Montreal Prevention Program

Updated: Jan 25, 2018
Evidence Rating:
Suggestive Tier


  • Program:

    The Montreal Prevention Program, a two-year delinquency prevention program for disruptive boys aged 7-9 and their families.

  • Evaluation Methods:

    A well-conducted randomized controlled trial (RCT) with a sample of 319 kindergarten boys who were rated by their teachers to be above the 70th percentile in disruptive behavior.

  • Key Findings:

    The study measured outcomes over the 17 years after random assignment for a subgroup of 259 boys from disadvantaged backgrounds, and found that the program produced a sizable increase in high school graduation and reduction in crime for this subgroup. The study did not measure long-term outcomes for the full sample.

The Montreal Prevention Program was a two-year delinquency prevention program for disruptive boys aged 7-9 and their families, which was developed specifically for the evaluation described below. The program had two components: (i) a social skills training program, administered at lunch time during school, which grouped disruptive children with non-disruptive classmates in small groups to teach behavior modification skills, and (ii) a home-based parent training program which taught parents effective behavior monitoring and disciplinary strategies.

The program’s cost has not been reported.

To see our full evidence summary:
Download PDF


Boisjoli, Rachel, Frank Vitaro, Éric Lacourse, Edward D. Barker, and Richard E. Tremblay. “Impact and clinical significance of a preventive intervention for disruptive boys.” British Journal of Psychiatry, 2007, vol. 191, 415-419.

Lacourse, Eric, Sylvana Côté, Daniel S. Nagin, Frank Vitaro, Mara Brendgen, and Richard E. Tremblay. “A longitudinal-experimental approach to testing theories of antisocial behavior development.” Development and Psychopathology¸ 2002, vol. 14, 909-924.

McCord, Joan, Richard E. Tremblay, Frank Vitaro, and Lyse Desmarais-Gervais. “Boys’ disruptive behaviour, school adjustment, and delinquency: The Montreal Prevention Experiment.” International Journal of Behavioral Development, 1994, vol. 17, 739-752.

Tremblay, Richard E., Joan McCord, Hélène Boilieau, Pierre Charlebois, Claude Gagnon, Marc LeBlanc, and Serge Larivée. “Can disruptive boys be helped to become competent?” Psychiatry, 1991, vol. 54, 148-161.

Tremblay, Richard E., Frank Vitaro, Lucie Bertrand, Marc LeBlanc, Hélène Beauchesne, Hélène Boileau, and Lucille David. “Parent and child training to prevent early onset of delinquency: The Montreal longitudinal-experimental study.” In Joan McCord and Richard E. Tremblay (Eds.), (1992), Preventing antisocial behavior: Interventions from birth through adolescence. New York: Guildford Press, 117-138.

Tremblay, Richard E., Linda Pagani-Kurtz, Louise C. Mâsse, Frank Vitaro, and Robert O. Pihl. “A bimodal preventive intervention for disruptive kindergarten boys: Its impact through mid-adolescence.” Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 1995, vol. 63, no. 4, 560-568.

Tremblay, Richard E., Louise C. Mâsse, Linda Pagani, and Frank Vitaro. “From childhood physical aggression to adolescent maladjustment: The Montreal Prevention Experiment.” In Ray Dev. Peters and Robert J. McMahon (Eds.), (1996), Preventing Childhood Disorders, Substance Abuse, and Delinquency. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, pp. 268-298.

Tremblay, Richard E., Frank Vitaro, Daniel Nagin, Linda Pagani, and Jean R. Seguin. “The Montreal longitudinal and experimental study: Rediscovering the power of descriptions.” In Terence P. Thornberry and Marvin D. Krohn (Eds.), (2003), Taking Stock of Delinquency: An Overview of Findings from Contemporary Longitudinal Studies. New York: Kluwer Publishers, pp. 205-254.

Vitaro, Frank, and Richard E. Tremblay. “Impact of a prevention program on aggressive children’s friendships and social adjustment.” Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 1994, vol. 22, no. 4, 457-475.

Vitaro, Frank, Mara Brendgen, Linda Pagani, Richard E. Tremblay, and Pierre McDuff. “Disruptive behavior, peer association, and conduct disorder: Testing the developmental links through early intervention.” Developmental and Psychopathology, 1999, vol. 11, 287-304.

Vitaro, Frank, Mara Brendgen, and Richard E. Tremblay. “Prevention of school dropout through the reduction of disruptive behaviors and school failure in elementary school.” Journal of School Psychology, 1999, vol. 37, no. 2, 205-226.

Vitaro, Frank, Mara Brendgen, and Richard E. Tremblay. “Preventive Intervention: Assessing its effects on the trajectories of delinquency and testing for meditational processes.” Applied Developmental Science, 2001, vol. 5, no. 4, 201-213.