De effecten van EQUIP voor het Onderwijs op antisociaal gedrag, moraliteit en cognities van (jonge) adolescenten
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AbstractJuvenile antisocial behavior is a frequent problem and a substantial social and individual issue. Adolescents with antisocial behavioral problems entail a much higher risk to develop psychosocial problems at an adult age. In view of these problems intervention programs aimed at decreasing antisocial behavior are of significant importance. This study, with quasi experimental design, examined the effects of “EQUIP voor het Onderwijs” (a Dutch version of the intervention EQUIP) on antisocial behavior, cognitive distortions, moral reasoning and sense of community in the first and second class of a preparatory vocational secondary school. Questionnaires were filled out twice by 152 participants (average age of 14 years) that took part in this study with a time-interval of 4 months. The results showed a decrease in antisocial behavior at the second wave for both experimental groups (classes for grade 1 and 2) and a decrease in cognitive distortions for grade 1. No differences were found for both classes in level of moral reasoning and sense of community. Analysis of variance with repeated measures, in which the experimental group was compared to the control group, showed positive effects of EQUIP on cognitive distortions and on moral reasoning for grade 1. The results for grade 2 showed no effects; the control group showed a larger descent in cognitive distortions and a more positive sense of community after four months than grade 2 of the experimental group. Finally, the effect of EQUIP on cognitive distortions turned out to be greater for grade 1 than grade 2. Although these results should be carefully interpreted due to restraints (amongst others the number of missing values, the distribution of the control- and experimental group and the limited waves of assessment), it seems to be of significant importance to submit (young) adolescents to EQUIP at an early age to decrease or prevent the development of antisocial behavior and its accompanying risk factors.