Aggressive, disruptive behavior during early childhood has been linked to a number of later negative outcomes, one of them being adolescent marijuana use. This study evaluates the impact of two first-grade universal interventions (classroom-centered and family–school partnership) on the development of aggression in early childhood (grades 1–3) and marijuana use in adolescence (grades 8–12) via a latent transition longitudinal mixture model. For males, despite the significant proximal impact of the classroom-centered intervention on trajectory class membership of early childhood aggression, as well as the significant association between aggression trajectory class membership and marijuana use longitudinal latent class membership, the predicted probabilities of being in the high frequency marijuana use class did not differ significantly by intervention status, though in the expected direction. Associations for females are limited to the proximal impact of the classroom-centered intervention on trajectory class membership of aggression. This study extends the prior work of Petras et al. (Prev Sci 12:300–313, 2011) by considering that aggressive, disruptive behavior during early childhood is linked not only to adolescent aggressive, disruptive behavior (i.e., homotypic continuity) but also to adolescent marijuana use (i.e., heterotypic continuity) and by considering that an early intervention may influence later non-targeted behaviors through these heterotypic developmental pathways. Implications for developmental theories and substance abuse prevention are discussed.
Prevention Science – Springer Journals
Published: Mar 10, 2013
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