Purpose Extreme youth violence is a salient public health crisis in Chicago, particularly among African-American males. This article examines mechanisms through which a preschool intervention program, the Child-Parent Center program, in inner-city Chicago may divert high-risk males from pathways leading to violent criminal behavior. Methods We conducted a path analysis from early environmental factors to socioemotional competencies through parent involvement and achievement to violent arrest in emerging adulthood. African-American male participants (N = 677) were followed from age 3 to age 27. Results Child-Parent Center program attendance initiates a pathway to increased third grade academic achievement and parent involvement, which positively impacts socioemotional competencies and acting out behaviors in adolescence. High parent involvement and low acting out behaviors had direct effects on violent crime in emerging adulthood. Conclusions High parent involvement in school, fostered by early childhood intervention, promotes adaptive behaviors in adolescence and reduces arrest for violent crime in emerging adulthood.
- Early intervention
- Parent involvement
- Pathways to violence prevention