Preventing the onset of youth offending: The impact of the Pathways to Prevention Project on child behaviour and wellbeing
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The idea has been gathering momentum for fifty years or more that institutions of care like families or schools are more important in preventing crime than institutions of regulation such as the police. However there are big gaps in our knowledge about how well civil society initiatives work, including the effectiveness of family support services that are often available in socially disadvantaged communities. This paper addresses this knowledge gap through an analysis of data from the child longitudinal database constructed through the Pathways to Prevention Project, a ten-year developmental crime prevention initiative that operated until 2011 as a partnership between Mission Australia, Education Queensland, and Griffith University. The authors use a matched groups design and multilevel modelling to show that relatively low levels of family support were strongly associated with improvements in teacher-rated classroom behaviour, especially for children of parents who initially reported low levels of parenting efficacy. Low intensity family support also improved children's social relationships and capacity for self-regulation. These results underline the potential of family support in disadvantaged areas to prevent youth offending in an economic manner.
Trends and Issues in Crime and Criminal Justice
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Causes and Prevention of Crime