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Pathways explaining the reduction of adult criminal behaviour by a randomized preventive intervention for disruptive kindergarten children

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Objective:  This study aimed to identify the pathways through which a preventive intervention targeting young low‐SES disruptive boys could result in lower crime involvement during adulthood.

Method:  The preventive intervention was implemented when the children were between 7 and 9 years and included three components (i.e. social skills, parental practices, teacher support). Participants (N = 250) were randomly allocated to the intervention or to a control group. The tested pathways included antisocial behaviour, school engagement, parental supervision and friends’ deviancy, both during early and middle adolescence. Crime involvement was assessed in early adulthood.

Results:  The intervention reduced adult criminal involvement via reduced early and middle adolescent antisocial behaviours.

Conclusion:  This study adds to the small group of studies that have examined the mechanisms through which early preventive interventions might impact distal outcomes.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Psychological Sciences, Birkbeck University of London, London, UK

Publication date: July 1, 2012

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