, Volume 21, Issue 1, pp 75-99

Effects of the Child Development Project on Students' Drug Use and Other Problem Behaviors

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Abstract

The Child Development Project is a comprehensive school reform program that helps elementary schools to become caring communities of learners—environments characterized by supportive interpersonal relationships, shared goals, responsiveness to students' developmental and sociocultural needs, and an emphasis on prosocial values of personal responsibility, concern for others, and fairness, as well as a commitment to learning. The program includes classroom, schoolwide, and family involvement activities that, working synergistically, are expected to foster students' positive development and resilience to risk when confronted with stressful life events and circumstances. Following baseline assessments, the program was introduced in schools from six school districts across the U.S. over a period of three years. Similar schools in these same districts served as a comparison group. Evaluation findings indicated that when the program was implemented widely throughout a school, there were significant reductions in students' use of drugs and involvement in other problem behaviors.