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Study suggests reduced problem behaviors in children from BEST in CLASS

Improved teacher-child interactions and relationships also reported

Results of a study co-authored by Dr. Kevin Sutherland of the VCU School of Education's Department of Counseling and Special Education found significant positive effects of the BEST in CLASS intervention across both teacher reported and observed child outcomes.

Dr. Kevin Sutherland

Dr. Kevin Sutherland

BEST in CLASS, co-developed by Sutherland and Dr. Maureen Conroy of the University of Florida, is a joint initiative between the two universities designed to improve instructional practices used by teachers with young children who demonstrate behavior that may put them at risk for future social, emotional and behavioral disorders.

"We've published several studies that spoke to the promise of BEST in CLASS in child and teacher outcomes, but this is the most rigorous test to-date of the intervention," Sutherland said.

The four-year study also found significant positive effects of BEST in CLASS across teacher-child relationships and observed teacher-children interactions. "These results suggest the efficacy of the intervention in improving child outcomes for young children who have significant problem behavior," Sutherland said.

The full journal article of the study is available on the Early Childhood Research Quarterly website here.

Two additional BEST in CLASS studies are underway. First, one that adapts the intervention for web-based delivery, led by Conroy, and the other, led by Sutherland and his team, that adapts it for early elementary school (kindergarten through second grade).