I Can Problem Solve provides a lesson-based approach to SEL. It includes programming for grades PreK-5 and demonstrates evidence of effectiveness at grade 1. Translated materials for the preschool & kindergarten levels as well as the parent program are available in Spanish.
- SEL lessons
- Positive classroom management
- SEL generalization
- Systemic support for SEL
- Family Intervention Component
- Onsite in-person training
- Virtual training
- Offsite training
- Train the trainer model
- Administrator support
- Technical assistance
- Professional Learning Communities (PLCs)
- Online resource library
- Self-report tools for monitoring implementation
- Observational tools
- Tools for measuring student success
Evidence of effectiveness
Results from a randomized control trial (RCT) conducted in the 1997-1998 school year (published in 2002) supported the effectiveness of I Can Problem Solve for early elementary school students. This evaluation included 578 grade 1 students enrolled in multiple rural schools in the US West region (87% white; sample was largely middle class). Students who participated in the program had greater growth in teacher-reported self-regulation (i.e., decreases in impulsivity, hyperactivity, aggressive, disruptive behaviors) and in student-reported school bonding (i.e., engagement and student-teacher relationship quality) compared to students in the control group (9 months after baseline, analyses controlled for outcome pretest).
Evidence shown in grades1 School characteristics
Percentage Low Income
- Not Specified
Study design type
Greater than 350 students included in study design type
Multiple school districts included at study design type
- Improved academic performance
- Reduced emotional distress
- Improved identity development and agency
- Reduced problem behaviors
- Improved school climate
- Improved school connectedness
- Improved social behaviors
- Improved teaching practices
- Improved other SEL skills and attitudes
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- Accepted by CASEL
Kumpfer, K. L., Alvarado, R., Tait, C., & Turner, C. (2002). Effectiveness of school-based family and children’s skills training for substance abuse prevention among 6-8-year-old rural children. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 16(4S), S65-S71.
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- Other references
Boyle, D., & Hassett-Walker, C. (2008). Reducing overt and relational aggression among young children: The results from a two-year outcome study. Journal of School Violence, 7, 27-42.
Feis, C. L., & Simons, C. (1985). Training preschool children in interpersonal cognitive problem-solving skills: A replication. Prevention in Human Services, 3, 71-85.
Gaete, J., Nejaz, L., Otegui, M., Perry, R. (2019). Mental health prevention in preschool children: An acceptability and feasibility of the implementation of the culturally adapted version of I Can Problem Solve (ICPS) program in Chile. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the Society for Prevention Research, San Francisco, CA.
Shure, M. B., & Spivack, G. (1982). Interpersonal problem-solving in young children: A cognitive approach to prevention. American Journal of Community Psychology, 10, 341-356.
Shure, M. B., & Spivack, G. (1980). Interpersonal problem solving as a mediator of behavioral adjustment in preschool and kindergarten children. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 1, 29-44.
Shure, M. B., & Spivack, G. (1979). Interpersonal cognitive problem solving and primary prevention: Programming for preschool and kindergarten children. Journal of Clinical Child Psychology, 2, 89-94.