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The Effects of the Fast Track Preventive Intervention on the Development of Conduct Disorder Across Childhood


  • Conduct Problems Prevention Research Group

  • Members of the Conduct Problems Prevention Research Group, in alphabetical order, are Karen L. Bierman, Department of Psychology, Pennsylvania State University; John D. Coie, Department of Psychology and Neuroscience, Duke University; Kenneth A. Dodge, Center for Child and Family Policy, Duke University; Mark T. Greenberg, Department of Human Development and Family Studies, Pennsylvania State University; John E. Lochman, Department of Psychology, The University of Alabama; Robert J. McMahon, Department of Psychology, University of Washington; and Ellen E. Pinderhughes, Department of Child Development, Tufts University.

  • This work was supported by National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) Grants R18 MH48043, R18 MH50951, R18 MH50952, and R18 MH50953, and National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) Grants DA016903 and P30DA023026. The Center for Substance Abuse Prevention also provided support for Fast Track through a memorandum of agreement with the NIMH. This work was also supported in part by Department of Education Grant S184U30002, NIMH Grants K05MH00797 and K05MH01027, and NIDA Grant K05DA15226. We are grateful for the collaboration of the Durham Public Schools, the Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools, the Bellefonte Area Schools, the Tyrone Area Schools, the Mifflin County Schools, the Highline Public Schools, and the Seattle Public Schools. We greatly appreciate the hard work and dedication of the many staff members who implemented the project, collected the evaluation data, and assisted with data management and analyses. We particularly express appreciation to Jennifer Godwin for her work on data analyses for this article.

concerning this article should be addressed to Kenneth A. Dodge, Box 90545, Center for Child and Family Policy, Duke University, Durham, NC 27705. Electronic mail may be sent to


The impact of the Fast Track intervention on externalizing disorders across childhood was examined. Eight hundred-ninety-one early-starting children (69% male; 51% African American) were randomly assigned by matched sets of schools to intervention or control conditions. The 10-year intervention addressed parent behavior-management, child social cognitive skills, reading, home visiting, mentoring, and classroom curricula. Outcomes included psychiatric diagnoses after grades 3, 6, 9, and 12 for conduct disorder, oppositional defiant disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and any externalizing disorder. Significant interaction effects between intervention and initial risk level indicated that intervention prevented the lifetime prevalence of all diagnoses, but only among those at highest initial risk, suggesting that targeted intervention can prevent externalizing disorders to promote the raising of healthy children.