Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology

, Volume 35, Issue 4, pp 605–617 | Cite as

The Early Risers Preventive Intervention: Testing for Six-year Outcomes and Mediational Processes

  • Debra H. Bernat
  • Gerald J. August
  • Joel M. Hektner
  • Michael L. Bloomquist
Original Paper

Abstract

We examined effects of the Early Risers “Skills for Success” early-age-targeted prevention program on serious conduct problems following 5 years of continuous intervention and one year of follow-up. We also examined if intervention effects on proximally-targeted variables found after 3 years mediated intervention effects on conduct problems found after 6 years. Participants included 151 at-risk children (106 males and 45 females) followed from first through sixth-grade, from 23 semi-rural schools in Minnesota. After 6 years, program children showed fewer oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) symptoms than control children. Program children did not significantly differ from controls on number of conduct disorder (CD) symptoms, DSM-IV diagnoses of ODD and CD, or drug use involvement. Results of the mediation analysis indicated that fewer ODD symptoms among program youth after 6 years were partially mediated by social skills and effective discipline. The study provides support for the early-starter model of conduct problems development that provides the framework for the Early Risers intervention. The study’s implications for prevention and limitations are discussed.

Keywords

Prevention Mediation Aggression Oppositional defiant disorder Conduct problems 

Notes

Acknowledgements

This study was supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Princeton, NJ, Grant # 038725, and the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (SAMHSA/CSAP), Grant SP96 (Predictor Variables and Development).

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Debra H. Bernat
    • 1
  • Gerald J. August
    • 2
  • Joel M. Hektner
    • 3
  • Michael L. Bloomquist
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PediatricsUniversity of MinnesotaMinneapolisUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychiatryUniversity of MinnesotaMinneapolisUSA
  3. 3.Department of Child Development and Family ScienceNorth Dakota State UniversityFargoUSA

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