Early Risers “Skills for Success”

The Early Risers program is a multicomponent program that targets elementary school children 6 to 12 years of age who are experiencing early adjustment difficulties that may be linked to later risky behaviors, such as substance use. Early Risers is based on the premise that early, comprehensive, and sustained intervention is necessary to target multiple risk and protective factors.

This program is approved for WV Expanded School Mental Health.

Last reviewed: 2023

Intended Outcomes:

Goals include:

  • Decrease aggressive and disruptive behaviors
  • Decrease coercive parent-child interactions
  • Increase behavioral and emotional self-regulation
  • Increase social competence
  • Increase academic performance and task regulation
  • Increase effective parenting skills (e.g., discipline and supervision)
  • Improve parental functioning
  • Improve parent-child interactions, building positive relationships and parental investment in child
  • Enhance positive prosocial peer affiliation

Continuum of Care:
Indicated Prevention, Selective Prevention

Topic Areas:
Behavioral Health/Mental Health, Disruptive Behaviors, Substance Use

Childhood (4-12)

Geographic Locations:
Rural, Urban

Delivery Settings:
Community-Based, School-Based

Cultural Considerations:
A balanced amount of the research involved diverse populations

This program is for children who are 6 to 12 years old who are experiencing early adjustment difficulties.

Bachelor's degree


Is Training Required?
Yes, see developer info

Who can provide the required training?
Please contact Nicole Morrell for more information on training: morre006@umn.edu

Program Costs (materials, training, etc.):
Information not available

Program/Practice Website:

Relevant Published, Peer-Reviewed Research:

Hektner, J. M., August, G. J., Bloomquist, M. L., Lee, S., & Klimes-Dougan, B. (2014). A 10-year randomized controlled trial of the Early Risers conduct problems preventive intervention: Effects on externalizing and internalizing in late high school. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 82(2), 355-360. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0035678

Gewirtz, A. H., DeGarmo, D. S., Lee, S., Morrell, N., & August, G. (2015). Two-year outcomes of the Early Risers prevention trial with formerly homeless families residing in supportive housing. Journal of Family Psychology, 29(2), 242-252. https://doi.org/10.1037/fam0000066

Piehler, T. F., Bloomquist, M. L., August, G. J., Gewirtz, A. H., Lee, S. S., & Lee, W. S. (2014). Executive functioning as a mediator of conduct problems prevention in children of homeless families residing in temporary supportive housing: A parallel process latent growth modeling approach. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 42(5), 681–692. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10802-013-9816-y

Additional Sources:


Supported By Research

WV Rating:
Supported by Research
»WV Ratings Info

Rationale for Rating:

Early Risers Skills for Success demonstrates positive outcomes in multiple RCTs. Reviewers noted that research was conducted by program developers and would like to see research conducted by outside parties.

Contraindications or Concerns:
None identified

Other Registries/Ratings

The California Evidence-Based Clearinghouse for Child Welfare:
Well-Supported by Research Evidence

Blueprints for Healthy Youth Development:
Not On Registry

Clearinghouse for Military Family Readiness:

Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Model Programs Guide:
Not On Registry

Washington State Institute for Public Policy:
Not On Registry