Prevention of Substance Abuse With Rural Head Start Children and Families: Results of Project STAR

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The effectiveness of a comprehensive intervention with preschool children aimed at reducing the risk of later substance abuse was examined. The intervention targeted risk factors during the preschool years linked to later substance use in adolescence and adulthood. Head Start classrooms were randomly assigned to either the intervention or the control group. A classroom-based curriculum was delivered by Head Start teachers who received a number of training workshops and continued consultation. Parent training and home visits were also provided to intervention families. Positive parenting as well as parent-school involvement increased over the 1st year of intervention. Intervention families maintained the positive effects on parenting into the kindergarten year over a matched control group; however, effects on school bonding were not maintained. Improvements in social competence, reported by teachers and parents, were found at the end of kindergarten. No changes were found for self-regulation.

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