Date of Award

Spring 5-7-2007

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)


Graduate Department of Clinical Psychology

First Advisor

Mary Peterson, PhD

Second Advisor

Elizabeth Hamilton, PhD

Third Advisor

Kathleen Gathercoal, PhD


Up to 20% of children have a diagnosable mental disorder, but only a small percentage of them actually receive treatment. The developmental trajectory of psychopathology suggests that children who show early signs of behavioral or emotional problems are likely to experience a continual increase in those problems as they grow. Caregivers, attempting to seek assistance for their children, must often navigate a complex mental health maze, obtain funding for treatment and negotiate additional treatment barriers. School-based interventions can remove many of these potential treatment barriers. Coping Power (CP), a school-based Empirically Supported Treatment (EST) intervention created by Lochman, Wells, and Murray (2002), is administered over two academic years and includes 48 modules. CP also has a one-year manualized treatment option. Research regarding CP's effectiveness of the one-year intervention program is limited. This study explores the ability of the abbreviated CP program to increase adaptive functioning and decrease maladaptive behaviors in a heterogeneous 6th grade sample, as measured by child disciplinary referrals and both teacher and child reports from the Behavioral Assessment System for Children-2nd Edition (BASC-2). Overall results showed that CP Coping Power Program Evaluated iv participants (N = 23) had significant decreases in Somatization scores compared to the non-CP control group (N = 29), regardless of group leader. Results also showed that the CP group leader proved significant in improving students' adaptive functioning (Adaptability, Social Skills, Leadership, Study Skills and Adaptive Skills), while decreasing their maladaptive functioning (Depression, Somatization, Internalizing Problems, Atypicality and overall Behavioral Symptom Index). Clinically experienced leaders generally had greater success in changing student functioning. Contrary to what was hypothesized, CP program involvement did not significantly impact other adaptive or maladaptive behaviors as measured by the BASC-2. Finally, student disciplinary data (refen-als, detentions and suspensions) between CP participants and non-CP participants proved insignificant. Implications of these findings and suggested future research are discussed.