children, disruptive behavior, elementary-age, multi-tiered interventions, school, school social work, Secondary/Tier 2 interventions, self-control, Zones of Regulation®


School social workers provide social, emotional, and behavioral interventions for elementary-age students within multi-tiered systems of support (MTSS) when disruptive behavior and deficits in self-control are observed. Secondary/Tier 2 cognitive- and behaviorally-oriented interventions that target self-control have been shown to impact positive outcomes in academic, social, emotional, and behavioral realms for elementary-age students. This study sought to evaluate the Zones of Regulation® intervention for elementary-age students identified with disruptive behavior via a small randomized controlled trial (N = 63). Students were identified for disruptive behavior concerns through a universal behavior screening process and were randomly assigned to the intervention group or the control group. School social workers utilized twelve selected lessons from the cognitive-behaviorally oriented Zones of Regulation® curriculum sequence for a six-week Secondary/Tier 2 group intervention. Implementation of the Zones of Regulation® curriculum did not result in statistically significant decreases in students’ disruptive behavior or improve their self-control. More tailored efforts to explore the social validity and effectiveness of the Zones® within MTSS school structures is warranted given the widespread use of the curriculum by school social workers and other specialized instructional support personnel.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.