I Can Problem Solve (ICPS)

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About This Program

Target Population: Low- and middle-income 4-12 year olds, including African-Americans, Caucasians, Hispanic, and Asian populations

For children/adolescents ages: 4 – 12

Brief Description

I Can Problem Solve (ICPS) is a preventive and rehabilitative program designed to lessen disruptive behaviors. It is a cognitive approach that teaches children ages 4 to 12 how to think, not what to think, in ways that help them learn to resolve interpersonal problems that arise with peers and adults. They learn that behavior has causes, that people have feelings, and that there is more than one way to solve a problem. The curriculum is divided into two parts:

  • Pre-problem solving skills -- learning a problem solving vocabulary, identifying one's own and others' feelings, and considering another's point of view
  • Problem solving skills -- thinking of more than one solution, considering consequences, and age-appropriate sequencing and planning skills.

Adults learn a problem solving approach to handling conflicts and other problem situations that helps children associate their newly acquired problem solving skills with what they do and how they behave in real life.

Program Goals:

The goals of I Can Problem Solve (ICPS) are:

  • Improve Interpersonal Cognitive Problem Solving (ICPS) skills:
    • Alternative solution thinking
    • Consequential thinking
    • Sequenced planning (means-ends thinking) skills, if 8-12 years old
  • Prevent or reduce early high-risk behaviors:
    • Physical, verbal, and relational aggression
    • Inability to wait and cope with frustration
    • Social withdrawal
  • Foster genuine empathy and concern for others
  • Foster positive peer relations
  • Increase cooperation and fairness that promote healthy relationships with peers and adults
  • Improve academic achievement as an outgrowth of less stress fostered by ICPS skills that allow children to concentrate on the task-oriented demands of the classroom

Contact Information

Myrna B. Shure, PhD
Agency/Affiliation: Drexel University
Website: www.thinkingchild.com
Phone: (215) 553-7120
Fax: (215) 895-4930

Date Research Evidence Last Reviewed by CEBC: June 2017

Date Program Content Last Reviewed by Program Staff: April 2016

Date Program Originally Loaded onto CEBC: October 2012