How Does the Fast Track Intervention Prevent Adverse Outcomes in Young Adulthood?

Conduct Problems prevention Research Group

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38 Scopus citations


Numerous studies have shown that childhood interventions can foster improved outcomes in adulthood. Less well understood is precisely how-that is, through which developmental pathways-these interventions work. This study assesses mechanisms by which the Fast Track project (n = 891), a randomized intervention in the early 1990s for high-risk children in four communities (Durham, NC; Nashville, TN; rural PA; and Seattle, WA), reduced delinquency, arrests, and general and mental health service utilization in adolescence through young adulthood (ages 12-20). A decomposition of treatment effects indicates that about a third of Fast Track's impact on later crime outcomes can be accounted for by improvements in social and self-regulation skills during childhood (ages 6-11), such as prosocial behavior, emotion regulation, and problem solving. These skills proved less valuable for the prevention of general and mental health problems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)429-445
Number of pages17
JournalChild development
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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