Fast Track is a comprehensive, long-term prevention program that aims to prevent chronic and severe conduct problems in high-risk children. It is based on the view that antisocial behavior stems from the interaction of multiple influences such as school, home, and the individual. The main goals of the program are to increase communication and bonds between and among these three domains; to enhance children’s social, cognitive, and problem-solving skills; to improve peer relationships; and ultimately to decrease disruptive behavior at home and in school.
The program targets children identified in kindergarten for disruptive behavior and poor peer relations. The program can be implemented in rural and urban areas for boys and girls of varying ethnicities, socioeconomic backgrounds, and family compositions.
Fast Track extends from 1st through 10th grades, with particularly intensive interventions during the transitions at school entry and from elementary to middle school. The primary intervention is designed for all youths in a school setting. The PATHS (for Promoting Alternative THinking Strategies) curriculum was revised for use in the Fast Track program. In addition to this universal intervention, Fast Track includes an intervention component for children considered high risk. This includes academic tutoring, parent groups, child social-skills training, and home visits. The most intense phase of intervention took place in the first grade year for each of three successive cohorts.
The developmental model guiding this project indicates that an effective prevention program would address classroom, school risk, and family risk factors, including communication between parents and schools.