SNAP Boys

About This Program

Target Population: Boys ages 6 to 11 years old with disruptive behavior problems and their parents/caregivers

For parents/caregivers of children ages: 6 – 11

Program Overview

SNAP® (Stop Now And Plan) Boys is a cognitive-behavioral multicomponent model for at-risk children with disruptive behavior problems, and their families. SNAP Boys focuses on teaching effective emotional regulation, self-control, and problem-solving skills, with an emphasis on challenging cognitive distortions and aimed at helping children make better choices in the moment in order to keep them involved in school and avoid criminal conduct. SNAP Boys uses strategies such as role-playing, cognitive restructuring, and reinforcement learning. Concurrently, caregivers are also taught the SNAP Boys strategy to help them cope with their own emotions and self-regulation, in addition to, effective parent management strategies. In addition to the group sessions, SNAP Boys provides services to meet the needs of individual families. These may include family counselling, academic tutoring, school advocacy, and mentoring. As part of a continued care model, SNAP Youth Leadership Services are offered to youth aged 12-17 who require additional skill development, employment skills, and help to prevent gang affiliation.

Program Goals

The goals of SNAP Boys are:

For boys:

  • Reduce disruptive behavior.
  • Reduce police contact.
  • Reduce future criminal offending.
  • Improve self-control.
  • Improve emotion regulation.
  • Improve problem-solving skills.

For caregivers:

  • Improve parenting skills.
  • Improve self-efficacy.
  • Improve emotion regulation.
  • Improve problem-solving skills.

Logic Model

The program representative did not provide information about a Logic Model for SNAP Boys.

Essential Components

The essential components of SNAP Boys include:

  • The SNAP Boys Core Group component consists of 13 weeks structured cognitive-behavioral based group sessions that are run for boys and concurrently for parents.
    • For boys’ groups, the aim is to increase the boy’s well-being by targeting:
      • Self-control and impulsivity
      • Emotion recognition and regulation
      • Problem-solving skills
      • The ability to “Stop and think before you act”
    • Parent/Caregiver Group:
      • Limit setting
      • Positive reinforcement promotion
      • Conflict resolution and stress management
      • Effective family communication
      • Co-regulation
    • Setting:
      • Separate boys and parent groups, run concurrently
      • Maximum of 7 boys in one group according to developmental age (e.g., 6-7, 8-9, 10-11 year olds)
      • One or two Family Workers per SNAP Boys Parent/Caregiver Group and two Child workers per SNAP Boys Children’s Group, and one Supervisor available
      • One 90-minute session per week for 13 weeks (Core Group component)
      • Note: Other SNAP Boys components are offered in the home, school, clinical setting and/or community
    • As SNAP Boys is a continued-care model based on a child and families’ level of risk and need, treatment typically starts off with the 13-week Core Groups (boy and parent/caregiver) component.
    • Other SNAP Boys components are provided, based on the boy’s and family’s level of risk and need. These include:
      • Individual Counseling/Mentoring (for both child and parent/caregivers)
      • Stop Now And Plan Parenting (SNAPP) - Family Counseling
      • SNAP Parent Problem-Solving Group
      • SNAP Youth Leadership (SNAP graduates aged 12 and older)
      • SNAP Social-emotional, Educational and School Advocacy (SEESA; culturally responsive pedagogy and anti-racism education to promote students’ pro-social, meta-cognitive and personal development)
    • SNAP Boys is based on five theoretical frameworks:
      • Cognitive-behavioral
      • Attachment-based
      • Social-learning
      • System
      • Feminist theory
    • SNAP Boys key principles include:
      • Scientist-practitioner
      • Client-centered
      • Gender-sensitive
      • Ecosystemic
      • Strength- and skills-based
      • Continued service
      • Collaborative
      • Community responsive
      • Accountable service excellence
    • The key strategies in SNAP Boys:
      • Using modeling and role-playing as a means of actively teaching the SNAP Boys strategies
      • Practice and repetition to promote deep-learning and skill acquisition.
      • Using the boys’ experiences and suggestion to create real-life scenarios.

