Aggressive behavior by children and adolescents continues to be a serious and increasing problem in our schools, on the streets, and in our communities. Aggression Replacement Training is a cognitive behavioral intervention designed to assist youth with aggression, reduce anti-social behaviors and offer an alternative of prosocial skills. Washington State’s implementation and research of this program concluded that it has positive outcomes, in that it reduces felony recidivism and is cost effective. Aggression Replacement Training is an intensive and impactful intervention, designed to promote prosocial skills, improve anger control and reduce the frequency of acting out behaviors. In the weekly sessions, participants gain tools that allow them to solve problems, make decisions, and interact positively in social situations. The curriculum consists of three components: Social Skills Training (The behavior component), Anger Control Training (The emotional component), and Moral Reasoning (The cognitive component).
Social Skills Training
Is the teaching of a series of interpersonal skills that addresses various social situations and is an alternative to aggressive behavior. It is a set of procedures within a 50-skill curriculum designed to develop prosocial skills by means of modeling, role-playing, and performance feedback and transfer training. Social Skills Training has been successful with aggressive, shy or withdrawn, immature, developmentally delayed youth, or youth who are lacking in their interpersonal skills.
Anger Control Training
The focus is on teaching youth self-control in dealing with their anger. Techniques for reducing and managing feelings of anger in difficult situations are introduced and role-played. The goal is to empower the youth through positive anger control methods. This enables them to have a variety of options in dealing with a problem, rather than the single option of aggression.
Is the values-oriented component, a method of developing acceptable social attitudes and values. A weekly problem situation is presented to the group, with each group member responding to questions to the moral dilemma presented in the scenario. Throughout the group discussion, youth are exposed to the different perspectives of other group members. The goal of the group is to facilitate the normal adolescent growth of moral-cognitive development, in order for the youth to see the need for fairness, justice and concern with the needs and rights of others.