The Coping Power Program is designed for use with preadolescent and early adolescent aggressive children and their parents and is often delivered near the time of children's transition to middle school. Aggression is one of the most stable problem behaviors in childhood. If not dealt with effectively, it can lead to negative outcomes in adolescence such as drug and alcohol use, truancy and dropout, delinquency, and violence. This program has proven effective in helping to avoid these types of problems.
The child component of the program consists of 34 group sessions held during the child's 5th and 6th grade school years. Throughout the course of the program, children are taught how to recognize their feelings and display them appropriately without resorting to aggressive behaviors. Groups of 4 - 6 children meet on a weekly basis and participate in activities, exercises, and role-plays that reinforce the themes of the program. Topics include the importance of setting and achieving goals, using problem-solving methods to resolve conflicts, and using self-statements, relaxation, and distraction techniques to cope with anger arousal. Children also learn how to resist peer pressure and make new friends in a positive way. Periods of free play time and rewards incentives for completing assignments and following group rules keep children motivated and engaged.