Program Delivery

Parent/Caregiver Services

SNAP Boys directly provides services to parents/caregivers and addresses the following:

  • Caregiver of a child with disruptive behavior; caregiver of a child at high-risk for police contact/criminal offending; coercive, lax, or inconsistent parenting behaviors; attachment disruption; low self-efficacy; antisocial values and conduct; and Child Welfare Services involvement
Services Involve Family/Support Structures:

This program involves the family or other support systems in the individual's treatment: After getting consents to contact the school and exchange information, the SNAP Boys team sends out a Teacher Report Form (TRF) to gather information from the child’s teachers. SNAP Boys also provides school advocacy and support to children and parents, in order to share the SNAP Boys strategies and language with the school administration and provide responsive pedagogy and anti-racism education to promote students’ pro-social, metacognitive and personal development. In addition, there is collaboration with other supporting agencies such as Child Welfare. Siblings receive support through the SNAP Boys activity groups. Siblings and other caregivers also receive support through SNAP Boys family sessions.

Recommended Intensity:

One weekly 90-minute session for Children and Parent Group Sessions and up to 60-minute sessions once a week for the other program components as needed/required.

Recommended Duration:

The Core Group components (child and parent/caregiver) are 13 weeks. Total length of treatment is based on levels of risk and need (range from 4 months to 1.5 years).

Delivery Settings

This program is typically conducted in a(n):

  • Adoptive Home
  • Birth Family Home
  • Community-based Agency / Organization / Provider
  • School Setting (Including: Day Care, Day Treatment Programs, etc.)

Homework

SNAP Boys includes a homework component:

SNAP Social-emotional, Educational and School Advocacy (SEESA; SNAP Homework Club) builds on culturally responsive pedagogy and anti-racism education to promote students’ pro-social, meta-cognitive and personal development.

SEESA runs weekly for 15 weeks for children functioning below grade level who have graduated from the SNAP Boys Groups. Each week, trained staff and volunteers engage students in academic enrichment, relationship building and/or socio-emotional learning activities.

Languages

SNAP Boys has materials available in languages other than English:

Dutch, French, Norwegian

For information on which materials are available in these languages, please check on the program's website or contact the program representative (contact information is listed at the bottom of this page).

Resources Needed to Run Program

The typical resources for implementing the program are:

Personnel:

  • Minimum of three to six SNAP Boys Family and Child Workers and a dedicated Clinical Manager.
  • Two facilitators are required for the children’s groups.
  • One or two facilitators are required for the parenting groups, depending on the experience and skills of the group facilitators.
  • Staff to provide child care for siblings is also recommended.

Sites:

  • Sites will require at least two group spaces and a space for recreation activities.
  • The group spaces require video recording capacity and computer access by staff for all sessions.
  • Group and other session manuals, assessment tools, and SNAP signage and posters are needed.
  • Additional resources such as a prize box, transportation tokens, and refreshment items are also required.

Manuals and Training

Prerequisite/Minimum Provider Qualifications

SNAP Boys Family Workers (i.e., facilitators) typically have a Bachelor's or a Master's degree in Social Work, experience working with families using a systems and cognitive-behavioral approach.

SNAP Boys Child Workers (i.e., facilitators) typically have a Bachelor of Arts/Social Work or Child and Youth Worker/Care diploma with a specialization in working with children with disruptive behavior problems.

Service providers must have an understanding of family functioning, behavior management techniques, working with an evidence-based manualized multi-component model and the ability to work in a multidisciplinary team.

SNAP Boys Team Supervisors must have a Master’s Degree in Social Work, Psychology, or a related discipline, and a minimum of five years of clinical experience working with children and adolescents; families and groups; and familiarity with associated systems (e.g., schools, community agencies).

