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Intervention on Delinquency in Adolescence


The following is from Santrock Child Development (2014) 

Marion Forgatch and colleagues (2009)

“Rare are the studies that actually demonstrate in an experimental design that changing parenting practices in childhood can lead to a lower incidence of juvenile delinquency in adolescence. However, one recent study by Marion Forgatch and her colleagues (2009) randomly assigned divorced mothers of sons to an experimental group (in which the mothers received extensive parenting training) or a control group (in which the mothers received no parenting training) when their sons were in the first through third grades. The parenting training consisted of 14 parent group meetings that focused primarily on improving parenting practices (skill encouragement, limit setting, monitoring, problem solving, and positive involvement). Best practices for emotion regulation, managing interparental conflict, and talking with children about divorce also were included in the sessions. Improved parenting practices and reduced contact with deviant peers were linked with lower rates of delinquency in the experimental group than in the control group at a 9-year follow-up assessment.”

(Santrock, 2014 p380)

Fast Track

“Fast Track is an intervention that attempts to reduce the incidence of juvenile delinquency and other problems (Conduct Problems Prevention Research Group, 2007, 2010a, b, 2011, 2013; Dodge & McCourt, 2010; Jones & others, 2010; Miller & others, 2011). Schools in four areas (Durham, North Carolina; Nashville, Tennessee; Seattle, Washington; and rural central Pennsylvania) were identified as high risk based on neighborhood crime and poverty data. Researchers screened more than 9,000 kindergarten children in the four schools and randomly assigned 891 of the highest-risk and moderate-risk children to intervention or control conditions. The average age of the children when the intervention began was 6.5 years of age. The 10-year intervention consisted of behavior management training of parents, social cognitive skills training of children, reading tutoring, home visitations, mentoring, and a revised classroom curriculum that was designed to increase socioemotional competence and decrease aggression.

The extensive intervention was most successful for children and adolescents who were identified as the highest risk in kindergarten, lowering their incidence of conduct disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, any externalized disorder, and antisocial behavior. Positive out- comes for the intervention occurred as early as the third grade and continued through the ninth grade. For example, in the ninth grade the intervention reduced the likelihood that the highest-risk kindergarten children would develop conduct disorder by 75 percent, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder by 53 percent, and any externalized disorder by 43 percent. Recently, data have been reported through age 19 (Miller & others, 2011). Findings indicate that the comprehensive Fast Track intervention was successful in reducing youth arrest rates (Conduct Problems Prevention Research Group, 2010b).”

(Santrock, 2014 p381)

“Further, recent research indicates that family therapy is often effective in reducing delinquency Family treatment was the only one that was linked to a reduction in recidivism for juvenile offenders (Schwalbe & others, 2012).”

(Santrock, 2014 p379)

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