The Fast Track Program for Children at Risk
Preventing Antisocial Behavior
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This unique volume reports on the largest long-term preventive intervention study ever conducted with children at risk for serious violence and poor life outcomes. From first through 10th grade, Fast Track provided multicomponent interventions to support children, families, and schools in achieving positive social, emotional, and academic outcomes. The book explores the developmental processes associated with early aggression, describes how each component of FastTrack was developed and implemented, and summarizes outcomes up to 20 years later. Vivid case studies track the impact of comprehensive school- and family-based programming on children's pathways through the elementary and high school years. The concluding chapter offers recommendations for using Fast Track components in future violence prevention initiatives.
See also the authors' Social and Emotional Skills Training for Children: The Fast Track Friendship Group Manual, a step-by-step guide to implementing one of the core components of Fast Track.
Table of Contents
Foreword, Patrick H. Tolan
1. Setting the Context for Youth Violence Prevention
2. The Developmental Model and Prevention Program Design
3. Project Design, Sample, and Screening
4. The Fast Track Intervention in the Elementary School Years
5. Impact of the Fast Track Intervention during the Elementary School Years
6. The Fast Track Intervention in Middle and High School
7. Outcomes during the Middle School and High School Years
8. Major Prevention Outcomes
9. Implications for Developmental Theory and Research on the Prevention of Violence
10. How Can Communities Address the Problem of Future Violence by Focusing on High-Risk Young Children?
Karen L. Bierman, PhD, is Evan Pugh University Professor, Professor of Psychology and Human Development and Family Studies, and Director of the Child Study Center at The Pennsylvania State University. Since the 1980s, her research has focused on social-emotional development and children at risk, with an emphasis on the design and evaluation of school-based programs that promote social competence, school readiness, and positive peer relations, and that reduce aggression and related behavior problems. Currently, she directs the Research-based Developmentally Informed (REDI) classroom and home visiting programs, developed in partnership with Head Start programs in Pennsylvania. A clinical psychologist, Dr. Bierman also directs a predoctoral training program in the interdisciplinary educational sciences. Dr. Bierman has served as an educational advisor to organizations including Head Start and Sesame Workshop.
John D. Coie, PhD, is Professor Emeritus of Psychology and Neuroscience at Duke University. He is a past Chair of the National Institute of Mental Health grant review panel on prevention research. A developmental and clinical psychologist, Dr. Coie has primarily focused his research on the development and prevention of serious antisocial behavior. He retired from Duke in 2000 but continues to be involved with the Fast Track project and has developed and comanaged a program in Santa Barbara, California, for providing non-English-speaking Hispanic children with computer-based English language and reading training. He continues to be active in programs designed to reduce violence and recidivism in the community.
Kenneth A. Dodge, PhD, is Pritzker Professor of Public Policy and Psychology and Neuroscience at Duke University. He is Founding and Emeritus Director of the Duke Center for Child and Family Policy. A clinical and developmental psychologist, Dr. Dodge studies early childhood development, prevention of violent behavior in the family, and public policy to improve population outcomes for communities. He is the developer of Family Connects, a population approach to improve children’s outcomes in the first year of life. The author of more than 500 highly cited scientific articles, which have been cited more than 100,000 times, Dr. Dodge has been elected into the National Academy of Medicine and is the 2019–2021 President of the Society for Research in Child Development.
Mark T. Greenberg, PhD, is Emeritus Professor in the College of Health and Human Development at The Pennsylvania State University, where he is also Founding Director of the Edna Bennett Pierce Prevention Research Center. A developmental psychologist, Dr. Greenberg is the author of over 350 journal articles and book chapters on the development of well-being; learning; and the effects of prevention efforts on children and families. He is a Founding Board Member of the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL). Dr. Greenberg is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Urie Bronfenbrenner Award for Lifetime Contribution to Developmental Psychology in the Service of Science and Society from the American Psychological Association. One of his current interests is how to help nurture awareness and compassion in our society. He is Chairperson of the Board of CREATE, a nonprofit devoted to improving the quality of schooling and the lives of teachers and students.
