Disruptive-behaviour problems in childhood 'predict' maladjustment (e.g. violence, criminality and school drop-out) during adolescence and adulthood. A number of intervention programmes have attempted to tackle disruptive behaviours in childhood so as to reduce these problems in later life but their long-term effects are rarely evaluated. A study of 895 boys in Montreal looked into the effect of a two-year intervention programme which the boys undertook between the ages of seven and nine. The boys were then followed up at twenty-four to see how they had got on. The intervention was made up of three different elements : social skills training aimed at promoting changes in behaviour towards peers, social acceptance and less inclination towards antisocial peers ; parenting training and the provision of information and support for teachers. Significantly more boys in the intervention group graduated from high school and fewer had a criminal record compared to the control group.
Boisjoli, Rachel ... [et al] - Impact and clinical significance of a preventive intervention for disruptive boys British Journal of Psychiatry November 2007, 164, 415-419