A 10-year randomized controlled trial of the Early Risers conduct problems preventive intervention: Effects on externalizing and internalizing in late high school

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Abstract

Objective: The purpose of this study was to examine the long-term effects of the Early Risers “Skills for Successâ Conduct Problems Prevention Program (ER; August, Bloomquist, Realmuto, & Hektner, 2007), a multifaceted program targeting social, emotional, behavioral, and academic risk and protective factors to promote adaptive psychological development. Method: Based on the random assignment of their school, 245 kindergartners (mean age = 6.6 years, SD = 0.57; 68.6% male) with elevated teacher-rated aggressive behavior either participated in ER for 3 intensive years plus 2 booster years or served as controls. Participants were assessed annually during the intervention with teacher and parent reports and at 2 follow-up points. In the current study, 129 of the original participants were reassessed with diagnostic interviews in late high school (mean age = 16.3, SD = 0.52), and multiple imputation was used to deal appropriately with missing data. Results: Program participants had significantly fewer symptoms of conduct disorder, oppositional defiant disorder, and major depressive disorder than did controls. The programâs effect on increasing social skills and parent discipline effectiveness by Grade 3 mediated these effects. Conclusions: The results of this study provide further evidence of the long-term positive effects of multicomponent, elementary-age, targeted conduct problems prevention programs. Training children in social skills and parents in effective discipline are possible mechanisms to divert maladaptive developmental cascades. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)355-360
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of consulting and clinical psychology
Volume82
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2014

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Keywords

  • Conduct problems prevention
  • Externalizing
  • Internalizing
  • Parent discipline
  • Social skills

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