Aggression Replacement Training (ART)®
Age group: Adolescence (12-17)
Gender: Mixed (male and female)
Population served: No specific targeted population
Continuum of intervention: Secondary crime prevention; Tertiary crime prevention
The Aggression Replacement Training (ART®) program is a cognitive behavioural multi-component intervention designed to target youth who display chronically aggressive and violent behaviour.
The program is centered on cognitive behavioural therapy; conflict resolution; skills building training and reinforcement techniques; group therapy; and violence prevention.
The main goals of the ART® program are to:
- Reduce aggressive behaviour and learn how to control angry impulses;
- Build prosocial skills and social competence; and
- Enhance moral reasoning.
The appropriate clientele for the ART® program is high-risk youth between the ages of 12 and 17 with serious aggressive behaviours. The ART® program can also be applied in multiple setting locations (such as schools and mental health settings) to youth from several populations and different socio-economic backgrounds.
To participate in the program, it is recommended that potential participants be screened for risk and severity of aggressive/antisocial behaviour in order to assess their eligibility for inclusion. This type of assessment often includes the use of clinical instruments to examine the degree of problematic behaviours in youth.
The ART® program consists of a 10-week, 30-hour intervention administered 3 times per week. The program components include the following:
- Social skills training: Youth learn prosocial behaviours through modeling and role-playing;
- Anger control training: Youth use examples of recent real-life situations where they encountered something that aroused feelings of anger in them; and
- Training in moral reasoning: Youth are taught to view the world from the perspective of another person.
Some of the critical elements for the implementation of this program or initiative include the following:
- Organizational requirements: Fidelity to the process of teaching social skills (modeling, role-playing, performance feedback, and transfer training) is needed as this program relies on repetitive learning and transfer training techniques to teach participants to control impulsiveness and anger so they can choose more appropriate prosocial behaviours.
- Partnerships: The ART® program is delivered in areas where strong community support is in place. Partnerships with school boards/individual schools are necessary, including partnerships with community-based agencies and social service agencies.
- Training and technical assistance: It is highly recommended that group facilitators be trained according to the standards set by trademark certifications and those established by Dr. Barry Glick and G & G Consultants, LLC. They provide the following: ART® Training for Group Facilitators, ART® Training for Trainers, and Master Trainer Training.
- Risk assessment tools: Limited information on this topic.
- Materials & resources: Two training manuals are needed to successfully deliver the ART® program: Aggression Replacement Training® (3rd edition, revised and expanded); and Aggression Replacement Training®: A Comprehensive Intervention for Aggressive Youth.
The most recognized classification systems of evidence-based crime prevention programs have classified this program or initiative as follows:
- Blueprints for Healthy Youth Development: Not applicable.
- Crime Solutions/OJJDP Model Program Guide: Effective (more than one study)
- SAMHSA's National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices: Not applicable.
- Coalition for Evidence-Based Policy: Not applicable.
Gathering Canadian Knowledge
Canadian Implementation Sites
Public Safety Canada’s National Crime Prevention Strategy provided funding to the Centre jeunesse de la Montérégie (Quebec) (2009-2011) to implement the Programme d’intervention en délinquanceFootnote1 which consists of two key interventions: Aggression Replacement Training (ART®) and PACIS (programme pour adolescents ayant commis des infractions sexuelles).
Public Safety Canada’s National Crime Prevention Strategy also provided funding to implement the ART® program in Edmonton, Alberta between 2015 and 2021. The ART® program is being implemented by the Society for Safe and Caring Schools and Communities.
Main Findings from Canadian Outcome Evaluation Studies
As part of Public Safety Canada’s funding, an outcome evaluation studyFootnote2 of the Programme d’intervention en délinquance was conducted in 2009-2011 by Plante and Daigle. For more information, refer to the specific program descriptive sheet.
The ART® program offered by the Society for Safe and Caring Schools and Communities in Edmonton, Alberta has been selected for a process and outcome evaluation by Public Safety Canada. This evaluation is currently in progress; results are not yet available at this time.
The cost is not available in Canadian dollars. The cost to implement ART® in Washington State was estimated at $745 per youth (USD). The 2004 Washington State Institute for Public Policy cost–benefit analysis demonstrated that when ART® is delivered by competent courts it generates $11.66 (USD) in benefits (avoided crime costs) for each $1.00 (USD) spent on the program (National Institute of Justice, n.d.).
National Institute of Justice (.n.d.) CrimeSolutions – Aggression Replacement Training - Program Information. Available from: http://www.crimesolutions.gov
Plante, N. & Daigle, M. (2012). Le programme d’intervention en délinquance du Centre jeunesse de la Montérégie : rapport final, analyse des processus et effets. Centre de recherche Institut Philippe-Pinel de Montréal, Université de Montréal. Final Evaluation Report. Submitted to the National Crime Prevention Centre, Public Safety Canada (Unpublished report).
For more information on this program, contact:
Record Entry Date - 2018-02-19
For more information on the Programme d’intervention en délinquance, refer to the specific program descriptive sheet.
A process evaluation study of the program was also conducted through Public Safety Canada’s funding. For more information, communicate with the Research Division, Public Safety Canada.
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