An Examination of Treatment Integrity Practices and Behavioral Outcomes When Utilizing the Second Step Curriculum
Reed, Jocelyn G.
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School violence is a major problem in urban schools requiring intensive preventative and intervention practices. Social skills training programs can help teach students the nonverbal and verbal behaviors used in interactions with others that can lead to positive social outcomes (Korinek & Popp, 1997). However, very little research has addressed the degree to which a social skills training program was implemented with integrity. Similarly, little is known about the acceptability of many widely used social skills training programs. This study will contribute to the research base of social skills training by increasing the knowledge base for the treatment acceptability of and treatment integrity practices utilized when teaching the Second Step: A Violence Prevention Curriculum (Committee for Children, 1992). This case study utilized a qualitative approach to evaluate teachers' perceived and actual implementation practices, level of treatment integrity and treatment acceptability when utilizing Second Step. Classroom observations of implementation of critical lesson components revealed that most teachers implemented second step with low levels of integrity. Focus groups conducted with teachers revealed moderate to strong levels of acceptability for Second Step. Teachers were generally aware of the lesson components that they did not implement, but generally tended to over emphasize their use of other lesson components (e.g., role plays). Difficulties with program implementation included the lack of sufficient time to implement the program and relevance of some of the lesson particularly with English language learners. Teacher acceptance was both positively and negatively related to treatment integrity levels.