Aggression Replacement Training® (ART®)
Aggression Replacement Training® (ART®) is a cognitive behavioral intervention program to help children and adolescents improve social skill competence and moral reasoning, better manage anger, and reduce aggressive behavior. The program specifically targets chronically aggressive children and adolescents. Developed by Arnold P. Goldstein and Barry Glick, ART® has been implemented in schools and juvenile delinquency programs across the United States and throughout the world. The program consists of 10 weeks (30 sessions) of intervention training, and is divided into three components—social skills training, anger-control training, and training in moral reasoning. Clients attend a one-hour session in each of these components each week. Incremental learning, reinforcement techniques, and guided group discussions enhance skill acquisition and reinforce the lessons in the curriculum.
The program was first developed for aggressive and violent adolescents aged 12 to 17 who were incarcerated in juvenile institutions. ART® has been adapted for children in schools and mental health settings and for adults.
ART® can be taught to children and adolescents from all socioeconomic backgrounds in rural, urban, and suburban communities. In addition to being implemented in schools, ART® has been used in juvenile delinquency programs and in mental health settings to reduce aggressive and antisocial behavior and promote anger management and social competence.
The ART® program is a multi-modal intervention consisting of three components: social skills training, anger control training, and training in moral reasoning. Research has shown that students who develop skills in these areas are far less likely to engage in a wide range of aggressive and high-risk behaviors. Lessons in this program are intended to address the behavioral, affective, and cognitive components of aggressive and violent behavior. Detailed descriptions of the three components are provided below:
Social Skills Training: Social skills training teaches youth what to do in threatening or stressful situations. ART® Structured Learning is based upon a social learning process, and activities include modeling, role-playing, and performance feedback.
Anger Control Training: As part of their homework, participants relate examples of anger-arousing experiences from situations that had occurred during the previous week. The group facilitator uses a structured reporting checklist (hassle log) to reinforce the skills from the lesson.
Training in Moral Reasoning: This component of ART® aims to raise participants’ awareness of others’ points of view (perspective taking) and teaches youth to view their world in a more fair and equitable way.
Educators interested in Aggression Replacement Training® can receive training and program support from G & G Consultants, LLC, an organization that provides technical assistance to criminal justice and human services agencies (including schools and government jurisdictions for youth at risk). In addition to providing ART® support, G & G Consultants, LLC, also offers training and technical assistance for the following programs: Thinking for Change (T4C), Cognitive Self-Change (CSC), and Problem Solving and the Youth Development System. G & G Consultants, LLC, provides training for the ART® program at three levels: The basic level prepares staff to implement ART® at their facility/agency, the advanced level provides participants with the skills and knowledge to train others in ART®, and the master’s level is adapted to match program staff’s individualized needs.
Please visit their Web site at http://uscart.org/new/ for more information. Aggression Replacement Training® and ART® are registered marks of G & G Consultants, LLC, with the US Office of Patents and Trademarks.
ART® has been evaluated by numerous studies, including the five studies summarized below.
- The ART program was implemented at Uniting Networks for Youth, a SAMHSA-funded project administered through Ramsey County Juvenile Probation from 2001 to 2004. Through this agency, 283 youth, aged 12 to 18, received ART® at one of four different sites: a residential program, a school-based program, and two community-based programs. All youth were on probation. Three months after discharge from the program, follow-ups with youth and their parents indicated that 80 percent of youth reported no additional arrests. Seventy-nine percent of parents and 75 percent of youth reported that the program helped youth improve relationships with teachers at least a little; and 80 percent of parents and 92 percent of youth felt that ART helped the youth become more responsible (Wilder Research Center, 2004).
- Washington State passed the Community Juvenile Accountability Act (CJAA) to reduce juvenile crime by establishing “research-based” programs in the state’s juvenile courts. All adjudicated youth were assessed to determine the level of risk in nine domains: school, free-time, employment, relationships, family (current and prior), drug/alcohol, mental health, antisocial attitudes, and skills. Another score was developed to measure aggression. Youths who demonstrated a moderate or high-risk level were admitted into either the experimental group that received ART or the control group that received the standard juvenile court services. They found that ART reduced the 18-month felony recidivism rate by 16 percent compared with the control group (Barnoski, 2004).
