Primary Prevention of Conduct Disorder: Issues and Prospects Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • This research seeks to advance our understanding of the primary prevention of conduct disorder in three ways: (1) by illustrating how type of analysis and research design may influence our evaluation of a variable as a potential risk factor; (2) by examining the implications for primary prevention of choosing multiple risk factors for modification; and (3) by comparing the advantages and disadvantages of intervening with children living in high-risk situations versus children in the general population. The analyses are based on 1,001 children aged 6 to 12 in 1983 who participated in the original Ontario Child Health Study and follow-up. The results show that (1) inattention to type of analysis and research design may lead to false inferences about the usefulness of a hypothesized risk factor; (2) selecting multiple risk factors for modification increases the potential program benefits in prevention; and (3) primary prevention demonstration projects, to be evaluable at reasonable cost, must focus on children living in high-risk situations.

publication date

  • March 1990