Annual screenings of preschool children at kindergarten registration identified 158 children
having high levels of aggressive, hyperactive, impulsive, and inattentive behavior. These
“disruptive” children were randomly assigned to four treatment conditions lasting the
kindergarten school year: no treatment, parent training only, full-day treatment classroom
only, and the combination of parent training with the classroom treatment. Results showed
that parent training produced no significant treatment effects, probably owing largely to
poor attendance. The classroom treatment produced improvement in multiple domains:
parent ratings of adaptive behavior, teacher ratings of attention, aggression, self-control,
and social skills, as well as direct observations of externalizing behavior in the classroom.
Neither treatment improved academic achievement skills or parent ratings of home behavior
problems, nor were effects evident on any lab measures of attention, impulse control, or
mother–child interactions. It is concluded that when parent training is offered at school
registration to parents of disruptive children identified through a brief school registration
screening, it may not be a useful approach to treating the home and community behavioral
problems of such children. The kindergarten classroom intervention was far more effective
in reducing the perceived behavioral problems and impaired social skills of these children.
Even so, most treatment effects were specific to the school environment and did not affect
achievement skills. These findings must be viewed as tentative until follow-up evaluations
can be done to determine the long-term outcomes of these interventions.