The implementation of the Fast Track program: an example of a large-scale prevention science efficacy trial.
In 1990, the Fast Track Project was initiated to evaluate the feasibility and effectiveness of a comprehensive, multicomponent prevention program targeting children at risk for conduct disorders in four demographically diverse American communities (Conduct Problems Prevention Research Group [CPPRG], 1992). Representing a prevention science approach toward community-based preventive intervention, the Fast Track intervention design was based upon the available data base elucidating the epidemiology of risk for conduct disorder and suggesting key causal developmental influences (R. P. Weissberg & M. T. Greenberg, 1998). Critical questions about this approach to prevention center around the extent to which such a science-based program can be effective at (1) engaging community members and stakeholders, (2) maintaining intervention fidelity while responding appropriately to the local norms and needs of communities that vary widely in their demographic and cultural/ethnic composition, and (3) maintaining community engagement in the long-term to support effective and sustainable intervention dissemination. This paper discusses these issues, providing examples from the Fast Track project to illustrate the process of program implementation and the evidence available regarding the success of this science-based program at engaging communities in sustainable and effective ways as partners in prevention programming.
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