Approximately $40 for materials to implement program in one classroom. All program materials are reproducible. Note: Cost information is subject to change. Confirm current costs with publisher.
Interactive activities in the ICPS program develop students' sequential, consequential, and alternative thinking skills. Students begin by learning the vocabulary necessary to understand cause and effect relationships. Students work through a series of activities applying these skills to stories and situations that strengthen their problem-solving competencies. This enables them to manage and solve everyday problems more effectively. Tips for integrating lessons into other subject areas, extension activities, activity sheets, parent letters, and blackline masters are included. Published research on this program has shown positive behavioral impacts on children in preschool and kindergarten.
This study describes the impact Interpersonal Cognitive Problem Solving (ICPS), now known as I Can Problem Solve, had on 131 inner-city, Black nursery school and kindergarten students in Philadelphia over a two-year period. Thirty-nine students received ICPS for two years, 30 received the program in nursery school only, 35 received the program in kindergarten only, and 27 served as controls both years. ICPS lessons were presented daily for 20 minutes in a game format. The average program lasted approximately three months. The Preschool Interpersonal Problem Solving (PIPS) test measured students’ ability to think about alternative solutions to problems. The What Happens Next Game (WHNG) tested students’ consequential thinking skills. The Hahnemann Preschool Behavior Rating Scale (HPSB) was used by teachers to rate students’ impatient, emotional and dominant-aggressive behavior. Dominant-aggressive behavior included hits, pushes, bossiness and threatening behaviors. Using this scale, students were categorized as "adjusted," "inhibited," or "impulsive." Control and ICPS nursery school students showed an increase in their alternative solution and consequential thinking scores over time, but the control students were significantly behind the ICPS students after one year of implementation. Immediately after the program and at one-year follow up, a greater percent of ICPS students, than control students, were rated to be "adjusted." Students who received the program in kindergarten improved significantly beyond control students in alternative solution and consequential thinking skills after the ICPS program. Students who received the program in both nursery and kindergarten had significantly better alternative solution skills than all the other groups. PIPS scores of nursery- and kindergarten-only groups were significantly higher than students who never received the ICPS program. All students who received the program scored higher in consequential thinking than students who never received the program. Students who received the program for two years also showed significant improvement over the nursery-only students. The kindergarten-only schools did not differ from the nursery-only students or controls. Significantly fewer students who did not receive ICPS improved to "adjusted" compared to any of the ICPS groups. Students who improved in behavioral adjustment were also more likely to improve in alternative solution and consequential thinking skills than those whose behavior was not "adjusted." Similarly, follow-up analyses demonstrated there was a significantly lower percentage of students who received ICPS for two years and consistently rated aberrant until the end of grade one versus control students. The percentage was not lower for students who received the program in nursery- or kindergarten-only. Shure, M.B. & Spivack, G. (1979). Interpersonal cognitive problem solving and primary prevention: Programming for preschool and kindergarten children. Journal of Clinical Child Psychology, 89-94
This study reports the two-year impact of teaching students interpersonal cognitive processing skills (ICPS). Two hundred and nineteen Black students attending federally funded day care from 20 centers either received ICPS or acted as controls. At one-year follow up, 35 control students received ICPS, 27 remained controls and 44 were lost to normal attrition. Therefore, students received the program in nursery school only, nursery school and kindergarten, kindergarten only or not at all. ICPS consisted of 20-minute games and dialog between teachers and students for approximately three months. As described above, the PIPS test measured students’ alternative solutions to interpersonal acts, WHNG measured students’ consequential thinking related to interpersonal acts, and a causal test measured students’ ability to conceptualize cause-and-effect. Teachers rated students’ behavior by rating students’ impatience, emotionality and dominance-aggression. Dominant-aggressive behavior included hitting, pushing and verbal domination. Based upon these ratings, students were classified as "inhibited," "impulsive" or "adjusted." Results are reported for both genders unless otherwise specified. Students who received ICPS in nursery school or kindergarten significantly improved their consequential thinking pre- to post-test compared to controls. The amount of extraneous talk significantly decreased as the number of relevant solutions increased in both years. Students exposed to ICPS significantly increased the number of consequences generated in nursery school and kindergarten compared to controls as measured by WHNG. Relative to controls, nursery school students who received ICPS significantly increased their spontaneous tendency to conceptualize cause-and-effect when presented with an interpersonal event. With regard to behavioral adjustment, a significantly greater percentage of nursery school students rated as "impulsive" at pre-test were well-adjusted at post-test compared to controls. A significantly greater percentage of initially "inhibited" nursery school students moved into the "adjusted" behavior category in the ICPS versus control group. In kindergarten, there was a significantly greater percent of maladaptive ICPS students rated "adjusted" following ICPS versus control. Students who improved in behavioral adjustment were also significantly more likely to improve in alternative solution thinking skills than those whose behavior did not change. The relationship between increased consequential thinking scores and behavior change was also significant for kindergarten students. Causal thinking as an independent mediator of adjustment was not empirically demonstrated in this study. Increased ICPS skills were statistically independent of IQ changes. Shure, M.B., & Spivack, G. (1980). Interpersonal problem solving as a mediator of behavioral adjustment in preschool and kindergarten. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 1, 29-44
This study looked at the interpersonal problem-solving skills of Black, low socioeconomic four- to five-year old students in nursery and kindergarten school. One hundred and thirteen students received the ICPS program in nursery school and 106 served as controls. Thirty-nine students trained in nursery school also received the program in kindergarten. Thirty students were trained in nursery school only, 35 were trained in kindergarten only and 27 were never trained. The program consisted of 12 weeks of formal scripted sessions implemented by teachers in groups of six to nine students. Teachers also conducted problem-solving dialogs using real-life situations. Ten teachers were trained from five federally-funded day-care centers. As described above, the PIPS test and WHNG were used to assess students’ alternative solution and consequential thinking skills respectively. The HPSB was used by teachers to assess students’ impatience, emotionality, and physical and verbal dominance-aggression. Using this scale, students were categorized as "adjusted," "inhibited" or "impulsive." Results indicate the ICPS program increased cognitive problem-solving skills in "adjusted" students as well as "impulsive" and "inhibited" students. In kindergarten, aberrant as well as "adjusted" students benefited from the training. Significantly more students who received the ICPS program were rated "adjusted" versus control students after the intervention. Significantly more "impulsive" and "inhibited" students who received the program became "adjusted" than students who did not receive the program. After kindergarten, significantly more students who received the program in kindergarten were "adjusted" than controls. There were significantly more "adjusted" students at post-nursery school and at six-month follow-up than controls. Significantly more students who received the program in kindergarten only were still ahead at one-year follow-up compared to controls. At one-year follow-up, significantly more students who received the program in nursery school remained "adjusted" at each of the four assessments through the end of kindergarten compared to controls. Of the 51 students who were judged aberrant at the beginning of the study, only 27 percent remained so throughout nursery school and at six-month follow-up compared to 65 percent of controls. Of the students who received the program in nursery school, ten percent remained consistently aberrant from preschool through the end of kindergarten compared to 71 percent of controls. For students who received the program in nursery school and kindergarten, PIPS gain scores were greater for students whose behavior changed compared to those whose behavior did not. Students who received the program in nursery school and kindergarten did significantly better on PIPS scores than those who received the program only one year. Receiving the program once in either year was significantly better than not receiving the program at all. For students who received the program in kindergarten only, WHNG gain scores were greater for students whose behavior changed compared to those whose behavior did not. Shure, M.B. & Spivak, G. (1982). Interpersonal problem-solving in young children: A cognitive approach to prevention. American Journal of Community Psychology, 10, 341-356.