teenage pregnancyExperts know, based on previous research and data collection, that conduct problems are predictive of an earlier sexually active start, higher risk of pregnancy and higher risk of contracting an STD, including HIV. Conduct problems are also related to substance abuse prior to age 18. Researchers from Conduct Problems Prevention Research Group analyzed the outcome of a Fast Track program designed to reduce the connection between conduct problems and risk-taking behaviors. Fast Track was designed as a multi-component program.

About 1,200 children were recruited in kindergarten for the study (51-percent African American, 47-percent European American and 69-percent male). Children were followed through their 18th birthday.

Conclusion: The Fast Track program did not have any significant affect on outcome, but researchers did note defining characteristics that may predict poor outcome. Using these characteristics, prevention programs can be modified for optimal outcome. Further study is needed into the effect of program changes based on realized predictors.

Source: Conduct Problems Prevention Research Group. Trajectories of Risk for Early Sexual Activity and Early Substance Use in the Fast Track Prevention Program. Prev Sci. 2013 Feb 17.