What is SNAP®?

SNAP stands for STOP NOW AND PLAN. It is an award-winning, evidence-based cognitive behavioural strategy developed at the Child Development Institute more than 30 years ago. SNAP helps children, parents, and other adults deal effectively with anger by teaching them to stop and think before they act – responding in a way that makes their problems smaller, not bigger. Children are able to stop, calm down and generate positive solutions at the “snap of their fingers”, through practice and help from teachers and parents. It has helped children to avoid fighting, handle peer pressure, and play fairly. It has also helped parents to handle situations calmly and not to discipline when they are angry. SNAP works because it is easy to learn and it focuses on teaching children how to improve their self-control through modeling and role-plays.

SNAP stands for STOP NOW AND PLAN. It is an award-winning, evidence-based cognitive behavioural strategy developed at the Child Development Institute more than 30 years ago. SNAP helps children, parents, and other adults deal effectively with anger by teaching them to stop and think before they act – responding in a way that makes their problems smaller, not bigger. Children are able to stop, calm down and generate positive solutions at the “snap of their fingers”, through practice and help from teachers and parents. It has helped children to avoid fighting, handle peer pressure, and play fairly. It has also helped parents to handle situations calmly and not to discipline when they are angry. SNAP works because it is easy to learn and it focuses on teaching children how to improve their self-control through modeling and role-plays.

WHY USE SNAP®?

SNAP works because the concept is easy to learn; skills are taught and practiced in a real and meaningful way, and children are able to generalize their learning to everyday life.

What makes SNAP unique is that the program focuses on teaching children how to “stop and think” before they act, helping them to gain better self-control and problem solving skills.

“Self-control is subject to ‘momentum effects’. The more it is successfully practiced in a given arena, the easier subsequent practice usually becomes, and vice versa. Like a muscle, it appears to be fatigued in the short run and strengthened in the long run by exercise.”
– J. Stryhorn 2002 J.Am. Acad. Child Adolesc. Psychiatry 41(1)

SNAP is a preventative program with the mission to teach life-long skills and minimize conduct problems. According to research, Conduct Disorder (CD) is the most common reason for referral to children’s mental health centres in North America. There is consensus in the scientific literature that the early identification and treatment of children with marked conduct problems hold the best promise for preventing youth crime and maximizing health outcomes. The Stop Now and Plan program has proved to be an exemplary evidence-based model that has received a number of awards and designations:

  • 2008 – The National Crime Prevention Council designated it as a “Model Program”
  • 2007 – The U.S. Department of Justice’s OJJDP (Model Program Guide) designated it as an “Exemplary Program”
  • 2006 – The U.S. Whitehouse program Helping America’s Youth gave it the highest effectiveness designation (Level 1)

Research on the SNAP model began in 1985 with the development of the SNAP® Under 12 Outreach Project. It is continually evolving, with internal and external research evaluations of SNAP consistently demonstrating positive treatment effects over time with notably large effect sizes.

Today, there are SNAP sites in a number of countries around the world, including Norway, Scotland, Sweden, Australia, England and the USA.

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