Awarded Grant to Prevent Violence and Violence-Related Injury


This application responds to CDC-RFA-CE-07-002, ‘Family and Dyadic Focused Interventions to Prevent Intimate Partner Violence’. Substantial evidence from both prospective longitudinal and clinical studies points to the role of early conduct problems as one of the most robust risk factors for IPV, even net of other risks. Despite strong evidence of overlap of antisocial/criminal behavior and intimate partner violence (IPV), there have been no evaluations of the effects of preventive interventions for antisocial behavior, on IPV risk. This study builds on a previously funded 10-year study entitled “Early Primary Prevention of Conduct Problems” (NIMH R01 1997-2007; L. Brotman, PI). The original study found immediate and short-term effects (from age 4 to age 8) in a randomized controlled trial (RCT) of a family intervention with poor, urban, minority preschool-age younger brothers and sisters of adjudicated delinquents. These youth are at high risk for juvenile delinquency, given a range of biological, family, and environmental risk factors (Brotman, Gouley, O’Neal, & Klein, 2004). With 3 yearly follow-up telephone assessments, we aim to test (1) The impact of the intervention on mean levels and slopes of physical, psychological, and sexual IPV, and attitudinal and behavior correlates of IPV in intervention participants versus controls, starting when the preschool age targets are entering adolescence (n = 68; 9-16 years old; M = 13 years); (2) The impact of the intervention on IPV risk in their older siblings’ (n = 84) in adolescence and early adulthood (the intervention produced immediate and long term change in their antisocial behavior and peer aggression); (3) Test whether the preventive intervention delivered during the preschool period reduces the risk for IPV in adolescence by: Increasing social competence and reducing negative parenting practices in early childhood; decreasing conduct problems in middle childhood; and decreasing antisocial behavior and affiliation with deviant peers, and improving critical aspects of the family environment. If untreated, children at high risk for antisocial behavior and delinquency are at greatest risk for IPV. This proposal has significant implications for public health, as findings may inform a novel approach to preventing IPV in youth who would be most resistant to standard IPV interventions when they reach adolescence.