The difficulty of maintaining positive intervention effects: A look at disruptive behavior, deviant peer relations, and social skills during the middle school years

Conduct Problems prevention Research Group

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This paper examines the effects of the Fast Track preventive intervention on youths' functioning in three domains: disruptive behavior problems, involvement with deviant peers, and social skills during the middle school years. Eight hundred ninety-one children had been randomly assigned by sets of schools within four sites to intervention (n = 445) or to control (n = 446) conditions. In contrast to prior findings of the effectiveness of the Fast Track intervention during the elementary school years, the current findings indicate that Fast Track had little overall impact on children's functioning in these domains during this age period. There were positive intervention effects on only 2 of 17 outcomes examined. Although the intervention had positive impact on children's hyperactive and self-reported delinquent behaviors in seventh grade, there were no intervention effects on other externalizing behavior problems or on social skills, and there was a negative intervention effect on children's involvement with deviant peers during this age period.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)593-624
Number of pages32
JournalJournal of Early Adolescence
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 2010


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies

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