||Three Tiered Behavioral Support
||Thanks to their broad content base, modular structure, and flexible learning system, you can use Ripple Effects social learning programs in a range of settings, to achieve a range of outcomes, in a range of ways. Unlike many pre-scripted programs, there are many "right ways" to use them.|
Your goals, time constraints, computers available, number of students, and other factors, will all shape the most effective way to use the programs. Think of them as Lego™ sets, where you can combine the elements in different ways to meet your individual needs.
Who they're for
The range of youth-serving adults and educators are using Ripple Effects software-after-school program facilitators, counselors, health educators, in-school suspension coordinators, mental health specialists, mentors, nurses, parents, peer facilitators, police officers, prevention specialists, probation officers, psychologists, teachers, vice principals.
What they're for
- for independent problem-solving, to prompt disclosure and catalyze communication;
- for targeted intervention, to solve an immediate problem, at teachable moments;
- as a long-term, systematic curricula to meet specific outcomes,
such as reductions in truancy, reductions in substance abuse, improved
behavior, fewer discipline referrals, better grades, greater respect,
improved school climate, etc.
How they're used and sample scenarios
- where you need them-throughout the school and in the community
- how you need them-independently by the learner, one-on-one with adult facilitation, and in groups;
- how long you need them for-minutes, hours, or days.
youth development programs are all those programs in schools and
community organizations, based on universal strength-building as a way
to prepare youth for the challenges of adulthood in a rapidly changing
world. They may be sports, religious or social programs; they may be
school-based or community-based efforts. They may involve training
teachers, training students, or supporting and training parents.
Preventing risky behavior won’t guarantee success
Avoiding school failure and staying off drugs and out of fights does
not, and never will, equal personal and professional success.
does not mean fully prepared. What is needed is a massive conceptual
shift — from thinking that youth problems are merely the principal
barrier to youth development, to thinking that youth development serves
as the most effective strategy for the prevention of youth problems
Exciting but volatile world is context
Today’s youth will enter adulthood in a world that is dramatically
different from anything their parents or teachers have previously
experienced. For the first time in the history of the world, large
numbers of people will live in a social and political context that is
both free and diverse. Making this exciting, but potentially volatile,
combination work for them will require a more sophisticated set of
personal and social skills than ever has been required before.
Some, but not all, positive youth development programs have been shown
to be effective. That is, the evidence shows a link to positive
outcomes, including better school attendance, higher academic
performance, healthier peer and adult interactions, improved
decision-making abilities, and less substance use and risky sexual
behavior (Catalano 2002).
Value of consistency and adaptation
Research has shown that having a method to maintain implementation
consistency from group to group, or site to site, is important to
program success (Catalano). However, research has also shown that the
ability to adapt a program to site-specific opportunities and
constraints is necessary for long terms sustainability (Backer,
Brounstein, 2002). The capacity to offer both fidelity and adaptation
may account for the unprecedented success of Ripple Effects
computer-based programs for promotion, prevention and intervention (Ray
2000, Stern and Repa, 2002, Roona, 2004, De Long, 2006).
How much time is needed?
Ripple Effects as stand alone or supplement
Experts agree that programs require sufficient time for evidence of
behavior change to occur, and to be measured. In general, long term
programs are more effective than one shot programs for universal
promotion (Greenberg, 2002). However, a single dose of intervention has
been shown to be very effective when individualized to a particular
student, facing a particular challenge. What the minimum effective
dosage is has not been empirically proven. Several major universal
promotion programs are designed for continuous delivery over a full
school year. However, few school districts have the time to devote a
whole year to such a program, so flexibility in program design is
Ripple Effects training software for teens and middle elementary
students has been shown to be an effective supplement for a range of
research-based programs. It has also successfully been used as a
stand-alone, long-term continuous program for positive youth
Ripple Effects evidence-based technology makes it easier
Educators are increasingly being asked to provide targeted prevention
education in dozens of non-academic areas that affect today’s students.
