Evaluation methodology and design
Evaluation of this program involved a small study (24 children Yr 1 - and 22 in Year 2) in which children were randomly assigned to either an experimental or wait-list control group. Data were collected for both groups at baseline, post-intervention and in first grade, but only one cohort was followed through to 2nd Grade. The study found significant positive impacts of the program from baseline to post-intervention on most measures of behaviour and these were sustained at follow-up (Walker, HM, Golly A et al., 2005) (Child Trends).
Number of participants in the evaluated program
The program has been successfully applied with over 2,000 K–3 students in the past decade and a half, and has been applied to students with diverse needs (ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Tertiary-Level At-Risk students), a variety of student populations (African American, Native American, Latino, Native Hawaiian, and Asian American), and across settings (preschool, kindergarten, and primary grades). Adoptions and implementation sites include more than half the U.S. states, four Canadian provinces, and the countries of Holland, Norway, Turkey, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand.
Are there measures in place to assess fidelity?
Fidelity Measures - Please specify
An implementation fidelity tool is integrated into coaching, trouble-shooting, and fidelity monitoring procedures for implementing the program.
The First Step program is supported by a robust evidence base. Randomized, wait-list designs have demonstrated the program’s efficacy under controlled conditions (Diken, Cavkaytar, Batu, Bozkurt, & Kurtyilmaz, 2010; Walker et al., 1998; Walker et al., 2009) and applied research has provided compelling evidence for the effectiveness of First Step when implemented in more realistic conditions typical of school-based settings, with substantially less involvement from program developers and researchers (Sumi et al., 2013; Walker, Golly, McLane, & Kimmich, 2005).
First Step is broadly recognized as an evidence-based program and has been included in over a dozen listings of recommended early intervention programs for young children who have disruptive behavior patterns that threaten their school success, including:
-The What Works Clearinghouse of the U.S. Department of Education
-The New South Wales Community Service Agency of Australia
-Model Program Guide of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Juvenile
Justice and Delinquency Prevention
-The American Psychological Association
-The Crime Solutions Program of the National Institute of Justice
-The Canadian Registry of Effective Mental Health Interventions
-The National Association of Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports
-The RTI Action Network of the National Center for Learning Disabilities
-The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration