The benefits of booster interventions: evidence from a family-focused prevention program

Prev Sci. 2009 Dec;10(4):287-97. doi: 10.1007/s11121-009-0139-8.


Booster effects have been reported in few prevention and treatment studies. However, as noted by Eyberg et al. Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice, 5, 544-554 (1998), there has been no adequate random-assignment test of booster effects to address the basic question of whether boosters increase effects over initial intervention. The present study addresses this question by randomly assigning 196 families to a booster intervention (SAFEChildren II) and comparing effects 1 year after that intervention with families who had been assigned to the initial intervention only (SAFEChildren I). Both interventions were based in a developmental-ecological framework emphasizing family management of child-rearing and related challenges within an inner-city social ecology. The booster led to a relative improvement in child aggression and concentration in school for the overall sample, with additional benefit for high-risk groups in academic achievement, behavior, and family organization. The study also suggests need for more careful study of processes related to booster effects in prevention, including comparison of competing models.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Antisocial Personality Disorder / prevention & control*
  • Child
  • Child Behavior
  • Evidence-Based Medicine
  • Family Relations*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Male
  • Parenting
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Treatment Outcome