- Another study introduced the ART program at a runaway shelter in order to reduce antisocial behavior in male and female adolescents. They chose an interrupted time series design, and the case records of 522 11–17 year-old runaways who lived in the shelter were examined. The results found a reduction in the reported cases of antisocial behavior among the adolescents. Outcome measures were the daily rate and daily number of antisocial behavioral incidents. The ART program was associated with a 20 percent decrease in the daily rate and a 17 percent decrease in the daily number of antisocial behavioral incidents (Nugent, Bruley, & Allen, 1998).
- Adolescent residents at a long-term treatment facility also participated in an ART program study. Two-thirds of the residents had a DSM IV diagnosis of conduct disorder. A 10-week ART program was introduced to the experimental group of 21 residents, and the control group of 14 residents received no ART training. Results indicated that the experimental group scored significantly higher on one measure: knowledge of social skills. No other significant differences were found between the two groups (Coleman, Pfeiffer, & Oakland, 1992).
- A study introduced the ART program at a residential school for troubled adolescent girls to reduce maladaptive behaviors. Assessments of the girls’ behaviors were completed three weeks prior to the start of the program. During the four months following the conclusion of ART, assessments were completed three additional times. Although results indicated an increase in positive behaviors, it had no effect on delinquent behaviors and little effect on aggressive behaviors (Cleare, 2001).
Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (0JJDP) Model Program, Rating: Effective
- U.S. Department of Education Promising Program
- Helping America’s Youth (HAY) Programs: Level II
G & G Consultants, LLC
This organization provides technical assistance, training, and other ART®-related resources. Short descriptions of published studies, journal articles, and dissertations on ART are featured on this Web site (http://uscart.org/new/).
OJJDP Model Program
The OJJDP Model Program Web site rates ART as an effective model program and provides detailed information, including logic models and performance matrices.
Helping America’s Youth
This Web site includes a section on Aggression Replacement Training. It provides an overview of the program and descriptions of evaluation studies and program outcomes.
Amendola, A. M. & Oliver, R. W. (2003). LSCI and Aggression Replacement Training: A multi-model approach. Reclaiming Children & Youth, 12(3): 181–185.
Barnoski, R. (2004). Outcome Evaluation of Washington State’s Research-Based Programs for Juveniles. Olympia, WA: Washington State Institute for Public Policy.
Cleare, M. J. (2001). Effects of social cognitive skills training with angry, aggressive adolescent females. Dissertation Abstracts International: Section B: The Sciences and Engineering, 61(9-B): 5015.
Coleman, M.; Pfeiffer, S.; & Oakland, T. (1992). Aggression Replacement Training with behaviorally disordered adolescents. Behavioral Disorders, 18(1), 54-66.
Curulla, V. L. (1990). Aggression Replacement Training in the community for adult learning-disabled offenders. Unpublished manuscript. Seattle, WA: University of Washington, Special Education Department.
Glick, B. (1996). Aggression Replacement Training in children and adolescents. The Hatherleigh Guide to Child and Adolescent Therapy: 5,191–226.
Glick, B. (2003). Cognitive programs: Coming of age in corrections. Corrections Today, 60(5):96–99.
Glick, B. (2006). ART®: A comprehensive intervention for aggressive youth. In B. Glick. Cognitive Behavioral Interventions for At-Risk Youth. Kingston, NJ: Civic Research Institute.
Glick, B., & Goldstein, A. P. (1995). Managing Delinquency Programs That Work. Washington D.C.: American Correctional Association.
Goldstein, A. P. (1996). Aggression Replacement Training: Methods and outcomes. In C. R. Hollin & K. Howells (eds.). Clinical Approaches to Working with Offenders. Chichester, England: John Wiley & Sons.
Goldstein, A. P. (1996). Aggression Replacement Training: School-based instruction in prosocial skills. The Quarterly Journal of the National Association of School Safety and Law Enforcement Officers.
Goldstein, A. P. (1996). Aggression Replacement Training: Teaching prosocial behaviors to antisocial youth. In R. Ross; D.H. Antonowicz; and K. Dhuluval (eds.). Effective Delinquency Prevention and Offender Rehabilitation. Ottawa, Ontario: AIR Training and Publications.
Goldstein, A. P. (1997). Controlling vandalism: The person-environment duet. In A. Goldstein & J. Conoley (eds.), School Violence Intervention: A Practical Handbook. New York: Guilford Press.