How does the Fast Track intervention prevent adverse outcomes in young adulthood?
Numerous studies have shown that childhood interventions can foster improved outcomes in adulthood. Less well understood is precisely how – that is, through which developmental pathways – these interventions work. This study assesses mechanisms by which the Fast Track project (n=891), a randomized intervention in the early 1990s for high-risk children in four communities (Durham, NC; Nashville, TN; rural PA; and Seattle, WA), reduced delinquency, arrests, and health and mental health service utilization in adolescence through young adulthood (ages 12-20). A decomposition of treatment effects indicates that about a third of Fast Track’s impact on later crime outcomes can be accounted for by improvements in social and self-regulation skills during childhood (ages 6-11), such as prosocial behavior, emotion regulation and problem solving. These skills proved less valuable for the prevention of mental and physical health problems.
Sorensen, LC; Dodge, KA; Conduct Problems Prevention Research Group,
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