Evaluation of a community-based program for young boys at-risk of antisocial behaviour: results and issues.
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OBJECTIVE: We assess the impact of a community-based intervention program for boys 6-11 years old at-risk of antisocial behaviour, and compare changes in behaviour and competence pre-post for intervention and wait-list comparison group. METHOD: Interested parents called for enrolment. Inclusion required police contact and/or clinical scores (T>69) on Child Behaviour Checklist (CBCL) or Teacher Report Form (TRF), no developmental delay and English speaking. The program included two core 12-week groups (children's, parents') and optional additional services. Twelve sessions (February 2002-December 2005) provide pre-post intervention data, boys waiting at least 6 months formed a comparison group (starting April 2005). Outcomes included CBCL and TRF behaviour scales (rule-breaking, aggression, conduct, total problems) and competence. Repeated measures analysis of variance was done. RESULTS: Pre-post outcome comparisons indicated improvements among all boys, with significant differences favouring intervention boys on CBCL behaviour scales, but not TRF outcomes. Effect sizes were small to medium. Persisting high post-behaviour levels, unmeasured variation in additional services, and other design and sampling issues are noted. CONCLUSIONS: More rigorously designed program evaluation is required.
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