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The Fast Track prevention programme improved some outcomes in high risk schoolchildren
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QUESTION: In children at high risk of developing long term antisocial behaviour, can a multicomponent preventive programme (Fast Track) improve social, emotional, and academic skills?

Design

Randomised (allocation not concealed*), partially blinded (observers of child behaviour),* controlled trial with 1 year of follow up.

Setting

Primary schools in neighbourhoods with high rates of delinquency and juvenile arrests in 4 US regions.

Patients

891 children (mean age 7 y, 69% boys) who had completed 1 year of kindergarten and were behaviourally disruptive (ie, had high scores on teacher and parent ratings of behaviour problems).

Intervention

54 schools matched for size, poverty, and ethnic composition were allocated to the intervention (445 children in 191 classrooms) or control (446 children in 210 classrooms) conditions. The intervention consisted of a curriculum (Promoting Alternative Thinking Strategies [PATHS]), parent groups, child social skills training groups, parent child sharing time, home visiting, child peer pairing, and academic tutoring and was given during school and 2 hour extracurricular enrichment programmes and in the home.

Main outcome measures

Child social cognition and reading, child peer relations and social competence, parenting behaviour and social cognition, and child aggressive and disruptive behaviour. These were based on both …

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