John E. Lochman, PhD, ABPP, is Saxon Professor Emeritus in Psychology, Interim Director of the Alabama Life Research Institute, and Director Emeritus of the Center for Prevention of Youth Behavior Problems at the University of Alabama. He is also Adjunct Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Duke University Medical Center. A clinical psychologist, Dr. Lochman has authored more than 400 scientific articles, chapters, and books on the causes and consequences of highly aggressive behavior in childhood, and on the effects of intervention for this behavior. His current focus is research on dissemination, implementation, and adaptation of interventions. Dr. Lochman has served as Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology and is a former President of the Society for Child and Family Policy and Practice (Division 37 of the American Psychological Association) and the American Board of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology. He is a recipient of the Distinguished Career Award from the Society of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology (Division 53 of the American Psychological Association).
Robert J. McMahon, PhD, is Professor of Psychology at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada, where he is also B.C. Leading Edge Endowment Fund Leadership Chair in Proactive Approaches to Reducing Risk for Violence among Children and Youth. To carry out the work of the Chair, he directs the Institute for the Reduction of Youth Violence. He is also a senior scientist at the B.C. Children’s Hospital Research Institute in Vancouver. A clinical psychologist, Dr. McMahon studies the assessment, treatment, and prevention of conduct problems and other problem behavior in children and youth, especially in the context of the family. He is author or editor of more than 250 books, scientific articles, chapters, and reviews; a past Editor-in-Chief of Prevention Science; and a recipient of the Service to SPR Award from the Society for Prevention Research and the Trailblazer Award from the Parenting and Families Special Interest Group, Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies.
Ellen E. Pinderhughes, PhD, is Professor in the Eliot–Pearson Department of Child Study and Human Development at Tufts University. A developmental and clinical psychologist, she studies contextual influences on and cultural processes in parenting among families facing different challenges. Dr. Pinderhughes's research interests include cultural socialization and preparation for bias among transracial adoptive parents; stigma; pathways to fatherhood and family life among gay fathers; and the role of race, ethnicity, and culture in parenting and youth outcomes. A past William T. Grant Faculty Scholar, Dr. Pinderhughes was a member of the Institute of Medicine Committee on Child Maltreatment Research, Policy, and Practice for the Next Decade: Phase II, which issued the report New Directions in Child Abuse and Neglect Research. She is a member of several boards focused on enhancing the lives of marginalized youth and families through research and practice.
"Fast Track is unrivaled in terms of its scope and enduring beneficial impacts from childhood to adulthood. This superbly written book should serve as a primer for local, state, and federal policymakers interested in implementing effective prevention programming. It should be at the top of the reading lists of advanced undergraduate and graduate courses on prevention in community, school, and clinical psychology programs, and is a 'must read' for prevention scientists working in school settings."--Nicholas Ialongo, PhD, Department of Mental Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
“I have had the privilege of reviewing the Fast Track research since its earliest stages. We had an inkling then--almost 30 years ago--that if these researchers could collaborate deeply and bring about their hugely ambitious programming and research plans, their contributions would be enormous. With this extraordinary book, all those concerned with the well-being of children and youth now can see that when timely, wraparound supports are provided to disadvantaged children and their families, developmental pathways can be diverted to positive life outcomes. This book will be perfect as a foundation for my graduate teaching in social-emotional development and program evaluation.”--Debra Pepler, PhD, CPsych, Distinguished Research Professor of Psychology, York University, Toronto, Canada
"The scientists who led Fast Track--a most impressive endeavor that began in early childhood, spanned three decades, and focused on averting the development of criminality and violence--have authored a consequential book. This landmark study not only gauges prevention outcomes related to criminality, substance misuse, and mental health, but also provides a wealth of critical information about familial, peer, school, community, brain, and genetic influences."--Ron Prinz, PhD, Carolina Distinguished Professor in Psychology, University of South Carolina
"Every component of this multimodal, multidomain prevention program is developmentally sensitive and science based. Beyond its clinical and practical usefulness for prevention practitioners, this book is a source of inspiration and troubleshooting for scholars and students who plan to design, implement, and evaluate large-scale prevention programs."--Frank Vitaro, PhD, School of Psychoeducation, University of Montreal, Canada-