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Open Access Publications from the University of California

School Violence Prevention: Evaluating a Cognitive-Behavioral Intervention for Aggression Among Adolescents

  • Author(s): Katic, Barbara
  • Advisor(s): Johnson, Austin H
  • et al.

Schools are held accountable for creating and maintaining safe learning environments for all students. The prevalence of behavior and conduct disorders, specifically aggression, remain problematic for school campuses. When a child’s aggressive behaviors persist over time, the development of established patterns of violence become harder to modify later in life. Further, aggressive behaviors may be comorbid with symptoms of anxiety and depression. Thus, there is a need to implement effective and feasible school-based interventions in order to ameliorate these problems. One such program that has demonstrated effectiveness is Creating Opportunities for Personal Empowerment (COPE), an individually-administered intervention based in cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) principles. COPE promotes self-regulation and the development of coping skills for managing stress. In order to evaluate the COPE program, a single-case design study will be implemented for three adolescents with a history of aggressive behaviors. This study aims to assess the effects of COPE on aggression, anxiety, and depression. It is hypothesized that the COPE program will (a) reduce aggressive behavior and (b) improve depression and anxiety symptoms among students.

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