Multimedia Social Skills Training for At-risk Adolescents Phase II

Award Information
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services
Branch: N/A
Contract: 2R44MH070153-02A1
Agency Tracking Number: MH070153
Amount: $750,000.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2006
Solicitation Year: 2006
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: PHS2006-2
Small Business Information
708 W. 9TH STREET, #107, LAWRENCE, KS, 66044
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: Y
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 (785) 749-1473
Business Contact
Phone: (785) 749-1473
Research Institution
DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Multimedia social skills instruction for at-risk adolescents. The purpose of this project is to design, pilot test, and field test interactive multimedia (IM) programs for teaching social skills to youths with social-adjustment problems. The instructional programs will be designed for use in a variety of settings, including special education classes, in- school suspension programs, group homes, foster-care homes, mental-health centers, probation programs, transition programs, and detention centers. The IM prototype previously developed in the Phase I project will be used as a model for an expanded version of the original program plus two additional instructional programs to be developed in this Phase II project. The three instructional programs will serve as alternatives to traditional adult-directed formats currently used in social skills instruction. The IM programs will be field tested with adolescents with a history of social problems. A pretest-posttest control-group design will be used in each field test, with each field test focusing on one program. The effectiveness of each program will be evaluated relative to: (a) youth use of the IM program, (b) youth knowledge of the social skills, (c) youth use of the social skills, (d) adult perception of student use of the social skills in the natural environment, (e) judges' ratings of youth use of the social skills in role-play performances, (f) disciplinary offenses committed by the youths, (g) social validity of the medium, and (h) required instructional time. This project is relevant to public health because the number of youths with social problems is substantial. Their problems are common, persistent, often escalate from minor conduct problems to criminal offenses, are resistant to change, and are associated with poor psychological and emotional adjustment later in life. The empirically validated IM products that will result from this project will address the potentially devastating effects that social maladjustment can cause in children's lives and in society at large. Since social conduct problems are highly correlated with future criminal activity (Loeber & Farrington, 1998), an important goal for our society is the instruction of appropriate social behavior, especially with those children who have been identified as having behavior problems. The training would be used to prevent social isolation, address antisocial behavior, and provide youth with alternatives to the behaviors that result in formal and informal reprimands from authority. The instructional modules that will result from this project will be usable as prevention or intervention programs based on individual needs. In addition, the proposed programs will serve as a model for the development of future IM programs for youths.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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