Prevention Science

, Volume 3, Issue 2, pp 83-94

Early Elementary School Intervention to Reduce Conduct Problems: A Randomized Trial with Hispanic and Non-Hispanic Children

  • Manuel BarreraJr.Affiliated withOregon Research Institute
  • , Anthony BiglanAffiliated withOregon Research Institute
  • , Ted K. TaylorAffiliated withOregon Research Institute
  • , Barbara K. GunnAffiliated withOregon Research Institute
  • , Keith SmolkowskiAffiliated withOregon Research Institute
  • , Carol BlackAffiliated withOregon Research Institute
  • , Dennis V. AryAffiliated withOregon Research Institute
  • , Rollen C. FowlerAffiliated withOregon Research Institute

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Children's aggressive behavior and reading difficulties during early elementary school years are risk factors for adolescent problem behaviors such as delinquency, academic failure, and substance use. This study determined if a comprehensive intervention that was designed to address both of these risk factors could affect teacher, parent, and observer measures of internalizing and externalizing problems. European American (n = 116) and Hispanic (n = 168) children from 3 communities who were selected for aggressiveness or reading difficulties were randomly assigned to an intervention or no-intervention control condition. Intervention families received parent training, and their children received social behavior interventions and supplementary reading instruction over a 2-year period. At the end of intervention, playground observations showed that treated children displayed less negative social behavior than controls. At the end of a 1-year follow-up, treated children showed less teacher-rated internalizing and less parent-rated coercive and antisocial behavior than controls. The study's limitations and implications for prevention are discussed.

children conduct problems Hispanics intervention randomized trial