Manual Information

There is a manual that describes how to deliver this program.

Program Manual(s)

  • Child Development Institute. (2021). SNAP® Boys children’s group manual. (4th ed.). Author.
  • Child Development Institute. (2021). SNAP® Boys parent group manual. (4th ed.). Author.
  • Levene, K. (2010). SNAPP (Stop-Now-And-Plan Parenting): Parenting children with behaviour problems. Child Development Institute.

The manuals are provided to the new SNAP Boys Licensed Affiliate site upon completion of SNAP Boys Core Staff Training.

Training Information

There is training available for this program.

Training Contact:
  • Nicola Slater, Senior Manager, SNAP® Business Development & Affiliate Relations

    phone: (416) 603-1827 x3148
Training Type/Location:

Training begins with at least 2–3 staff members from the agency’s leadership attending a 3-day SNAP Boys Lead Staff Training in Toronto at the home of SNAP. The next step is to provide core SNAP Boys training over approximately 5–9 days to frontline staff responsible for delivering the SNAP Boys program along with the manager or supervisor responsible for this team. This training can be delivered in the community in its entirety, or it can be split up where 5 days are delivered in community and the other days are delivered via technology, depending on the preference and needs of the site. Additional training is available for other continued-care SNAP Boys components (e.g., SNAP Boys Youth Leadership). The timing of these trainings depends on the capacity of the organization and will be discussed between SNAP Boys and the SNAP Boys Affiliate.

Number of days/hours:

Lead Staff Training lasts 3 days. Core SNAP Boys training to frontline staff is 5–9 days. A typical training day is 7–8 hours.

Implementation Information

Pre-Implementation Materials

There are pre-implementation materials to measure organizational or provider readiness for SNAP Boys as listed below:

The Child Development Institute’s (CDI’s) SNAP Headquarters Pre-Implementation Team, in collaboration with any SNAP Boys Affiliate sites, conducts and reviews the organization’s ability to engage in implementing SNAP Boys through several assessments, including FIT and Feasibility. These assessments are designed to help identify organizations that are potential candidates to implement a SNAP Boys program. Once it is determined they are a FIT (e.g., serve similar populations, have a need for such services, commitment from leadership and community support), they move to becoming an active lead and then a prospective site. At this point, they then begin their Feasibility assessment pre-implementation consultation where they investigate the following:

  • Space
  • Experience in evidence-based implementation
  • Staffing and funding
  • Capacity to do fidelity monitoring
  • Agency leadership support

Once this process has been completed, the organization moves into licensing, it is now referred to as a SNAP Boys Affiliate site. Once this pre-implementation stage is completed, the Affiliate moves to the next CDI SNAP HQ stage – Implementation where they are assigned a Trainer-Consultant. Assessments continue at this stage with a Readiness Implementation Checklist review that is conducted up to the point of service delivery. Throughout both the pre-implementation and implementation processes, a Stages of Implementation Completion checklist that was adapted for SNAP Boys in 2017 is also completed. All of these assessments/checklists are housed and scored within the SNAP Implementation Tool (SNAPiT) data system designed specifically for the SNAP model. SNAP Boys Fit and Feasibility Assessments are available upon request. For details, please contact Nicola Slater, Senior Manager, SNAP Business Development & Affiliate Relations; email: nslater@childdevelop.ca

Formal Support for Implementation

There is formal support available for implementation of SNAP Boys as listed below:

Consultation support from SNAP Boys Trainer/Consultants is a requirement of the annual SNAP Boys licensing process. Formal support is provided through email, phone, online video conferencing such as ZOOM/Web-Ex, as well as on-site visits. The method of support largely depends on geography and available resources. Formal support is available for as long as the site is actively delivering SNAP Boys services. Part of the licensing agreement includes a detailed outline of ongoing support that covers the first four years of program implementation. The four years break down: approximately 60 hours in year 1; 52 hours in year 2; 40 hours in year 3; and 14 hours in year 4. Beyond the 4th year, sites usually have grasped the implementation process and are only required to provide 1–2 group sessions for review to ensure continued adherence and fidelity to the model. In addition, further support is still offered, if required. Formal supports include fidelity monitoring, leadership and skill coaching, program effectiveness, cultural adaptations if needed, evaluation and building competence, confidence and capacity, and case-by-case clinical advice, as required.

