Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




Faculty of Science

First Advisor

Geoffrey Nelson

Advisor Role

Thesis Supervisor


The current study identified risk factors associated with childhood externalize disorders. Intervention outcomes of children that took part in a community-based, early childhood prevention project, Better Beginnings Better Futures, were studied longitudinally from Grade 3 to Grade 6. Three intervention sites in Ontario (Cornwall, n = 108; Sudbury, n = 134; Highfield, n = 131) and two matched comparison sites in Ontario (Ottawa-Vanier, n = 116; Etobicoke, n = 87) were examined. Risk factors examined at multiple levels of analysis, including the individual, family, and community levels of analysis, were considered. It was expected that higher risk children would respond more to the intervention. Data were examined using both a variable-oriented analyses (multiple regression) and a person-oriented analysis (regression decision tree analytic strategy) with respect to parent and teacher-rated measures of childhood externalizing disorder. Neither of these two statistical approaches revealed the effectiveness of programs for high-risk subgroups. Regression decision tree analyses revealed that comparison sites had equivalent childhood externalizing disorder outcome scores as seen in intervention sites. This may have been due to intervention programming in these comparison communities thereby leading to a narrowing of differences between the intervention and comparison sites. Both approaches found a number of different risk factors for externalizing disorders.

Convocation Year


Convocation Season