Coping Power adapted as universal prevention program: Mid term effects on children’s behavioral difficulties and academic grades.


Aggressive behaviors in schools have the potential to cause serious harm to students’ emotional and social well-being and to limit their ability to achieve their full academic potential. Prevention programs developed to reduce children’s aggressive behaviors in school settings can provide interventions at a universal or targeted level. The main aim of our randomized control study was to examine the efficacy of Coping Power, adapted as a universal prevention program, in reducing children’s behavioral problems and improving school grades. Nine classes participated (184 students, mean age 91 months) from two elementary state schools in Tuscany, Italy. Study findings showed a significant reduction in behavioral problems and an improvement in school grades for the intervention classes relative to the control classes. This study suggests the Coping Power program can be delivered in school settings at both universal and targeted prevention levels, and that in this multi-tiered prevention model, teachers, educators and school psychologists can learn a set of intervention skills which can be delivered with flexibility, thus reducing some of the complexity and costs of schools using multiple interventions.