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Current Research

Early Childhood Intervention Study
The Early Childhood Intervention Study is a collaborative effort sponsored by Tennessee Voices for Children (Dr. Matt Timm, Co-Principal Investigator) and the University of Colorado at Denver (Dr. Phil Strain, Co-Principal Investigator). Initial funding was provided by the Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities and the Regional Intervention Program Advisory Committee, Inc. Continued funding has been provided by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs, Research to Practice Division.

The first project phase (1997-2000) evaluated treatment outcomes for a selected sample of some 200 children and families who had participated in the Regional Intervention Program (RIP) network since 1969. The first set of findings from the Early Childhood Intervention Study has been reported in P.S. Strain and M.A. Timm (2001), Remediation and prevention of aggression: An evaluation of the Regional Intervention Program over a quarter century. Behavioral Disorders, 26, 297-313. (pdf downloads? - BD Article, Data Trends Summary)

A second project phase (2000-2003), funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs, Research to Practice, replicated the initial study with a selected sample of some 150 children and families who have participated in three selected Regional Intervention Program (RIP) sites in Tennessee (Columbia, Murfreesboro, Knoxville) since 1975. Overall findings were very consistent with those obtained in the initial project for both longer-term (more than 10 years away from RIP) and shorter-term (3 to 9 years away from RIP) follow-up groups. Both sets of findings are being are being presented in a full monograph scheduled to be completed in 2006.

A third project phase (2004-2007), also funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs, Research to Practice, addresses key environmental events and responses to these events that enabled RIP programs to sustain themselves for periods ranging from 7 to 34 years. Fifteen (15) program sites that implemented RIP's core innovative and research-based practices for remediating aggression in young children with serious behavioral disorders in Tennessee, Connecticut, Ohio, and Washington are being examined in a multiple case study format. Principal concepts and key empirical indices associated with program development histories have been distributed across five domains: 1) Innovations, Adaptations, Alterations; 2) Support Strategies Employed; 3) Planned, Unplanned Changes; 4) Level of Penetration of Core Innovations; and, 5) Degree of Consonance/Dissonance of Core Innovations Within Setting.

Kids in Development Study (KiDS)
Tennessee Voices for Children (TVC), in collaboration with the Regional Intervention Program (RIP) network, has served as a Kids in Development Study (KiDS) project site since 2002. Funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs, and directed by the Center for Evidence-Based Practice: Young Children with Challenging Behavior, KiDS is a nationally based multi-site, longitudinal study designed to learn more about what makes young children most likely to succeed in school, at home and socially. The study is intended to add information and answer important questions about challenging behaviors and mental health concerns in early childhood. The goal is to assist professionals, parents and caregivers in providing the most effective and efficient intervention strategies with children who are presenting challenging behaviors. Dr. Matt Timm is Senior Investigator and Dr. Jill Chafetz is Site Coordinator.

KiDS involves families of 244 children identified as having or at substantial risk for having challenging behaviors. Participating sites are Lehigh University, University of Colorado at Denver, University of Kansas/Juniper Gardens Project, University of Florida at Gainesville, Tennessee Voices for Children, and University of South Florida at Tampa. Children were between 18-30 months and 36-48 months at enrollment. The TVC families had participated in RIP programs in Nashville, Madison, Gallatin, and Franklin. As of December, 2005, all 38 families enrolled in the TVC site remained active.

Family visits occur at six month intervals until the child enters kindergarten. Families receive an honorarium for each completed visit. Repeated measures include a Family Profile survey, Pre-School Language Scale-IV (PLS-4), Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL), Caregiver and Teacher Report Form (C-TRF), Temperament and Atypical Behavior Scale (TABS), Individual Growth and Development Indicators (IGDI), Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS), Parenting Stress Index (PSI), Pearlin Self-Efficacy Measure, Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale, Family Resource Scale (FRS), Family Support Scale (FSS), Home Observation for Measurement of the Environment (HOME), Infant-Toddler Rating Scale (ITERS), and Early Childhood Rating Scale (ECERS). Data collection activities are scheduled to continue through December 31, 2006. Data analysis and presentation of findings activities are scheduled to continue through December 31, 2007.

"ADHD" Study
Tennessee Voices for Children (TVC), in collaboration with the Regional Intervention Program (RIP) network, is conducting a longitudinal follow-up study entitled An Examination of the Relationship Between Child Diagnosis of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Family Completion of the Regional Intervention Program (RIP). The study is funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs in association with the Center for Evidence-Based Practice: Young Children with Challenging Behavior located at the University of South Florida at Tampa. Dr. Matt Timm is Principal Investigator and Dr. Jill Chafetz is Research Coordinator.

A baseline "snapshot" of enrollees indicated that of the 169 families entering the RIP-Nashville program in fiscal year 2001, 10 target children (5.9%) had received a formal diagnosis of ADHD prior to enrollment; two target children (1.2%) had received a formal ADHD diagnosis during enrollment; and family members or referral agents had expressed suspicions that ADHD was present for an additional 50 target children (29.6%).

Primary questions to be addressed in the current study are: 1) What are the relationships between successful completion of or premature departure from the RIP-Nashville program and multiple child and family variables including child and family demographic features, known family risk factors, presenting problems, referral source, elapsed time between referral and RIP enrollment, age of child at enrollment, diagnostic history, special services history, and previous and concurrent child placements? and, 2) What are the relationships between successful completion of or premature termination from the RIP-Nashville program and a formal diagnosis of ADHD received prior to or during RIP enrollment?

Phase 1 of the study has involved examination of the clinical records for 1,531 families who were enrolled in the RIP-Nashville program any time between January 1, 1990 and December 31, 2004. Phase II of the study involves a single interview in 2006 with parents/guardians from a maximum of 60 families enrolled in the RIP-Nashville program at any time during the January 1, 1990 through December 31, 2004 period. A maximum of 30 families (Group A) will be randomly selected from a pool of an estimated 60 or more families containing a child who had received a formal diagnosis of ADHD prior to or during RIP enrollment. A maximum of 30 families (Group B) will be randomly selected from a second pool of eligible families whose children had not received a formal ADHD diagnosis prior to or during RIP enrollment. Each pool of eligible families (Group A and Group B) will be further distributed across subgroups based on enrollment date intervals. Data collection activities are scheduled to continue through June, 30, 2006. Data analysis and presentation of findings activities are scheduled to continue through June 30, 2007.

 

An Evaluation of the
Regional Intervention Program
Over a Quarter Century

(.pdf 94K)

DATA TRENDS article
April 2002

(.pdf 44K)

Selected Readings About
The Regional
Intervention
Program

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Regional Intervention Program
3411 Belmont Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37215
phone: (615) 963-1177
fax: (615) 963-1178
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A program of the Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services

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