Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology

, Volume 22, Issue 4, pp 457–475 | Cite as

Impact of a prevention program on aggressive children's friendships and social adjustment

  • Frank Vitaro
  • Richard E. Tremblay


A group of 46 aggressive boys aged 8 to 9 years participated in a prevention program aimed at reducing their externalizing problems in the short term and at preventing delinquency in the long term. Outcome measures were collected during the 3-year period following the prevention program. At that time, the boys were 10, 11, and 12 years old. Outcome measures included teacher ratings of aggressiveness and self-reports of delinquent behaviors. The boys' friends were rated on disruptive behaviors by their classmates. The experimental boys' outcome measures were compared to the measures obtained from 58 aggressive boys in a control group. The disruptive ratings of the experimental and control subjects' best friends were also compared. Differences in teacher-rated aggressiveness between the two groups increased from one year to the next for the 3-year followup period. Similarly, the friends' disruptive scores differed increasingly between the two groups over the 3-year period. The effect of the prevention program on the subjects' friendships and the mediating impact of friends with regard to social adjustment were stressed.


Followup Period Control Subject Prevention Program School Psychology Disruptive Behavior 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Frank Vitaro
    • 1
  • Richard E. Tremblay
    • 1
  1. 1.Research Unit on Children's Psycho-Social MaladjustmentUniversity of MontréalMontréalCanada

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