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Preventing Problem Behavior Among Middle School Students

This study has been completed.
Information provided by:
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) Identifier:
First received: June 18, 2003
Last updated: June 23, 2005
Last verified: May 2003
Problem behaviors such as drug use, violence, and school misconduct increase during adolescence. This study evaluated a program designed to prevent problem behaviors in middle school students; the program includes classroom instruction for students and home instruction for parents.

Condition Intervention
Substance Use Disorders Health Promotion Behavioral: Going Places: School program to prevent problem behavior

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Factorial Assignment
Masking: Single
Primary Purpose: Prevention
Official Title: Preventing Problem Behaviors Among Middle School Students

Further study details as provided by Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD):

Estimated Enrollment: 2768
Study Start Date: June 1994
Estimated Study Completion Date: June 2000
Detailed Description:

The prevalence of problem behaviors, such as school misconduct, underachievement, and dropout; tobacco, alcohol, and other drug use; and violence and delinquency, increases dramatically during adolescence. These behaviors place youths at an increased risk for school failure, involvement in the criminal justice system, and chronic substance abuse.

The purpose of this study was to test the efficacy of a comprehensive program of interventions, called Going Places, that includes participatory classroom curriculum, parent education, and enhanced school environment. The primary goal of these components was to help students learn social competence skills that will help them make positive decisions in their lives. The classroom curriculum component was integrated into the participating schools' regular Language Arts curriculum in grades 6 through 8. The curriculum provided instruction in and opportunities to practice interpersonal communication, self-management, problem solving, and conflict management. Brief videotapes with student actors served as trigger films to stimulate student interest, provide models, and motivate prosocial behavior. Parents in the participating schools received instruction via videotape and print materials and participated in student homework exercises. The emphasis was on encouraging parents to remain involved, adopt creative monitoring practices, and foster adolescent autonomy by establishing rules and conditions leading incrementally to greater independence.

Students in the seven Charles County, Maryland, middle schools were randomized either to the Going Places intervention group or to the usual education control group. The intervention was sequentially structured, with curricula implemented in each grade of middle school. Questionnaires were administered to all middle school students at the beginning of the 6th grade (before the intervention) to establish baseline levels of substance use, school misconduct, parent and peer influences, and school climate. Students completed surveys in the spring of grades 6, 7, and 8. A final follow-up survey was completed in the fall of ninth grade. The surveys assessed standard measures of tobacco, alcohol, and illicit drug use, school misconduct, and participation in school activities. The surveys also included items related to psychosocial, parental, and school factors.


Ages Eligible for Study:   10 Years to 12 Years   (Child)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes

Inclusion Criteria

  • Attends participating middle schools
  • Reads at grade level
  Contacts and Locations
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Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT00062959

Sponsors and Collaborators
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)
Principal Investigator: Bruce Simons-Morton, EdD, MPH Prevention Research Branch, Division of Epidemiology, Statistics and Prevention Research
  More Information

Publications: Identifier: NCT00062959     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: N01HD33207
Z01HD002110-07PR ( U.S. NIH Grant/Contract )
Study First Received: June 18, 2003
Last Updated: June 23, 2005

Keywords provided by Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD):
Primary Prevention
School-based intervention

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Substance-Related Disorders
Problem Behavior
Chemically-Induced Disorders
Mental Disorders
Behavioral Symptoms processed this record on September 19, 2017