Evaluation of the first 3 years of the Fast Track prevention trial with children at high risk for adolescent conduct problems.
Fast Track is a conduct-problem prevention trial that derives its intervention from longitudinal research on how serious and chronic adolescent problem behaviors develop. Over 9,000 kindergarten children at 4 sites in 3 cohorts were screened, and 891 were identified as high risk and then randomly assigned to intervention or control groups. Beginning in Grade 1, high-risk children and their parents were asked to participate in a combination of social skills and anger-control training, academic tutoring, parent training, and home visiting. A multiyear universal classroom program was delivered to the core schools attended by these high-risk children. By the end of third grade, 37% of the intervention group was determined to be free of serious conduct-problem dysfunction, in contrast with 27% of the control group. Teacher ratings of conduct problems and official records of use of special education resources gave modest effect-size evidence that the intervention was preventing conduct problem behavior at school. Parent ratings provided additional support for prevention of conduct problems at home. Parenting behavior and children's social cognitive skills that had previously emerged as proximal outcomes at the end of the 1st year of intervention continued to show positive effects of the intervention at the end of third grade.
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