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CrimeSolutions Program Profile: Promoting Alternative Thinking Strategies (PATHS)

NCJ Number
Date Published
June 2011
0 pages

This Web-based article from the Office of Justice Programs discusses the results of a study that evaluated the Promoting Alternative Thinking Strategies (PATHS) program.


The Promoting Alternative Thinking Strategies (PATHS) program was developed to promote emotional and social competencies and reduce aggression and behavior problems in elementary school-aged children. This Web-based article presents the results of three studies that evaluated the PATHS program. The first study found that children who participated in the intervention program were rated by their peers as less aggressive as well as less hyperactive and disruptive, while no differences were detected in teacher-rated conduct problems. The second study found that in terms of social problem solving, no significant differences existed between the intervention group and the comparison group. Children in the intervention group, however, did show a significant increase in the use of non-confrontational solutions, indicating an improvement in self-control. The second study also found self-rated child depression decreased significantly in the intervention group, compared to the comparison group. The third study looked at emotional knowledge and social competence and found children exposed to PATHS had a larger receptive emotion vocabulary and were more accurate in identifying feelings than children not in the PATHS program. In addition, children exposed to PATHS scored significantly better on measures of social competence compared to children who did not participate in PATHS. The methodologies used by the three studies are described in detail in this Web-based article.