Teaching Adolescents to Think and Act Responsibly

Teaching Adolescents to Think and Act Responsibly
The EQUIP Approach
Middle School
High School
Item Number:
Teaching Adolescents to Think and Act Responsibly: The EQUIP Approach


Holding students accountable for their actions and inspiring them with greater expectations is to respect them, to believe in them as people with positive potential.

The EQUIP approach helps facilitate mature and accurate cognitive habits and behavioral skills in at-risk or potentially at-risk adolescents in the school setting. The curriculum addresses the "three D’s," common in these adolescents—developmental delays in moral judgment, self-serving cognitive distortions, and social skills deficiencies.

Using evidence-based cognitive-behavioral and psychoeducational principles, the curriculum “equips” students with the knowledge and skills to interact positively with others and make good decisions every day and throughout life.

EQUIP consists of 30 sessions—ten each of anger management, social skills, and social decision making. Each session includes facilitator notes, objectives, and activities such as role-plays, worksheets, and analysis of realistic problem scenarios.

Sessions focus on the following specific goals:

  • Fostering a positive social culture by challenging the mentality that promotes physical aggression and other antisocial behaviors
  • Providing an array of opportunities for students to take the perspectives of others
  • Helping students identify and correct their cognitive distortions, or "thinking errors"

All worksheets and handouts, as well as facilitator review and self-evaluation forms, are provided in reproducible format on the CD that accompanies this book.

Table of Contents

Figures and Tables

CHAPTER 1—Welcome to Teaching Adolescents to Think and Act Responsibly: The EQUIP Approach

CHAPTER 2—Getting Started

CHAPTER 3—Equipping with Skills to Manage Anger and Correct Thinking Errors

Week 1: Evaluating and Relabeling Anger/Aggression
Week 2: Key Role of Mind in Anger, Monitoring Mind and Body, Reducing Anger
Week 3: Monitoring and Correcting Thinking Errors
Week 4: Relaxation Techniques for Reducing Anger
Week 5: Powerful Self-Talk Techniques for Reducing Anger: Thinking Ahead to Consequences and Think of the Other Person (TOP)
Week 6: Achieving Constructive Consequences
Week 7: Self-Evaluation
Week 8: Reversing
Week 9: Victims and Victimizers
Week 10 Grand Review

CHAPTER 4—Equipping with Social Skills

Week 1: Expressing a Complaint Constructively
Week 2: Caring for Someone Who Is Sad or Upset
Week 3: Dealing Constructively with Negative Peer Pressure
Week 4: Keeping Out of Fights
Week 5: Helping Others
Week 6: Preparing for a Stressful Conversation
Week 7: Dealing Constructively with Someone Angry at You
Week 8: Expressing Care and Appreciation
Week 9: Dealing Constructively with Someone Accusing You of Something
Week 10: Responding Constructively to Failure

CHAPTER 5—Equipping with Mature Moral Judgment (Social Decision Making)

Week 1: Scott’s Problem Situation
Week 2: Jerry’s Problem Situation; Mateo’s Problem Situation
Week 3: Jeff’s Problem Situation
Week 4: Angelo’s Problem Situation; Sabrina’s Problem Situation
Week 5: Greg’s Problem Situation; Lamar’s Problem Situation
Week 6: Duane’s Problem Situation
Week 7: Joe’s Problem Situation
Week 8: Katie’s Problem Situation
Week 9: James’s Problem Situation
Week 10: Stephanie’s Problem Situation

CHAPTER 6—Final Session and Conclusion


Social Reflection Questionnaire
Supplemental Moral Judgment Problem Situations
Carmen’s Problem Situation
Enzio’s Problem Situation
Emilio’s Problem Situation
Carly’s Problem Situation
Big Bear’s Problem Situation

About the Authors