Promising Programs - I CAN PROBLEM SOLVE

Type Target Age Group Setting Outcomes
Antisocial Behavior Early Childhood Elementary School Classroom Less impulsive and inhibited classroom behavior. Better problem-solving skills.


This program is a school-based intervention that trains children in generating a variety of solutions to interpersonal problems, considering the consequences of these solutions, and recognizing thoughts, feelings, and motives that generate problem situations. By teaching children to think, rather than what to think, the program changes thinking styles and, as a result, enhances children’s social adjustment, promotes pro-social behavior, and decreases impulsivity and inhibition. Although the program is appropriate for all children, it is especially effective for young (age 4-5), poor, and urban students who may be at highest risk for behavioral dysfunctions and interpersonal maladjustment.

Target Population

All children, but especially effective for young (age 4-5), poor, and urban students who may be at highest risk for behavioral dysfunctions and interpersonal maladjustment.

For more Information or to find Technical Assistance, visit:

Thinking Child
Dr. Myrna B. Shure

References and/or Published Evaluations

Among low-income African-American mothers, one pilot and two hypothesis-testing studies were done with their 4 year-olds, and a three year follow-up with mothers and their 6-7 year olds. Among middle and upper middle-income Caucasian families, two qualitative service evaluations by staff of mental health associations were conducted. With over 100 families participating in the research and evaluations, relatively normal children with varying degrees of high-risk behaviors, as well as those with ADHD, significantly improved in alternative solution thinking, consequential thinking, and high-risk behaviors both in school and at home.

Additional Information

Provided by Dr. Myrna B. Shure, September 2010

  • Has this program been replicated at other sites? If so, how many and where are they?
    Yes, all over the United States
  • Is there a formal curriculum or program guidelines in place? What is the approximate cost for these materials?
    Yes; $50 for the teacher manual.
  • What kind of training and technical assistance is available for this program?
    On-site training is available and trainer-on-trainer guides are being developed. School psychologists and school counselors serve as the trainers. Trainers will go to your organization, or off-site training workshops are available. The training lasts for two days.
  • Once the program has been implemented, can an organization obtain assistance with fidelity monitoring or quality assurance?
    Yes; technical assistance is always available by phone or e-mail. Trainers can return one month after implementation to fine tune skills.
  • Which local stakeholders should participate to make program successful?
    Teachers, principals, parents and counselors.
  • Is a risk assessment tool typically used to identify referrals for this program? If so, which one?
    No formal risk assessment tool is used, but there are certain predictors that should be found among referrals: substance abuse, depression, dropout antisocial behavior, inability to cope, lack of pro-social consideration of others, lack of empathy, socially withdrawn, cannot make friends, etc. The earlier the intervention is started, the more productive the child will be.