Multi-Site Study

Multi-Site Study of U.S. 3rd Graders

A second independent study, randomized controlled trial of the effect of the PATHS® curriculum was conducted in Rochester, New York and suburban Minnesota.  Seven hundred eighty-one third grade students (422 experimental; 359 control) from 14 schools from 3 school districts (1 urban; 2 suburban) participated.  Schools were the unit of randomization and analysis. The urban schools were comprised of mostly poor, minority students doing less well academically than the suburban students.

Using hierarchical models of analysis, relative to control children, the PATHS® curriculum had statistically positive benefits on children’s social information processing.  Student receiving the PATHS® curriculum showed less hostile attribution bias (p=.039), less aggressive social problem solving (p =.05), and less use of aggressive reactions to neutral provocations over time (p=.03), when compared to control students.

Using data collected from the Teacher-Child Rating Scale analyses examining change found PATHS® to be related to a decrease in learning problems (p = .077) and lower rates of acting out behavior problems (p = .10) over time.  Additionally, a significant district by condition interaction (p = .05) was noted for acting out behavior problems.  Here, while the intervention and control urban students start at essentially the same levels of acting out problems, the students who received The PATHS® curriculum lessened in acting out problems over time while the urban control students acting out behavior difficulties increased over the three years of the study.

More information on this study can be found at:

Crean, H. F., & Johnson, D. B. (2013). Promoting Alternative Thinking Strategies (PATHS) and Elementary School Aged Children’s Aggression:.  Results from a Cluster Randomized Trial. American Journal of Community Psychology. DOI 10.1007/s10464-013-9576-4