The problem areas can broadly be divided into:
- health related issues, like substance abuse, PTSD and depression
- personal safety issue, like bullying, gang violence, physical & sexual abuse
- school achievement issues, from truancy, to test phobia, to teacher conflict
failure, behavioral problems and substance abuse and other health
issues have been shown to be inter-dependent variables that can be
linked to each other, as well as to common external risk factors, such
as family discipline patterns, mental health problems, poverty, and
cases, substance abuse leads to problem behaviors, and problem behavior
leads to school failure. In others, school failure leads to substance
abuse, and substance abuse leads to problem behavior. In still others,
anti-social behavior leads to school failure, which in turn leads to
substance abuse. Individual mental health problems, especially PTSD and
depression, may trigger any, or all, of the three responses. Regardless
of which is the first presenting problem, they commonly are enmeshed
and almost always are related to deeper personal, family and community
issues, which also need to be somehow addressed.
Proven effective prevention strategies
range of school-based programs have been developed to separately affect
anti-social behavior (Michelson, 1987), school failure (Eggert, 1994;
Slavin, 1994), and substance abuse (Tobler, 1992) among adolescents.
Strategies involving components of these programs have demonstrated
effectiveness in changing adolescent behavior and/or attitudes.
(Gottfredson, Gottfredson & Skroban, 1996).
meta analysis of hundreds of evidence based practices, show that
effective strategies to prevent anti-social behavior include Cognitive,
Behavioral, Interpersonal, Social skill and Attention training as well
as personal Counseling. (Lipsey 2007)
few teachers have been trained in the huge body of relevant
evidence-based practices EVP) for prevention. Fewer still have the
skills to individualize the application of EVP to the particular needs
of each child. And an expanding list of requirements for academic
instruction and testing leaves little time to fit in the long list of
need a comprehensive set of already prepared, prevention programs, with
full multi-media capacity, that are reading independent, allow tracking
of student progress, and can be adapted to real world time constraints,
without compromising fidelity to EVP. Ripple Effects provides
PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder)
Obesity and Eating disorders
Abuse Physical & Sexual
For more information contact us.
Prevention efforts are often divided into three levels
prevention targets people who have internal or external factors that
put them at risk for less than optimal health, safety or school
outcomes. These factors exist in every domain: individual (lack of
empathy, emotional regulation, self-efficacy or impulse control), peers
(friends who cut school, use drugs, disdain authority, mock school
success), family, (parental mental health, substance abuse, discipline
and communication patterns) school, (school climate, consistency of
discipline), community (poverty, violence), and social structures, such
as racism and institutionalized gender or class bias. This is the
level of prevention covered by this guide.
Primary prevention at the individual student level involves universal
promotion of abilities that have been shown to be protective factors
for health, safety and academic achievement. Such programs go by
various names, such as character education, asset building, positive
youth development and social emotional competence. Instructions for
using Ripple Effects software for primary prevention with both students
and teachers) are included in a separate manual, entitle “Universal
Effects software is a resource for use as positive, targeted
intervention with individual students in a variety of learning, health
and corrections settings. It can complement other ongoing approaches,
methodologies, strategies and interventions being used. The combined
elementary and teen products have more than 500 inter-linking tutorials
that address social, emotional, behavioral and academic issues that can
interfere with school and life success. Using this program effectively
is as simple as these four steps:
1. Identify a student strength that can be a foundation for growth.
Have each student complete the self-profile under the ”learning style”
topic. For students, understanding how they learn most easily is a
first step in recognizing how they can be successful learners. You can
also have them complete the tutorial entitled “strengths,” which
includes a self-profile.
2. Direct them to the issue that has caused immediate concern.
The topic lists include more than a hundred behavioral infractions
recognized at most school districts (from talking back, to cheating,
fighting, hate crimes, etc.) It also includes health and mental health
issues that students face. The multimedia tutorial for each topic
automatically leads students to training in social-emotional
competencies that are correlated with solving the identified concerns.
Simply tell them to follow the underlined words in the illustrations on
the “how to” screens. These will link them to the appropriate skill
3. Have them seek out an underlying reason.
Students exhibit the same problem behavior for a variety of different
reasons. Guessing or interrogating students about personal issues are
NOT productive ways to find out those
Instead, ask students to scroll down the topic list to find something
that interests them, or that they think could be connected to the
underlying reason for the problem. Remind them the underlined links in
illustrations will take them deeper. Trust their instincts to find what
they need. In many cases, after using the program in private, students
will then disclose the underlying problem to a trusting adult.
