Journal of Primary Prevention

, Volume 21, Issue 1, pp 75-99

First online:

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

  • Victor BattistichAffiliated withDevelopmental Studies Center
  • , Eric SchapsAffiliated withDevelopmental Studies Center
  • , Marilyn WatsonAffiliated withDevelopmental Studies Center
  • , Daniel SolomonAffiliated withDevelopmental Studies Center
  • , Catherine LewisAffiliated withDevelopmental Studies Center

Rent the article at a discount

Rent now

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access


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.

substance abuse juvenile delinquency prevention school context social support