Nipping early risk factors in the bud: preventing substance abuse, delinquency, and violence in adolescence through interventions targeted at young children (0-8 years)

Prev Sci. 2001 Sep;2(3):165-92. doi: 10.1023/a:1011510923900.


This bulletin describes state-of-the-art universal and selective prevention programs designed to promote parent and teacher competencies and to prevent conduct problems. In addition, it describes indicated interventions designed for children who already have been diagnosed with oppositional defiant disorder and/or conduct disorder. Emphasis is placed on empirically supported programs that have identified key malleable risk factors in children, families, and schools, which have been shown in longitudinal research to be related to later development of substance abuse, delinquency, and violence. We have targeted preschool and primary grade children, ages 0-8 years, in this review because research suggests that the most effective interventions can nip in the bud risk behaviors in the early years, before antisocial behaviors become crystallized. Guidelines for selecting effective interventions are provided.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Health Education / organization & administration*
  • Humans
  • Juvenile Delinquency / prevention & control*
  • Juvenile Delinquency / statistics & numerical data
  • Male
  • Primary Prevention / organization & administration*
  • Program Development
  • Program Evaluation
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • School Health Services
  • Substance-Related Disorders / epidemiology
  • Substance-Related Disorders / prevention & control*
  • Time Factors
  • Violence / prevention & control*
  • Violence / statistics & numerical data