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Cadernos Saúde Coletiva

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RESTREPO HENAO, Alexandra; DUQUE RAMIREZ, Luis Fernando  and  MONTOYA GOMEZ, Nilton Edu. Program for the early prevention of health risk behaviors in preschool and school-aged children. Medellín, 2009-2012: a possibility of early prevention of risk behaviors in Latin America. Cad. saúde colet. [online]. 2012, vol.20, n.4, pp.405-415. ISSN 1414-462X.

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the impact of the "¡PILAS! Mejores adultos, mejores niños" program, which was designed by PREVIVA (Universidad de Antioquia's School of Public Health), in order to prevent risk behaviors in preschool and primary schoolchildren, aged 4 to 11 years-old. This article presented baseline results and the description and implementation of such program. METHODS: Thirty-two urban public schools in Medellin were chosen at random, and 16 of them were randomly assigned to the intervention, with the remaining 16 placed in the Control Group. There were 862 children randomly chosen in the Intervention Group and 874 ones in the Control Group. RESULTS: The "¡PILAS! Mejores adultos, mejores niños" program was evaluated by examining early prevention of aggression and risk behaviors. According to the children's guardians, in the past year, there was a 62% prevalence of disguised aggression, a 34% prevalence of open aggression, and a 2% prevalence of oppositional behavior. The children reported lower prevalence of disguised and open aggression (45 and 20%, respectively) and a higher one of oppositional behavior (23%). There was an association between various forms of punishment and mistreatment, and aggressive and oppositional behaviors in children. CONCLUSIONS: There is a high prevalence of aggressive behavior in schoolchildren and a high one of aggressive means of punishment and mistreatment of children. These aggressive actions toward children are associated with aggressive behavior in kids further necessitating the continued evaluation of the "¡PILAS!" intervention and its expansion to additional schools. Results of the evaluation should be incorporated to improve the program.

Keywords : aggression; primary prevention; substance-related disorders; alcohol drinking; tobacco.

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