Fidelity Measures

There are fidelity measures for SNAP Boys as listed below:

The SNAP Boys Integrity and Fidelity Rating System (SIFRS) for Adherence and Competency is used by all SNAP Boys affiliates. All of the Core Group components of the program have an associated adherence checklist that is rated both by SNAP Boys Trainer/Consultants, as well as the Affiliate site’s SNAP Boys Program Manager. Additionally, SNAP Boys facilitators use SNAP Boys’ competency goal rating form that is completed in conjunction with their SNAP Program Manager to monitor and remedy or improve various competency skills used when delivering SNAP Boys services. As well, sites are required to conduct pre-brief sessions, initially in conjunction with the SNAP Boys trainer/consultants, for all group components of the program.

For a copy of these forms, please contact Margaret Walsh, Senior Manager, SNAP Boys Research, Evaluation and Data Systems; email:mwalsh@childdevelop.ca

Implementation Guides or Manuals

There are implementation guides or manuals for SNAP Boys as listed below:

SNAP Boys offers several different types of materials that support implementation, in addition to conversations with the implementation team, including:

  • Instructions on how to become a SNAP Boys Affiliate site
  • Requirements to meet SNAP Boys licensing criteria (e.g., checklist)
  • SNAP Boys Training materials (e.g., lead staff and core training)
  • SNAP Boys Policies and Procedures Manual
  • SNAP Integrity and Fidelity Rating System (SIFRS) – Adherence Scoring Guide
  • SNAP Integrity and Fidelity Rating System (SIFRS) – Competency Scoring Guide

Implementation Cost

There have been studies of the costs of implementing SNAP Boys which are listed below:

Farrington, D. P., & Koegl, C. J. (2015). Monetary benefits and costs of the Stop Now And Plan Program for boys aged 6–11, based on the prevention of later offending. Journal of Quantitative Criminology, 31(2), 263–287. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10940-014-9240-7

Washington State Institute for Public Policy. (2018). Stop Now And Plan (SNAP): Children's mental health: Disruptive behavior. www.wsipp.wa.gov/BenefitCost/ProgramPdf/615/Stop-Now-and-Plan-SNAP

Research on How to Implement the Program

Research has not been conducted on how to implement SNAP Boys.

Relevant Published, Peer-Reviewed Research

Child Welfare Outcome: Child/Family Well-Being

Lipman, E. L., Kenny, M., Sniderman, C., O’Grady, S., Augimeri, L., Khayutin, S., & Boyle, M. H. (2008). Evaluation of a community-based program for young boys at risk of antisocial behaviour: Results and issues. Journal of the Canadian Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 17(1), 12–19. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18392161/

Type of Study: Pretest-posttest study with a nonequivalent control
Number of Participants: 339

Population:

  • Age — Parents: Mean=36.3–36.7 years; Children: 6–11 years
  • Race/Ethnicity — Not specified
  • Gender — Parents: Not specified; Children: 100% Males
  • Status — Participants were recruited through community advertisements (newspaper, radio, and local cable television) and suggestions made to families by police, child welfare, school personnel, and children’s mental health services.

