American Journal of Community Psychology

, Volume 27, Issue 5, pp 599-641

First online:

Proximal Impact of Two First-Grade Preventive Interventions on the Early Risk Behaviors for Later Substance Abuse, Depression, and Antisocial Behavior

  • Nicholas S. IalongoAffiliated withJohns Hopkins UniversityDr. Ialongo, Department of Mental Hygiene, School of Hygiene and Public Health, Johns Hopkins University
  • , Lisa WerthamerAffiliated withJohns Hopkins University
  • , Sheppard G. KellamAffiliated withJohns Hopkins University
  • , C. Hendricks BrownAffiliated withJohns Hopkins University
  • , Songbai WangAffiliated withJohns Hopkins University
  • , Yuhua LinAffiliated withJohns Hopkins University

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We assessed the immediate effects of two universal, first-grade preventive interventions on the proximal targets of poor achievement, concentration problems, aggression, and shy behaviors, known early risk behaviors for later substance use/abuse, affective disorder, and conduct disorder. The classroom-centered (CC) intervention was designed to reduce these early risk behaviors by enhancing teachers' behavior management and instructional skills, whereas the family-school partnership (FSP) intervention was aimed at improving parent-teacher communication and parental teaching and child behavior management strategies. Over the course of first and second grades, the CC intervention yielded the greatest degree of impact on its proximal targets, whereas the FSP's impact was somewhat less. The effects were influenced by gender and by preintervention levels of risk. Analyses of implementation measures demonstrated that greater fidelity to the intervention protocols was associated with greater impact on behavior ratings and on achievement scores, thus providing some evidence of specificity in the effect of the interventions.

preventive intervention children aggression academic achievement elementary school