The children of adolescent mothers are among those presenting the highest level of psychosocial risk, compromising their socio-emotional development on a number of levels. Several intervention strategies have been designed to address some of the problems that characterize these mother-infant dyads. While these strategies have proven to be beneficial to young mothers, relatively little impact has been found on the level of infant and child development. The purpose of this article is to address the issue of intervention aimed at adolescent mothers and their infant, and underline that the relational dimension, while absent from most intervention programs, is necessary to our understanding of the problems presented by these dyads. An intervention program, currently undergoing evaluation, is described having as a main objective the improvement of the early mother-infant relationship. Attachment theory is presented as an organizing construct. Characteristics of the intervention, as well as the evaluation strategy, are described.
This paper describes a comprehensive approach to preventing a variety of adolescent problem behaviors, including drug use, delinquency, violence, school dropout and teenage pregnancy. The experimental intervention is designed to enhance protection and reduce risk for these adolescent problem behaviors. The project, Raising Healthy Children (RHC), extends earlier work conducted in the Seattle Social Development Project (Hawkins, Catalano, Morrison, O'Donnell, Abbott & Day, 1992; O'Donnell, Hawkins, Catalano, Abbott & Day, 1995). The interventions are guided by the Social Development Model (Catalano & Hawkins, 1996), a theory that explains the development of both prosocial and antisocial behavior. Because risk and protective factors for these problems are found in multiple social domains, the interventions address these factors through developmentally appropriate strategies in the three major socializing institutions, the family, school, and peer groups. The "school intervention strategy " provides a series of instructional improvement workshops and classroom coaching designed to increase student's commitment and attachment to school while reducing academic failure. The "family intervention strategy " provides parenting workshops and home-based services to increase parents' skills in child rearing, to increase attachment and commitment to the family while decreasing family management problems. The "peer intervention strategy" provides children the opportunity to learn and practice social and emotional skills in the classroom and in social situations. These combined strategies are described in detail. Preliminary analyses reveal significant effects of these strategies on reducing early risk and increasing protection.
The objective of this study was to test whether friends' characteristics mediated the link between early reduction of disruptive behavior and later reduction of delinquency (through a prevention program). The prevention program includes two components : social-cognitive-skills training for boys and parent-skills training at home. It was applied over a two-year period when the subjects were 8- and 9-year-old. Subjects were low SES boys rated as disruptive by their kindergarten teachers. They were randomly assigned to a prevention or a control condition. Their friends ' aggressiveness was rated by classmates over a three-year period following the end of the prevention program. Subjects reported on their delinquent behaviors when they were 13- and 14-year-old. Results indicate that friends' aggressiveness partially mediated the impact of the program on preventing delinquency. However, compared to the control boys, other mediating variables might also have played a role.
The Adolescent Transition Program (ATP) is a multi-component preventive intervention designed to reduce escalation in problem behaviors among high-risk young adolescents. A previous evaluation of this program showed that aggregating high-risk youths for intervention purposes led to an escalation in delinquency and smoking. The results of this study also suggested that an intervention targeting parenting practices was more beneficial. These findings led to the development of a new intervention program aimed at the modification of parenting practices. This school-based program proposes a multiple gating approach to parent intervention with each level of intervention building on the previous one to reduce the overall prevalence of risk. A pilot study designed to evaluate the implementation of this intervention program suggested that schools seem to be an appropriate setting for reaching parents of high-risk adolescents and delivering intervention services.
Although empirical links between deviant behavior and school dropout have been extensively demonstrated, the specific influence of drug use and delinquency on school dropout is still not clear and varies across studies. One reason for this lack of consistency may rests upon the way samples of dropouts have been analysed. Recently, Janosz, Le Blanc, Boulerice and Tremblay (1996) constructed and validated a typology of school dropout highlithing the social and psychological diversity of this population. Using a longitudinal sample of adolescents (N=791), we analyzed the predictive relationships of family rebelliousness, drug use and delinquency on school dropout. The results showed an important variability in the predictive relationships according to the type of dropouts. The necessity of considering the psychosocial heterogeneity of dropouts when conducting such studies is discussed.
This article addresses the potential of the notion of crime prevention through social developmnent (CPSD) to contribute to the creation and implementation of a comprehensive crime prevention strategy. CPSD shares the commitment to a proactive orientation, community participation and partnerships which are common to all versions of prevention. However, the concept incorporates different options.The article discusses three: the developmental version, with its focus on persistent delinquents; the social version with its concentration on rates of crime and victimization; and the communtiy version, with its concern with the problem of mobilization for action.The article concludes that a synthesis of these approaches is possible, but that this is not the equivalent of a comprehensive strategy; other elements must be included.