Coping Power Program

Study: CDC

Study Type: Group-Design

Descriptive Information Usage Acquisition and Cost Program Specifications and Requirements Training

 The Coping Power Program is a preventive intervention delivered to at-risk children in the late elementary school and early middle school years. Developed as a school-based program, Coping Power has also been adapted for delivery in mental health settings. Coping Power is based on an empirical model of risk factors for substance use and delinquency and addresses key factors including: social competence, self-regulation, and positive parental involvement. The program lasts 15 to 18 months in its full form. An abbreviated version encompassing one school year is also available.

Coping Power is intended for use in fourth grade through middle school. The program is intended for use with students with emotional or behavioral disabilities and any student at risk for emotional and/or behavioral difficulties.

The area of focus is externalizing behavior, which includes: physical aggression, verbal threats, property destruction, noncompliance, high levels of disengagement, disruptive behavior, and social behavior.

Where to Obtain: Oxford University Press

Address: 2001 Evans Road, Cary, NC, 27513

Phone: 1-800-445-9714


Costs include parent and child program facilitator's guides for the program leader, and workbooks for each child and parent participant:

Child component facilitator's guide ($57.95).

Client workbooks for the child component ($64.00 for a set of 6).

Parent component facilitator's guide ($47.95).     

Client workbooks for the parent component ($98.50 for a set of 6).

Materials needed for the program (to be obtained by the clinician) are estimated at $320 for a group of 6 students and their parents:    

$250 Prizes for children     

$25 Puppets      

$10 Game supplies: dominoes, deck of cards

$35 Art supplies:  tape, glue, markers, poster board, construction paper

Typical training costs:

2-day on-site training = $2,500 + trainer’s travel expenses.

2 or 1.5 day training at 6 hours/day = $1,200 (Webinar or on UA campus).

Consultation Calls:  1 hour/month x 12 months x $100 = $1,200  

Coping Power is designed for use with small groups of 4-6 students. One to two interventionists are needed for implementation.

Program administration time is 45-60 minutes, 1 session/week for 34 weeks.

The program includes highly specified manuals or instructions for implementation.

The program is not affiliated with a broad school or class wide management program.

This program does not require technology for implementation.

Twelve hours of training are required for the interventionist. Training typically consists of 2 workshop training days, which can be presented in-person or online.  The workshop covers development of the Coping Power program, empirical support for the program, and an overview of all child and parent program content. Demonstrations (live and video), discussion, and role plays are employed to transmit information and build skills. Follow-up training is also recommended, including bi-weekly consultation calls and submission of video recorded sessions for review and feedback from project staff. 

Interventionists must be professionals. The program assumes that the interventionist has expertise in implementing groups with children referred for disruptive behavior.

Training manuals and materials are not available.

Practitioners may obtain ongoing support through scheduled conference calls and through email.


Participants: Unconvincing Evidence

Sample size: 241 students (121 program, 120 control)

Risk Status: Ratings were made on proactive and reactive aggressive behavior, and eligible children scored in the top 30%.









Grade level



  Grade 1


  Grade 2





  Grade 3





  Grade 4





  Grade 5





  Grade 6





  Grade 7





  Grade 8





  Grade 9





  Grade 10





  Grade 11





  Grade 12





Mean Age











  American Indian





  Asian/Pacific Islander




















Socioeconomic status

  Subsidized lunch





  No subsidized lunch





Disability status

  Speech-language impairments


  Learning disabilities


  Behavior disorders


  Intellectual disabilities







  Not identified with a disability





ELL status

  English language learner





  Not English language learner
















Training of Instructors: The group sessions were led by two members of the research team, typically one doctoral-level and one master’s-level staff member. Problem-solving about group issues occurred at weekly supervision meetings.