Location/Institution: Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

Summary: (To include basic study design, measures, results, and notable limitations)
The purpose of the study was to test the effectiveness of the SNAP Under 12 Outreach Project (ORP) [referred to on the CEBC as SNAP Boys] for boys 6–11 years old at risk of antisocial behavior. Measures utilized include the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) and the Teacher Report Form (TRF). Results indicate that preintervention–postintervention outcome comparisons indicated improvements among all boys, with significant differences favoring intervention boys on CBCL behavior scales, but not TRF outcomes. Effect sizes were small to medium. Persisting high postbehavior levels, unmeasured variation in additional services, and other design and sampling issues are noted. Limitations include nonrandomization of participants, a large number of participants who provided baseline data were not part of the preintervention–postintervention data set, and results only measure behaviors short-term.

Length of postintervention follow-up: 6 months.

Burke, J., & Loeber, R. (2015). The effectiveness of the Stop Now and Plan (SNAP) Program for boys at risk for violence and delinquency. Prevention Science, 16(2), 242–253. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11121-014-0490-2

Type of Study: Randomized controlled trial
Number of Participants: 252

Population:

  • Age — 6–11 years (Mean=8.5 years)
  • Race/Ethnicity — 76% African American, 13% White, and 10% Other
  • Gender — 100% Male
  • Status — Participants were youth with aggressive, rule-breaking, or antisocial behavior.

Location/Institution: Not specified

Summary: (To include basic study design, measures, results, and notable limitations)
The purpose of the study was to examine the effectiveness of the Stop Now And Plan (SNAP) program [referred to on the CEBC as SNAP Boys]. Participants were randomized to either SNAP (n=130) or to treatment as usual (n=122). Measures utilized include the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL), the Child Symptom Inventory-4: Parent Checklist (CSI-4), the Earlscourt Family Information Form, the Parenting Practices Inventory (PPI), and the Child and Adolescent Services Assessment (CASA). Results indicate that youth in the SNAP condition showed significantly greater reduction in aggression, conduct problems, and overall externalizing behavior, as well as counts of oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms. Additional benefits for SNAP were observed on measures of depression and anxiety. Further analyses indicate that the SNAP program was more effective among those with a higher severity of initial behavioral problems. At 1-year follow-up, treatment benefits for SNAP were maintained on some outcome measures (aggression, ADHD, ODD, depression, and anxiety) but not others. Although overall juvenile justice system contact was not significantly different, youth in SNAP had significantly fewer charges against them relative to those receiving treatment as usual. The SNAP program, when contrasted with treatment as usual alone, was associated with greater, clinically meaningful, reductions in targeted behaviors. Limitations include generalizability due to gender of participants; no clear follow-up period of no treatment/intervention for the SNAP group; the real world and common challenges to families seeking services and to providers of those services; and reliance on self-reported measures.

Length of postintervention follow-up: Unclear.

Burke, J., & Loeber, R. (2015). Mechanisms of behavioral and affective treatment outcomes in a cognitive behavioral intervention for boys. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 44(1),179–189. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10802-015-9975-0

Type of Study: Randomized controlled trial
Number of Participants: 252

Population:

  • Age — 6–11 years (Mean=8.5 years)
  • Race/Ethnicity — 76% African American, 13% White, and 10% Other
  • Gender — 100% Male
  • Status — Participants were youth with aggressive, rule-breaking, or antisocial behavior.

Location/Institution: Not specified

Summary: (To include basic study design, measures, results, and notable limitations)
This study used the same sample as Burke & Loeber (2015). The purpose of the study was to examine the effectiveness of Stop Now And Plan (SNAP) program [referred to on the CEBC as SNAP Boys]. Participants were randomized to either SNAP (n=130) or to treatment as usual (n=122). Measures utilized include the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL), the Outcome Expectations Questionnaire (OEQ), the Social Competence Scale-Parent Version, the Parenting Practices Inventory (PPI), and the Parenting Stress Index-Short Form (PSI-SF). Results indicate that SNAP was associated with improved problem solving skills, prosocial behavior, and emotion regulation skills, in addition to reduced parental stress. Prosocial behavior, emotion regulation skills, and reduced parental stress partially mediated improvements in child aggression. Improved emotion regulation skills partially mediated treatment-related child anxious depressed outcomes. Improvements in parenting behaviors did not differ between treatment conditions. Limitations include generalizability due to gender of participants, no clear follow up period of no treatment/intervention for the SNAP group, and reliance on self-reported measures.

