Implementation of PATHS Through Dutch Municipal Health Services: A Quasi-Experiment

Authors

  • Ferry Goossens
  • Evelien Gooren
  • Bram Orobio de Castro
  • Kees Van Overveld
  • Goof Buijs
  • Karin Monshouwer
  • Simone Onrust
  • Theo Paulussen

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.4119/ijcv-2915

Abstract

Only a limited number of effectiveness studies have been performed to study the benefits of efficacious behavior problems prevention programs for children when implemented through national health service systems. This study uses a quasi-experimental design to test the effectiveness of the school-based PATHS prevention program (Providing Alternative THinking Strategies) when implemented through Dutch municipal health services by health promotion professionals. A sample of 1,294 children was followed for two years: 674 children attending nine schools providing PATHS and 620 children in nine comparison schools. We hypothesized finding an intervention effect of PATHS in terms of a significant reduction in teacher- and student-rated externalizing and internalizing problem behaviors, and a significant improvement in teacher-, student-, and peer-rated social skills and emotional skills. In fact, the results show low levels of program implementation and no intervention effects on problem behavior or social and emotional skills, suggesting that it is hard to reproduce positive intervention effects where an efficacious social-emotional prevention program is implemented through a national health service. More research is needed on the specific conditions required to implement efficacious programs effectively.

Author Biographies

Ferry Goossens

Trimbos Institute

(Netherlands Institute of Mental Health and Addiction)

Da Costakade 45

PO Box 725

3500AS Utrecht

The Netherlands

Evelien Gooren

VU University Amsterdam

Faculty of Psychology and Education

Amsterdam

The Netherlands

Bram Orobio de Castro

Utrecht University

Department of Developmental Psychology

Utrecht

The Netherlands

Kees Van Overveld

Seminary for Remedial Education

Utrecht

The Netherlands

Goof Buijs

NIGZ

(The Netherlands Institute for Health Promotion)

Woerden

The Netherlands

Karin Monshouwer

Trimbos Institute

(Netherlands Institute of Mental Health and Addiction)

Utrecht

The Netherlands

Utrecht University

Department of Interdisciplinary Social Science

Utrecht

The Netherlands

Simone Onrust

Trimbos Institute

(Netherlands Institute of Mental Health and Addiction)

Utrecht

The Netherlands

Theo Paulussen

TNO Quality of Life

(Netherlands Organization of Applied Scientific Research)

Leiden

The Netherlands

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Published

2012-11-08

Issue

Section

Focus: Evidence-Based Developmental Prevention of Youth Violence and Bullying...