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RCT of the Restorative Practices Intervention (RPI)

This study is currently recruiting participants.
See Contacts and Locations
Verified April 2017 by Joie Acosta, RAND
Sponsor:
Collaborator:
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Joie Acosta, RAND
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier:
NCT02155296
First received: May 29, 2014
Last updated: April 24, 2017
Last verified: April 2017
  Purpose

The Restorative Practices Intervention (RPI), is a whole school environment intervention which is integrated into existing school practice (rather than 'added on') so does not compete with academic priorities; and it has some evidence supporting its effectiveness at improving school environment and promoting positive peer relationships. The specific aims of this investigator initiated study are to:

  1. Assess the mechanisms of how RPI implementation influences the school environment;
  2. Assess the effects of RPI on school staff perceptions of school climate and adolescents' reports of school connectedness, peer relationships, developmental outcomes (academic achievement and social competency) and problem behaviors (alcohol use, bullying, disciplinary referrals);
  3. Assess the extent to which the positive effects of RPI on adolescents persist over time during the transition between middle and high school.

For the first time utilizing rigorous scientific methods, this study has the potential to document whether a whole-school intervention like RPI, that can be integrated into existing school practice, can affect both developmental outcomes and problem behaviors and whether the effects persist during the transition from middle to high school.


Condition Intervention
Intervention Schools (Schools Receiving RPI) Control Schools (Schools Not Receiving RPI) Behavioral: Restorative Practices Intervention

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Crossover Assignment
Masking: No masking
Primary Purpose: Prevention
Official Title: Reducing Problem Behaviors Through PYD: An RCT of Restorative School Practices

Further study details as provided by Joie Acosta, RAND:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • Change from Baseline in Perceptions of School Climate Post RPI and 1 year Post RPI [ Time Frame: Baseline (pre-RPI), Post RPI, 1 year Post RPI (covers a time frame of 3 years total) ]
    This measure assesses teachers and students perceptions of: Consistency and Clarity of Rules and Expectations; Bullying; Teacher Support; and Student Input Into Decision Making. These dimensions can be aggregated into a single measure of school climate.

  • Change from Baseline in School Connectedness Post RPI and 1 year Post RPI [ Time Frame: Baseline, Post RPI, 1 year Post RPI (covers a time frame of 3 years total) ]
    The school connectedness scale from the National Adolescent Health Study will be used to determine how close adolescents feel to their peers at this school, how happy they are to be at this school, whether they feel a part of the school, whether they feel teachers treat students fairly, and whether they feel safe at their school. The scale uses a five-point scale from "strongly agree" to "strongly disagree" to asses adolescents perception on 5 items and has shown strong internal consistency (alpha of 0.78).

  • Change from Baseline in Peer Relationships Post RPI and 1 year Post RPI [ Time Frame: Baseline, Post RPI, 1 year Post RPI (covers a time frame of 3 years total) ]
    A scale developed by Acosta will be used to assess peer attachment and influence with nine items using a Likert rating of 1 (Never) to 6 (Always) measure how often their peers encouraged them to do well in school, how often they confide in peers, how often they would like to be the kind of person their peers are, how often they dress or act like their peers, and how often they consider how their peers will react before acting. Previous research has shown alphas of .71 for both subscales (attachment and influence) and sensitivity to detecting changes over time.

  • Change from Baseline in Social Competency Post RPI and 1 year Post RPI [ Time Frame: Baseline, Post RPI, 1 year Post RPI (covers a time frame of 3 years total) ]
    The Social Skills Improvement System-Rating Scale (SSIS) will be used to assess students' perceptions of prosocial behavior in five domains: cooperation, assertion, responsibility, empathy, and self-control. The SSIS is a revision of the SSRS with updated national norms. Students self-rate their behavior on a 4-point frequency scale (0 = Never, 1 = Seldom, 2 = Often, and 3 = Almost Always). The SSIS-RS (for ages 13-18) was normed on a nationwide sample, all alpha coefficients are above 0.70, test-retest indices range from 0.77 to 0.92, and the SSIS is positively correlated with the SSRS (0.36).

