et al., in press), with some notable exceptions (Ahlstrom and Havighurst, 1982; Gottfredson, 1986).
Although a variety of school-based strategies appear to have the potential for reducing antisocial and delinquent behavior, how best to replicate such programs while maintaining their quality and intensity remains an unanswered question. Gottfredson (1997:5-61) points out that when studies report effects separately for groups that differed on the strength and fidelity of the program implementation, “the evidence always suggests that more delinquency is prevented when strategies are implemented with greater fidelity over prolonged periods and that these conditions are met more easily in some schools than in others.” Programs that rely on classroom teachers and classroom time compete with other requirements of the school day and other school system priorities. In addition, not all schools have the capacity to incorporate programs well.
Peers play increasingly important roles as children reach adolescence. Both because of a clear relationship between peer activities and delinquency and because of apparent cost-effectiveness, many intervention programs are provided in group settings. Nevertheless, there are good grounds for believing that in some circumstances such settings may exacerbate problem behaviors among young adolescents (Dishion et al., 1999). Evaluations of peer group based interventions are summarized in Table 4-3.
For example, one study randomly assigned juveniles on probation to special services including group counseling, individual counseling, and tutoring given by volunteers. Those who received special services increased the number of crimes they reported and their records showed increases in the number of their police contacts. In contrast, those who received ordinary services of the juvenile court reduced their criminality (Berger et al., 1975). Another study used random selection to include students in public elementary and high schools in either the treatment or the control group of a Guided Group Interaction program. Overall, the results for elementary schoolchildren showed no effects. For the high school students, however, the Guided Group Interaction program tended to increase misbehavior and delinquency (G.D. Gottfredson, 1987). Other research used a random-allocation design to evaluate the impact of teaching techniques of family management (parent groups and family consultations) and of focusing on peer relations and interactions (adolescent groups). Youths were assigned to one, both, or neither type of intervention. The group assigned to family management improved, but the groups assigned to interventions with a teen focus increased their smoking and aggressive