Design: Partially Convincing Evidence

Did the study use random assignment?: Yes

If not, was it a tenable quasi-experiment?: Not Applicable

If the study used random assignment, at pretreatment, were the program and control groups not statistically significantly different and had a mean standardized difference that fell within 0.25 SD on measures central to the study (i.e., pretest measures also used as outcomes)?: No

If not, at pretreatment, were the program and control groups not statistically significantly different and had a mean standardized difference that fell within 0.50 SD on measures central to the study (i.e., pretest measures also used as outcomes), and outcomes were analyzed to adjust for pretreatment differences?: Yes

Were the program and control groups demographically comparable?: Yes

Was there differential attrition for the program and the control groups?: Yes  

Did the unit of analysis match the unit for random assignment (for randomized studies) or the assignment strategy (for quasi-experiments)?: Yes


Implemented with Fidelity: Partially Convincing Evidence

Description of when and how fidelity of treatment information was obtained: Following each child and parent group meeting, leaders completed self-report measures of intervention integrity indicating the extent to which each manualized session objective had been covered (i.e., “completely,” “partially,” or “not at all”).    

Results on the fidelity of treatment implementation measure: N/A

Measures Targeted: Partially Convincing Evidence

Targeted Measure

Reliability statistics

Relevance to program focus

Exposure to related support among control group

BASC Externalizing

Cronbach’s alpha levels ranged from 0.96 to 0.97.

Risk factors for youth substance use, violence, and delinquency


Reactive and Proactive Aggression

Internal consistency was excellent for across the five assessment points for the proactive (0.96, 0.96, 0.96, 0.97, 0.96, for T1 to T5 respectively) and reactive (0.92, 0.92, 0.93, 0.94, 0.93) aggression scales in the present sample.

Risk factors for youth substance use, violence, and delinquency



Broader Measure

Reliability statistics

Relevance to program focus

Exposure to related support among control group


In the current sample, alpha levels ranged from 0.91 to 0.92 for the total score; 0.85 to 0.89 for the narcissism subscale; 0.75 to 0.80 for the impulsivity subscale; and 0.70 to 0.79 for the callous-unemotional subscale.

Risk factors for youth substance use, violence, and delinquency



Mean ES Targeted Outcomes: Data Unavailableu

Mean ES Administrative Outcomes: N/A

Effect Size:

Targeted Measures


Effect Size

Coping Power: BASC Externalizing


Coping Power: Proactive Aggression


Coping Power: Reactive Aggression


Coping Power with Booster: BASC Externalizing


Coping Power with Booster: Proactive Aggression

-0.07 u

Coping Power with Booster: Reactive Aggression



Broader Measures


Effect Size

Coping Power: APSD Impulsive


Coping Power: APSD Callous Unemotional


Coping Power: APSD Narcissism


Coping Power with Booster: : APSD Impulsive


Coping Power with Booster: APSD Callous Unemotional

0.16 u

Coping Power with Booster: APSD Narcissism




*        p ≤ .05

**      p ≤ .01

***    p ≤ .001

–      Developer was unable to provide necessary data for NCII to calculate effect sizes

u      Effect size is based on unadjusted means

†      Effect size based on unadjusted means not reported due to lack of pretest group equivalency, and effect size based on adjusted means is not available


Visual Analysis (Single-Subject Designs): N/A

Disaggregated Outcome Data Available for Demographic Subgroups: No

Target Behavior(s): Externalizing

Delivery: Small groups (n=4-6)

Fidelity of Implementation Check List Available: No

Minimum Interventionist Requirements: Paraprofessionals 12 hours of training

Intervention Reviewed by What Works Clearinghouse: Yes – Intervention

What Works Clearinghouse Review

Children Identified With Or At Risk For An Emotional Disturbance Protocol

Effectiveness: Coping Power was found to have positive effects on external behavior and potentially positive effects on social outcomes for children classified with an emotional disturbance.

Studies Reviewed: 3 studies meet standards out of 5 studies total

Full Report

Other Research: Potentially Eligible for NCII Review: 0 studies