Preventive effects of treatment of disruptive behavior disorder in middle childhood on substance use and delinquent behavior.
OBJECTIVE: Disruptive behavior disorder (DBD) is a well-known risk factor for substance abuse and delinquent behavior in adolescence. Therefore, the long-term preventive effects of treatment of DBD in middle childhood on beginning substance use and delinquency in early adolescence were investigated. METHOD: Children with DBD (8-13 years old) had been randomly assigned to manualized behavior therapy (Utrecht Coping Power Program; UCPP) or to care as usual (CU) in the Netherlands. Five years (2003-2005) after the start of treatment (1996-1999), substance use and delinquency were monitored in 61 of the initial 77 adolescents and compared with a matched healthy control group by means of self-report questionnaires. One-factor analyses of variance and Pearson's chi2 analyses were performed. RESULTS: Differences in substance use were revealed in favor of the UCPP, with more adolescents in the CU group smoking cigarettes in the last month (UCPP 17%, CU 42%; chi2 = 4.7; p < .03) and more adolescents in the CU group having ever used marijuana (UCPP 13%, CU 35%; chi2 = 4.0; p < .045). Moreover, in this respect, the UCPP fit in the range of the matched healthy control group. Both treatment groups were comparable to the matched healthy control group in delinquent behavior. CONCLUSIONS: Manualized behavior therapy for DBD in middle childhood seems to be more powerful than CU in reducing substance use in early adolescence. Both treatment conditions show a beneficial long-term preventive effect on delinquency.
Zonnevylle-Bender, MJS; Matthys, W; van de Wiel, NMH; Lochman, JE
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