Multimedia Strategies to Enhance Child Treatment Effects

Period of Performance: 09/21/2005 - 08/31/2006


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

3-C Institute for Social Development
DURHAM, NC 27713
Principal Investigator


DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Decades of research in developmental psychopathology support the significant and unique contribution of social problems in the emergence of a myriad of later negative outcomes, including heightened risk for psychiatric disorders and use of mental health services. This Phase II project continues the research and development (R&D) of an innovative social and behavioral intervention program, "Interact!" for children ages 8-12. Interact! Offers multimedia resources, interactive web resources, and a structured skill-based curriculum. "Interact" also provides a unique means of bridging the intervention setting with home efforts through the power of TV to enhance treatment effects. During Phase I, the prototype was developed and tested for feasibility with community- and school-based mental health professionals and elementary school teachers. Skill acquisition and product feasibility were tested with parents and children. Feasibility of the product was successfully established as well as substantial support for continued development. The Phase II project utilizes Phase I findings to revise, modify, and extend intervention components to maximize quality and effectiveness. Once finalized, a scientific evaluation of the efficacy of the intervention for mastery of social skill concepts and positive change in social and behavioral functioning will be conducted. Given that Interact! Is applicable within both community and school settings, 2 efficacy trials will be conducted. For the clinic-based trial, 100 children ages 8-12 will be randomly assigned to treatment or waitlist control conditions. For the school-based trial, all 3rd-5th grade classrooms in the participating school will be randomly assigned to treatment or wait-list control conditions (6 classes per condition). For both trials, outcome data will be collected regarding skill acquisition and social and behavioral functioning. Spanish translations of final versions will be created and a web-based distribution center will be developed.