Length of postintervention follow-up: Unclear.

Byrd, A. I., Hawes, S. W., Burke, J. D., Loeber, R., & Pardini, D. A. (2018). Boys with conduct problems and callous-unemotional traits: Neural responses to reward and punishment and associations with treatment response. Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience, 30, 51–59. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.dcn.2017.12.004

Type of Study: Randomized controlled trial
Number of Participants: 64

Population:

  • Age — 6–11 years (Mean=8.5 years)
  • Race/Ethnicity — 76% African American, 13% White, and 10% Other
  • Gender — 100% Male
  • Status — Participants were youth with aggressive, rule-breaking, or antisocial behavior.

Location/Institution: Not specified

Summary: (To include basic study design, measures, results, and notable limitations)
This study utilized a sample from Burke et al. (2015). The purpose of the study was to examine the effectiveness of Stop Now And Plan (SNAP) program [referred to on the CEBC as SNAP Boys]. Participants were randomized to either the callous-unemotional (CU=37) or a matched healthy control (HC=27) group. Measures utilized include the Addiction Severity Index (ASI), the Circumstances, Motivation, the Readiness and Suitability Scales (CMRS), and the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM–IV. Results indicate that associations between conduct problems (CP) and reduced amygdala activation to punishment were independent of age, race, IQ, and co-occurring attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and internalizing symptoms. Callous-unemotional traits were not associated with reward or punishment processing after accounting for covariates and no differences were found between conduct problem boys with high versus low callous-unemotional traits. While boys assigned to SNAP showed a greater reduction in conduct problems, differences in neural activation were not associated with treatment response. Limitations include current study utilized a clinical sample of primarily African-American boys with severe conduct problems in late-childhood, limiting the degree to which these results can be generalized to community samples, girls, and/or adolescents; small sample size; and length of follow-up.

Length of postintervention follow-up: 3 months.

Additional References

Augimeri, L. K., Rajca, E., Verpoort, M., Blackman, A., & Walsh, M. (2019). Using a trauma informed lens to understand and implement evidence-based practices with children experiencing disruptive behavior in school and beyond. In C. Bennell & J. Pozzulo (Eds.), Working with trauma-exposed children and adolescents: evidence-based and age-appropriate practices (pp. 183–215). Routledge/Taylor and Francis. https://bit.ly/3csdxNk

Augimeri, L. K., Walsh, M., Kivlenieks, M., & Pepler, D. (2017). Addressing children’s disruptive behavior problems: A thirty-year journey with Stop Now And Plan (SNAP). In P. Sturmey (Ed.), The Wiley handbook of violence and aggression (Vol. 1). John Wiley & Sons. https://doi.org/10.1002/9781119057574.whbva028

Augimeri, L. K., Walsh, M., Levene, K., & Slater, N. (2015). Scaling deeper: SNAP model and implementation frameworks. In R. Corrado, A. Leschied, P. Lussier, & J. Watley (Eds.), Serious and violent young offenders and youth criminal justice: A Canadian perspective. Simon Fraser University Press. https://www.sfu.ca/publications/books/serious-and-violent-young-offenders-and-youth-criminal-justice--.html

Contact Information

Leena K. Augimeri
Title: PhD
Agency/Affiliation: Child Development Institute
Website: www.stopnowandplan.com
Email:
Phone: (416) 603-1827 x3112
Nicola Slater
Title: NNEB
Agency/Affiliation: Child Development Institute
Website: www.stopnowandplan.com
Email:
Phone: (416) 603-1827 x3148

Date Research Evidence Last Reviewed by CEBC: December 2019

Date Program Content Last Reviewed by Program Staff: March 2021

Date Program Originally Loaded onto CEBC: March 2021