Peaceful Alternatives To Tough Situations (PATTS)

Peaceful Alternatives to Tough Situations (PATTS) is a school-based aggression management program designed to help students increase positive conflict resolution skills, increase the ability to forgive transgressions, and reduce aggressive behavior. PATTS features three separate curricula (for kindergarten through grade 2, grades 3 through 5, and middle and high school), each of which is delivered in nine weekly, 1-hour sessions. The program teaches cognitive skills, peer refusal skills, appropriate conflict resolution skills, identification and verbalization of emotions, recognition of anger cues, calming techniques, and forgiveness. Sessions are highly interactive and use group discussion, role-playing, games, and skills review. In addition, parents and teachers receive training informing them about the skills taught to students and encouraging them to support the use of the skills at home and in the classroom.

The PATTS program was created in 1993 and has been implemented across the United States and in Canada in a variety of rural and urban settings that include the following: after-school programs, alternative programs, public and private schools, treatment centers, detentions, community mental health programs, and in the juvenile justice system.

This program is approved for WV Expanded School Mental Health.

Last reviewed: 2023

Intended Outcomes:

The primary goal of the PATTS program is to increase participants positive social skills that will enable them to resolve conflicts in a nonviolent manner. Additional program goals and skills include:
  • setting personal goals
  • reduced aggression/disruptive behaviors
  • recognizing anger cues and personal triggers
  • learn conflict resolution styles that will aid with interpersonal relationships
  • personal responsibility and body language
  • consequences to violence and our actions in general
  • peer refusal skills

Continuum of Care:
Indicated Prevention, Selective Prevention

Topic Areas:
Behavioral Health/Mental Health, Disruptive Behaviors, Trauma

Childhood (4-12), Teen/Adolescent (13-18)

Geographic Locations:
Rural, Urban

Delivery Settings:
Community-Based, Congregate Care Facility, School-Based

Cultural Considerations:
Limited research found involving diverse populations

Children and students grades K-12.

PATTS is designed to be delivered by teachers, guidance counselors, and graduate or undergraduate mental health counselors.


Is Training Required?
Information not available

Who can provide the required training?
Please contact Ann Marie Long, PATTS Training Consultant, for more training information:

Program Costs (materials, training, etc.):
Yes, refer to program website

Program/Practice Website:

Relevant Published, Peer-Reviewed Research:

Staecker, E., Puett, E., Afrassiab, S., Ketcherside, M., Azim, S., Wang, A., … Carol, C. (2016). Effectiveness of an afterschool-based aggression management program for elementary students. Professional School Counseling, 19(1), 125-132.

Williams, E., Johnson, J. L., & Bott, C. A. (2008). Evaluation of a program for reduction of childhood aggression. Psychological Reports, 103(2), 347-357.

Additional Sources:

Promising rating

WV Rating:
»WV Ratings Info

Rationale for Rating:

Program approved by WV ESMH and SAMHSA but more research is needed and recommended.

Contraindications or Concerns:
None identified

Other Registries/Ratings

The California Evidence-Based Clearinghouse for Child Welfare:
Not On Registry

Blueprints for Healthy Youth Development:
Not On Registry

Clearinghouse for Military Family Readiness:
Unclear 0

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

Washington State Institute for Public Policy:
Not On Registry