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LochNels Productions, Inc. is currently in the research and development phase of a grant awarded from the National Institutes of Health (1 R41 DA022184-01) entitled Coping Power: Interactive Video Development. Video vignettes are being designed to enhance the educational aspects of the Coping Power Program for each of the 34 structured group sessions with children and 16 accompanying parent sessions that comprise the Coping Power program for aggressive youth. The vignettes are based on a story line of a super hero, Captain Judgment, who comes from the planet “Good Judgment” to teach children how to succeed better in school, manage problematic situations where they typically responded in aggressive fashion, how to be better problem solvers, and how to enter into and develop positive peer relationships. More specifically, these vignettes are designed to further enhance the child’s:

  • Ability to set short and long-term goals
  • Organization and study skills
  • Anger management skills
  • Social skills
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Ability to resist peer pressure
  • Entry into positive peer groups

The vignettes that accompany the Coping Power parent’s sessions are aimed at developing and reinforcing the parent’s use of:

  • Praise and positive attention
  • Clear rules and expectations
  • Child study skills
  • Appropriate discipline practices
  • Parental stress management
  • Family communication and problem-solving
  • Reinforcement of problem-solving skills the children learn in their coping sessions

Upon completion of the Captain Judgment video series, it is hoped that these will be experimentally evaluated to ascertain “additive” educational effects that they might have in teaching “at risk” children the skills that will help them better cope with problem situations and make the transition better into their junior high years. Preliminary results of our parent and counselor focus groups suggest that these vignettes, are, in fact, having the desired effect. Take a sneak peek at the vignettes:

  • VIGNETTE 13: Captain Judgment and his team land on a fictitious island of NELLA where the natives are acting aggressively (hurling mud with a huge catapult) at a neighboring island. As Captain Judgment analyzes the situation, he deduces that the NELLANS may be misperceiving what the other tribe’s intentions are—they think the MADATIANS don’t like them and have released snakes (Natus) all over their island. This coincides with the goals of session 13 in the Coping Power program where aggressive youth are helped to appreciate the different perspectives of a problematic situation and apply a more adaptive perspective to their own social situations where they typically respond in an aggressive fashion. Such “misperceptions” are characteristic of highly aggressive youth as they often enter situations with a “chip on their shoulder,” anticipating and perceiving others actions towards them as hostile.

  • VIGNETTE 14: Captain Judgment encounters the MADA chief in an attempt to settle their disagreements with the NELLANS. Upon trying to solve this problem, Captain Judgment discovers that the MADATIANS have released the snakes to the NELLA island to help them deal with their “bug problem,” not knowing that the NELLANS enjoy eating bugs. This vignette focuses on the goals of session 14 by providing an example of what can happen when we assume we know what the intentions of others are rather than trying to see things from the others’ perspective. Such “perspective-taking” is an essential skill taught in the Coping Power program and, as the vignette depicts, the NELLANS and MADATIANS almost went to war because of their lack of perspective-taking. The scene ends with Captain Judgment having helped solve another potential problem by leaning another skill essential in anger management.

  • VIGNETTE 23: The kids of Team Judgment are hanging out at the annual Judgment Festival reminiscing about their time in Team Judgment (reviewing the anger management strategies and problem solving to techniques that they have learned over the course of the group sessions). ”Flashbacks” from previous vignettes highlight their review of the anger management skills that they learned. The kids talk about the importance of setting short-term goals in order to reach long-term goals, and how important it is to keep things organized in order to maximize success, as well as how to recognize and cope with anger by using positive self-talk, and the PICC method (Problem Identification, Choices, Consequences). The scene ends with Captain Judgment entering the picture and praising the success of his Team. He rewards them with Good Decision Sno-Cones.

  • Click Here to download the vignette.

Stay tuned for further announcements, about this exciting video addition of the already empirically-supported Coping Power program available through LochNels and Oxford Press!