  • Change from Baseline in Bullying Post RPI and 1 year Post RPI [ Time Frame: Baseline, Post RPI, 1 year Post RPI (covers a time frame of 3 years total) ]
    The Communities That Care Survey questions will be used to assess prevalence of verbal, physical, and cyber bullying behaviors (perpetrator and victim). These questions were recently used in a study that found associations between bullying behaviors and alcohol use among middle school students. The scale assesses whether bullying behaviors that occurred in the past 30 days and the frequency of their occurrence (not at all, somewhat, and a whole lot).

  • Change from Baseline in Administrative Data Post RPI and 1 year Post RPI [ Time Frame: Baseline, Post RPI, 1 year post RPI (covers a time frame of 3 years total) ]
    We will collect administrative data on academic achievement, and disciplinary referrals. These data will be collected through Maine's standardized school administrative data reporting system (Maine Educational Department Management System). Grades and incidences of detention, suspension, or expulsion will be used as indicators of academic achievement and disciplinary referrals, respectively. Standardized test scores were considered, but Maine has used a different test each cycle over the last few years, so data could not be used longitudinally. Further, our partners have confirmed that our schools do not grade on a distribution. Therefore, grades could improve school-wide as an outcome of RPI. Participating schools will also provide administrative data on students from the year before baseline, allowing us to have more information about student's prior trajectory of behavior.


Secondary Outcome Measures:
  • Dosage [ Time Frame: Monthly during school year 1 and 2 (RPI Implementation) ]
    A Dosage Assessment completed by staff (on a monthly basis) will be used to track the frequency and duration of implementation of the 11 essential practices. For example, staff will be asked how often they used "I" statements over the past week or how long they spent in restorative circles over the past month.

  • Adherence [ Time Frame: Monthly during school year 1 and 2 (RPI Implementation) ]
    Trainer Observations will be conducted at the 8 schools receiving RPI in-person on a monthly basis to assess adherence to the RPI implementation. Trainers will be observing RPI "circles", staff meetings, and parent-teacher nights to determine adherence to the 11 essential practices.

  • Participant Response [ Time Frame: Once during school year 1 and once during school year 2 (RPI implementation) ]
    Implementation Surveys will measure participant response to RPI. Survey questions are designed to assess staff proficiency with each of 11 essential practices. For example, staff are asked to rate whether they can use affective statements in formal and informal interactions with students, and whether they can accurately assess whether their colleagues are using affective statements. RPI has used these measures extensively for quality improvement in previous studies and relies on these surveys to certify schools as a Restorative Practices school

  • Youth program quality assessment [ Time Frame: Once during school year 1 and once during school year 2 (RPI implementation) ]
    The Youth Program Quality Assessment (YPQA) is an observational measure scored by an external rater that has 4 main scales: safe environment, supportive environment, interaction, and engagement—domains found to be critical to PYD interventions like RPI. A 2007 validation study found that across 32 rater pairs there was 78% perfect agreement at the item level, yielding an overall Kappa of .67, with alphas for subscales all over .69, indicating substantial overall agreement for items on this instrument. Validation studies also found that the YPQA had appropriate predictive validity needed to model process-outcome relationships where quality scores explain sizable amounts of variance in youth-level data.


Estimated Enrollment: 2680
Study Start Date: August 2014
Estimated Study Completion Date: August 2018
Estimated Primary Completion Date: May 2018 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Arms Assigned Interventions
Experimental: Schools receiving RPI
This arm contains schools receiving RPI. RPI offers a continuum of practices that range from informal (e.g., using affective statements that communicate feelings) to formal (e.g., hosting a restorative "circle" where participants are encouraged to express emotions and form emotional bonds). The "circles" or group meetings that are designed to take place between school staff and students, are the crux of RPI. School staff are encouraged to use the restorative practices to build relationships and resolve staff issues (restorative staff community), as well as when interacting with parents (restorative approach with families). All restorative practices encourage acting "with" youth and setting high expectations. When a school becomes proficient in all 11 essential practices it is officially recognized as a Restorative Practices School.
Behavioral: Restorative Practices Intervention

RPI has the 3 core components of an optimal comprehensive positive youth development intervention:

(1) sustained relationships with adults—RPI creates positive and sustained adult-youth relationships through teacher-student dialogue that occurs in "circles"; (2) skills building—RPI uses teachers and other school staff to coach students on 7 of the 11 essential practices; and (3) application of skills building—As students develop proficiency in the 7 essential practices they are coached to perform, school staff transfer responsibility for running the circles over to students. Restorative conferences for serious and or chronic behavior problems are the only circles that teachers continue to facilitate. Quasi-experimental studies have shown that schools implementing RPI have reductions in disciplinary referrals and school suspension.

