Date of Award

2016

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A.

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Scoboria, Alan

Keywords

behavioural intervention; criminal behaviour; high-risk children; program evaluation; Stop Now And Plan (SNAP); treatment intensity

Rights

CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

Abstract

As an important area of concern for the public, preventing youth crime has become its own field of research in social science and law emphasizing development and implementation of evidence-based programs in youth justice. Stop Now and Plan®, or SNAP, is a program which employs a number of cognitive-behavioural techniques to teach high-risk children and their parents effective behaviour management strategies with the aim of reducing problematic behaviour in kids before they are old enough to be criminally charged. Previous evaluations support the effectiveness of core program components (children’s and parents’ groups) at reducing problem behaviour. Less research has been conducted on the effectiveness of the other program components directed at higher risk cases, namely Individual Befriending (IB), Family Counselling (FC), and School Liaison (SL). To evaluate the impact of these three program components on participants’ treatment outcomes and later criminal involvement, the present study analysed data collected from past program participants. Within the target sample of SNAP group completers, no Plus components predicted change in CBCL scores or police contact and IB sessions predicted decreases in EARL scores. Analyses by gender indicated that for boys IB sessions predicted decreases in EARL, CBCL Aggression, and CBCL Externalizing scores; while SNAP child group sessions predicted decreased police contact and School Liaison sessions predicted increased police contact. For girls, total treatment received predicted decreases in CBCL Rule-breaking scores.

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