Skip Internal Navigation
PRB Research - Adolescent Behavior
Preventing Problem Behavior Among Middle School Students
This study tested the efficacy of a multi-component intervention for preventing multiple problem behaviors, including substance use, aggression, and misconduct. Seven middle schools in one school district were randomized to intervention or comparison groups and two cohorts of students were assessed at the beginning of middle school and at the end of 6th, 7th, 8th, and beginning of 9th grades. The intervention, called Going Places, consisted of a skills-oriented curriculum, school-wide intervention, and parent education. The evaluation of treatment group effects indicated that the program had significant effects on smoking progression, outcome expectations for smoking, and friends who smoked, but not on drinking, aggression, or misconduct. The effect on smoking progression was mediated by friends who smoked, indicating that the growth in friends who smoked was less among those in the intervention schools than those in the control schools. In a series of observational analyses, researchers found that parenting behaviors were protective against substance use, and that selection was at least as important as socialization in the progression of substance use. Analyses of this longitudinal dataset are ongoing.
Bruce Simons-Morton, Ed.D., M.P.H.