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Aggression Replacement Training (ART) is manual-based program focused on young adolescents, helping them to cope with their aggressive emotions. It is a complex, multichannel, program that uses three coordinated components to reach the youth; Social skills, Anger management and moral reasoning. ART was developed in the US during the 1980s and is now used in schools and correctional systems in North America as well as Europe.[1]

General InformationEdit

ART was designed by Arnold P. Goldstein, Barry Glick and John C. Gibbs in the 1980s.[2] They took concepts from a number of other theories for working with youth and incorporated them into one comprehensive system. The main methods for the youth to learn from the various components is though repetition. The model also focuses on Jean Piaget concept of peer learning. It has been shown that youth learn best from other youth.

ART is an evidence based program utilized in many areas. In Washington State ART was added as one of the four different evidence based programs implemented due to the 1997 Community Justice Accountability Act. [3]

ART is done in many different formats. Generally it is a 10 week program, meeting three times a week for one hour each. To have the best results it is facilitated and co-facilitated by trained leaders. Room set up, introduction of materials, the number of participants, and the participants history are all issues that work towards having a profitable group.

Social SkillsEdit

Social skills training is the behavioral component of ART. Many youths who are involved with criminal behavior and/or have difficulties with controlling their anger lack social skills. Many of the concepts of the social skills component are taken from Albert Bandura's work. There are many different social skills that these youth are thought to lack, such as the following;

  • Making a complaint
  • Apologizing
  • Understanding the feelings of others
  • Dealing with someone else's anger
  • Keeping out of fights
  • Dealing with an accusation

These social skills are broken down into various steps (both thinking and action steps). The facilitator discusses the day's skill, bringing out relevant examples. Then the facilitator demonstrates a practice situation to give the youth a picture of using the skill. The youth are asked to point out each of the steps. Then each of the youth is asked to use a practice situation that they have recently had using the skill. Again the other youth go though and discuss each of the steps each time.

Anger Control TrainingEdit

Anger control training is the emotional component of ART. This moves from the teaching of social skills, to losing anti-social skills and replacing them with pro-social skills. The anger control training uses the anger control chain. This is a process taught to the youth to deal with situations that cause them to get angry. Once again, one segment of the anger control chain is taught each week and the both the facilitators and the youth practice the new skills with relevant life activities. The anger control chain is as follows;

  • Triggers (internal & external) -- The situation that starts the slide into anger and the self talk that perpetuates it
  • Cues -- physical signs of becoming angry
  • Anger reducers -- activities that are done to reduce or take our mind off of the situation
  • Reminders -- short positive statements
  • Thinking ahead -- If then thinking
  • Social Skill -- Implementing a pro-social skill into the situation
  • Evaluation -- Looking back over the use of the anger control chain and evaluating how was implemented

Moral Reasoning TrainingEdit

Moral reasoning training is the values component of ART. This component takes various scenarios and asks whether various activities would be right or wrong to do in those situations. Thinking errors are also taught during this day of training. The thinking errors that are taught are:

  • Self-centered thinking -- "it's all about me"
  • Assuming the worst -- "it would happen anyway" or "they would do it to me"
  • Blaming others -- "it's their fault"
  • Mislabeling / minimizing -- "it's not stealing, I'm only borrowing it..." or "everybody else does it"

The class is taught by tallying up the group's answers before the session on a sheet. The facilitator goes through each of the group members from the most pro-social answer to the least. After the various group members have had to answer, the pro-social answering members are asked to discuss with the anti-social answering group members their point of view. The hope is that they can better show these members a different point of view. The values behind the answers are also pointed out by the facilitator.

See alsoEdit


  1. Berj Harrootunian, Arnold P. Goldstein, Jane Close Conoley (1994), Student Aggression: Prevention, Management and Replacement Training, Guilford Press, ISBN 0898622468 
  2. Arnold P. Goldstein, Barry Glick, John C. Gibbs (1998), ART Aggression Replacement Training Revised Edition - A comprehensive Intervention for Aggressive Youth, Research Press, ISBN 0878223797 
  3. Robert Barnoski (1999), The Community Juvenile Accountability Act: Research-Proven Interventions for the Juvenile Courts, Washington State Institute for Public Policy, Doc-ID 99-01-1204 
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