Reduce Aggressive and Delinquent Behaviors in Low-income, Urban Latino Children After 8 Weeks of FAST
Grant: National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) Grant R01-10067
Principal Investigators: D. Paul Moberg, Lynn McDonald, Roger Brown, Melissa Burke
Prevention of Drug Abuse: Ratings of low income, urban children’s behavior, classrooms randomly assigned to FAST® vs. comparison program (FAME), (N=476), using intent to treat model, indicated FAST increased academic competence; also for Latino children only, FAST reduced aggressive and delinquent behaviors after 8 weeks and maintained after two years (teacher ratings on SSRS and CBCL Ext.)
This RCT involved randomly assigning second-grade classrooms to either FAST or a comparison condition called FAME in 10 inner-city elementary schools serving at-risk, low-income communities (McDonald et al., 2006). The study included a 2-year follow-up. The participation rate among those who agreed to join the study was 89%, and the rate of retention for at least five sessions was 78% among those who participated, for an overall completion rate of 69%. An ITT HLM analysis of 2-year outcomes found that teachers blind to condition gave higher ratings of academic competence to children assigned to the FAST condition (effect size = .23) than to children assigned to the comparison condition (Moberg, McDonald, Brown, & Burke, 2002). In the sample as a whole, findings for behavioral outcomes were non-significant (Moberg et al., 2002). However, an HLM analysis that examined the program impact on Latino children in the sample (N = 130) found that at the 2-year follow-up, teachers gave Latino children in the treatment group significantly higher scores on academic competence and social skills and significantly lower scores on aggression than Latino children in the comparison group (McDonald et al., 2006). Moreover, rates of participation, retention, and overall completion were especially high among Latinos—at 90%, 85%, and 77%, respectively. Similarly, while 82% of FAST graduates (program completers) attended at least one FASTWORKS session, and the average number of FASTWORKS sessions attended was 7.1 over 2 years, 91% of Latino FAST graduates attended at least one FASTWORKS session, and the average number attended was 9.9. (This is the only study in which FASTWORKS participation was tracked.) These results are particularly important in light of the current study’s focus on Latinos and may reflect high levels of family social networks among Latinos, possibly compounding the benefits that accrue from adding school and community ties to family networks.