Advertisement

Journal of Experimental Criminology

, Volume 9, Issue 1, pp 119–126 | Cite as

Assessing findings from the fast track study

  • Conduct Problems Prevention Research Group
Article

Abstract

Objectives

The aim of this paper is to respond to the Commentary, “Reassessing Findings from the Fast Track Study: Problems of Methods and Analysis” provided by E. Michael Foster (Foster, this issue) to our article “Fast Track Intervention Effects on Youth Arrests and Delinquency” (Conduct Problems Prevention Research Group 2010, Journal of Experimental Criminology, 6, 131–157). Our response begins with a description of the mission and goals of the Fast Track project, and how they guided the original design of the study and continue to inform outcome analyses. Then, we respond to the Commentary’s five points in the order they were raised.

Conclusions

We agree with the Commentary that efforts to prevent crime and delinquency are of high public health significance because the costs of crime and delinquency to society are indeed enormous. We believe that rigorous, careful intervention research is needed to accumulate evidence that informs prevention programs and activities. We have appreciated the opportunity to respond to the Commentary and to clarify the procedures and results that we presented in our paper on Fast Track effects on youth arrests and delinquency. Our response has clarified the framework for the number of statistical tests made, has reiterated the randomization process, has supported our tests for site-by-intervention effects, has provided our rationale for assuming missing at random, and has clarified that the incarceration variable was not included as a covariate in the hazard analyses. We stand by our conclusion that random assignment to Fast Track had a positive impact in preventing juvenile arrests, and we echo our additional caveat that it will be essential to determine whether intervention produces any longer-term effects on adult arrests as the sample transitions into young adulthood. We also appreciate the opportunity for open scientific debate on the values and risks associated with multiple analyses in long-term prevention program designs such as Fast Track. We believe that, once collected, completed longitudinal intervention datasets should be fully used to understand the impact, process, strengths, and weaknesses of the intervention approach. We agree with the Commentary that efforts to prevent crime and delinquency are of high public health significance because the costs of crime and delinquency to society are indeed enormous. As a result, we argue that it is important to balance the need to maintain awareness and caution regarding potential risks in the design or approach that may confound interpretation of findings, in the manner raised by the Commentator, with the need for extended analyses of the available data so we can better understand over time how antisocial behavior and violence can be effectively reduced.

Keywords

Prevention Conduct problems Criminal offenses 

References

  1. Brown, C. H., Wang, W., Kellam, S. G., Muthen, B. O., Petras, H., et al. (2008). Methods for testing theory and evaluating impact in randomized field trials: intent-to-treat analyses for integrating perspective of person, place, and time. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 95S, S74–S104.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Coie, J. D., Watt, N. F., West, S. G., Hawkins, J. D., Asarnow, J. R., Markman, H. J., Ramey, S. L., Shure, M. B., & Long, B. (1993). The science of prevention:a conceptual framework and some directions for a national research program. American Psychologist, 48, 1013–1022.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Conduct Problems Prevention Research Group. (1992). A developmental and clinical model for the prevention of conduct disorders: the FAST Track Program. Development and Psychopathology, 4, 509–527.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Conduct Problems Prevention Research Group. (2002). Using the Fast Track randomized prevention trial to test the early-starter model of the development of serious conduct problems. Development and Psychopathology, 14, 927–945.Google Scholar
  5. Conduct Problems Prevention Research Group. (2004). The Fast Track experiment: translating the developmental model into a prevention design. In J. B. Kupersmidt & K. A. Dodge (Eds.), Children’s Peer relations: from development to intervention (pp. 181–208). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Conduct Problems Prevention Research Group. (2010) Fast Track intervention effects on youth arrests and delinquency. Journal of Experimental Criminology, 6, 131–157.Google Scholar
  7. Dodge, K. A., Greenberg, M. T., Malone, P. S., & the Conduct Problems Prevention Research Group. (2008). Testing an idealized dynamic cascade model of the development of serious violence in adolescence. Child Development, 79, 1907–1927.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Sroufe, L. A., & Rutter, M. (1984). The domain of developmental psychopathology. Child Development, 55, 17–29.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Conduct Problems Prevention Research Group
    • 1
  1. 1.

Personalised recommendations