, CBC has consistently shown immediate improvements on child behavioral and social-emotional skills. Research will examine outcomes across time for a sample of rural students, most now in middle school and high school, who previously received CBC services in elementary school.
The long-term goal of this work is to improve the current understanding of how early intervention effects maintain and influence a child’s developmental trajectory. The immediate goal is to determine whether CBC functions as preventative measure against risk factors that arise during adolescent development.