Early Risers is a multi-year prevention program for elementary school children ages six to 12 who are demonstrating early disruptive and aggressive behaviors, including substance abuse. The program aims to prevent high-risk children’s further development of disruptive behaviors by improving their family environment and social and academic skills. Early Risers consists of two child-focused components and two-parent components. The child skills component focuses on enhancing children’s emotional and behavioral self-regulation, positive peer relationships, and academic success. The parent skills component aims to improve parent-child relations, effective discipline practices, and parent involvement in school. There is also a home visiting component that is designed to help families identify basic needs and practice healthy lifestyles. For children, the program begins in a summer program and continues through the school year. For parents, the program is delivered in a school or community setting or during a family support home visit.
Children that participate in Early Risers demonstrate higher social competence, lower aggression scores, reductions in conduct problems, and improvements in academic achievement. Parents show improvements in discipline methods and reduced levels of stress.