Trajectories of risk for early sexual activity and early substance use in the Fast Track prevention program.
Children who exhibit early-starting conduct problems are more likely than their peers to initiate sexual activity and substance use at an early age, experience pregnancy, and contract a sexually-transmitted disease [STD], placing them at risk for HIV/AIDS. Hence, understanding the development of multi-problem profiles among youth with early-starting conduct problems may benefit the design of prevention programs. In this study, 1,199 kindergarten children (51% African American; 47% European American; 69% boys) over-sampled for high rates of aggressive-disruptive behavior problems were followed through age 18. Latent class analyses (LCA) were used to define developmental profiles associated with the timing of initiation of sexual activity, tobacco and alcohol/drug use and indicators of risky adolescent sex (e.g. pregnancy and STD). Half of the high-risk children were randomized to a multi-component preventive intervention (Fast Track). The intervention did not significantly reduce membership in the classes characterized by risky sex practices. However, additional analyses examined predictors of poor outcomes, which may inform future prevention efforts.
Conduct Problems Prevention Research Group,
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