Other Name: Restorative Justice
Experimental: Schools not receiving RPI
This arm is the control arm and consists of schools that are not receiving RPI.
Behavioral: Restorative Practices Intervention

RPI has the 3 core components of an optimal comprehensive positive youth development intervention:

(1) sustained relationships with adults—RPI creates positive and sustained adult-youth relationships through teacher-student dialogue that occurs in "circles"; (2) skills building—RPI uses teachers and other school staff to coach students on 7 of the 11 essential practices; and (3) application of skills building—As students develop proficiency in the 7 essential practices they are coached to perform, school staff transfer responsibility for running the circles over to students. Restorative conferences for serious and or chronic behavior problems are the only circles that teachers continue to facilitate. Quasi-experimental studies have shown that schools implementing RPI have reductions in disciplinary referrals and school suspension.

Other Name: Restorative Justice

  Show Detailed Description

  Eligibility

Ages Eligible for Study:   12 Years and older   (Child, Adult, Senior)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes
Criteria

Inclusion Criteria:

  • all students and staff in participating schools

Exclusion Criteria:

  • anyone not in participating schools
  Contacts and Locations
Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the Contacts provided below. For general information, see Learn About Clinical Studies.

Please refer to this study by its ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT02155296

Contacts
Contact: Joie Acosta, Ph.D. 703-413-1100 ext 5324 jacosta@rand.org
Contact: Matthew Chinman, Ph.D. 703-413-1100 ext 4287 chinman@rand.org

Locations
United States, Maine
Bath Middle School Recruiting
Bath, Maine, United States, 04530
Contact: Bud Solebello    207-443-8270    lsolebello@rsu1.org   
Boothbay school Recruiting
Boothbay Harbor, Maine, United States, 04538
Contact: Kim Dionne    207-633-5097    kdionne@csd3-bres.org   
Bucksport school Recruiting
Bucksport, Maine, United States, 04416
Contact: Stan Pelletier    207-469-6647    stan.pelletier@rsu25.org   
Bonny Eagle school Recruiting
Buxton, Maine, United States, 04093
Contact: Mick Roy    207-929-3833    Mroy@bonnyeagle.org   
Ridge View school Recruiting
Dexter, Maine, United States, 04930
Contact: Paula McHugeh    207-924-6000    pmchugh@aos94.org   
Molly Ockett Recruiting
Fryeburg, Maine, United States, 04037
Contact: Jane Lansing    207-935-2401    jane.lansing@msad72.org   
Gorham school Recruiting
Gorham, Maine, United States, 04038
Contact: Susie Hanley    207-222-1245    susieh@gorhamschools.org   
Jefferson Village school Recruiting
Jefferson, Maine, United States, 04348
Contact: Peter Gallace    207-549-7491    pgallace@aos93.org   
Mt. Jefferson school Recruiting
Lee, Maine, United States, 04455
Contact: Pamela Hamilton       phamilton@msad30.org   
Maranacook school Recruiting
Readfield, Maine, United States, 04355
Contact: Cathy Jacobs    207-685-3128 ext 1128    cathy_jacobs@maranacook.org   
Oak Hill school Recruiting
Sabattus, Maine, United States, 04280
Contact: Ben Wilson    207-375-9691 ext 126    ben.wilson@rsu4.org   
Skowhegan school Recruiting
Skowhegan, Maine, United States, 04976
Contact: Zach Longyear    207-474-3339    zlongyear@msad54.org   
Windham school Recruiting
South Windham, Maine, United States, 04063
Contact: Charles Haddock    207-892-1820    chaddock@rsu14.org   
Sponsors and Collaborators
RAND
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)
Investigators
Principal Investigator: Joie Acosta, Ph.D. RAND
  More Information

Responsible Party: Joie Acosta, Behavioral Scientist, RAND
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT02155296     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: 1R01HD072235-01 ( U.S. NIH Grant/Contract )
Study First Received: May 29, 2014
Last Updated: April 24, 2017

Keywords provided by Joie Acosta, RAND:
positive youth development
restorative practices
school climate
social competency

ClinicalTrials.gov processed this record on July 24, 2017