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

Department of Pediatrics, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, USA.
Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology (Impact Factor: 3.48). 09/2007; 35(4):605-17. DOI: 10.1007/s10802-007-9116-5
Source: PubMed


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.

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    • "Implementation was spread over five years, and included a three-year intensive phase and a two-year booster phase. The programme was implemented from Grade 1-5 and Bernat et al. (2007) evaluated its effects in Grade 6. "
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    ABSTRACT: Purpose: Parenting programmes are seen as feasible and cost-effective in preventing early behavioural problems in children and adolescents. A number of studies have concluded that such programmes are effective in reducing child problem behaviours and improving the skills and well-being of parents. Nevertheless, less is known about long-term programme effects. The paper aims to discuss these issues. Design/methodology/approach: A non-meta-analytic discussion. Findings: Long-term evaluations of parenting programmes suffer from a number of methodological weaknesses resulting in an inability to make robust causal inferences about child and parent outcomes in the longer term. The current evidence is favourable but is likely to be biased by methodological weaknesses. There is a need for more studies of greater methodological strength to obtain conclusive evidence that would guide empirical research, practice and policy. Originality/value: The paper discusses weaknesses in long-term evaluations of parenting programmes and highlights concrete future directions towards improving the quality of study design, evaluation and data analysis.
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    • "Most preventive interventions that have demonstrated long-term improvements in parenting spanned multiple years (e.g. Bernat et al., 2007; Dishion, Nelson & Kavanaugh, 2003; Fergusson et al., 2005; Olds et al., 2004). The only prior brief preventive intervention to show long-term effects (i.e. 30 months post-intervention) on parenting among families experiencing disruption reported a different pattern of program effects from the current finding. "
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    • "Nearly half of the studies that included meditational analyses involved interventions that took place during middle childhood, and one quarter were stressor-specific interventions delivered to parents with offspring at multiple developmental stages. The parenting variables that were found to mediate program effects on youth outcomes included parental warmth (Zhou, Sandler, Millsap, Wolchik, & Dawson-McClure 2008), authoritative parenting (Cowan, Cowan, & Hemming, 2005), effective and consistent discipline (Bernat et al., 2007;Lochman & Wells, 2002;Zhou, et al., 2008), parental monitoring (Dishion, Nelson, & Kavanagh, 2003), and good family communication and problem solving (Brody et al., 2008;DeGarmo et al., 2009). "
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