4. End with building strengths in a key social-emotional ability.
Present it as a process of empowerment, not punishment. The program
organizes these key abilities into seven categories:
self-understanding, assertiveness, empathy, connection to community,
impulse control, management of feeling, and decision-making. They are
broken down into building blocks of more than a hundred micro tutorials.
For each topic allow about 15 minutes.
A 45-minute session generally allows three topics. A module made up of
multiple topics can be spread out, or compressed to fit a range of time
constraints. For instance, with 15 minutes per day, for two weeks,
teachers could cover a ten-topic module. A counselor could address
those same topics in a two and a half hour continuous session. A case
manger might cover them in eight, 45 minute weekly sessions over a
Choose a mode of facilitation.
“Sessions” can consist of a group assignment with discussion, or the
assignment of individual topic(s) to each student without discussion,
or discussion after completion. They can be completed whenever and
wherever a student has access to a computer where the software is
installed. Alternately, you can closely direct a personal session.
Sessions can also consist of a combination of independent exploration
and directed discussion.
Respect student privacy. Again and again we have seen that students are more open to the program when they can explore it privately.
Do not over direct
how students use the program. There is no right or wrong way for a
student to complete a particular topic. They do not need to use each
available button or proceed from left to right. However each student
needs to complete the interactive “Got It” and “Inside Your Mind” and
“Profile” elements for every topic assigned. Monitor completion of the
assigned topics by checking the student scorecard. See your user manual
for complete directions.
Maintain a positive approach. Whether in counseling, discipline or remedial settings, whenever possible, start with a strength and end with a strength.
These plans have been developed with real world users in real world
settings, with the input from child psychiatrists, special education
experts, school nurses, psychologists, teachers, parents,
administrators and disciplinarians. Nonetheless they are offered as
suggested approaches, not required curriculum. They need to be
interpreted and adapted to meet the needs of your students in your
It is not necessary to have a pre-defined, specific scope and sequence
scope and sequence is built into every topic through the interlocking
hyperlink structure. Once you set a student on the process of
investigating a concern or interest, the software will guide them
deeper to necessary skill building. Being able to customize the scope
and sequence is an added benefit, not a requirement for using the
Implementers can use already existing Individual Education Plans
as their scope and sequence for students who have such a plan on
record. For instance, if a student’s plan contains the goal of
developing self-control, and/or greater success in managing feelings,
simply assign the Ripple Effects tutorials on those topics as one
resource to help meet that goal. Because the program records student
completion of interactive exercises for each tutorial, you have an easy
way to document the training each student has received.
A set of problematic behaviors may emerge around a recurring theme,
such as defiance or impulsivity. In those cases, adult implementers may
want a broader scope and sequence than is built into the links from a
single tutorial. They can find additional ideas in the related topics
text box (middle box on the right side of the screen) or can draw from
the sample treatment plans that follow.
Discipline settings such as ISS may mandate a certain number of contact hours
has a rolling enrollment and students are assigned for a variety of
behavioral offenses. They have a variety of reasons for engaging in
that behavior. Those overseeing ISS may feel they have neither the time
nor the expertise to customize a themed curriculum for each student.
Sample individual intervention plans make it easier to address these
To maximize the effectiveness of the program,
many educators want to go beyond responding to particular problems
(targeted intervention), to comprehensive prevention that addresses
risk and protective factors in multiple domains. Ideally they would
also go beyond prevention to promoting positive youth development. This
guide offers sample treatment plans for the first group. See
accompanying guides for prevention and positive youth development ideas.
Content Sample Treatment Plans are available for these topics:
Anger – cold predatory
Anger – reactive
Bias activity/hate crimes
Disruptive in class
Disruptive on playground
Rejected by peers
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of the most exciting prevention resources available. There has never
been such a comprehensive effort thoroughly based in research, creative
and right on. Relate is a benchmark - a breakthrough that will mark a change in the way we do our prevention work."
Nationally Recognized Prevention
Leader and Consultant