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Laezer, Katrin Luise; Leuzinger-Bohleber, Marianne; Rueger, Bernhard und Fischmann, Tamara: Evaluation of two prevention programs `Early Steps' and `Faustlos' in daycare centers with children at risk: the study protocol of a cluster randomized controlled trial. In: Trials 2013, 14:268


Background: While early programs to prevent aggression and violence are widely used, only a few controlled trials of effectiveness of psychoanalytically based prevention programs for preschoolers have been evaluated. This study compares `Faustlos' (a violence prevention program) and `Early Steps' (a psychoanalytically based, whole daycare center intervention to prevent violence) in daycare centers in socioeconomically deprived neighborhoods. Methods/Design: Preschoolers in 14 daycare centers in Frankfurt, Germany, participate in a cluster randomized controlled trial (CRCT). The daycare centers were randomly chosen from a representative baseline survey of all Frankfurt's daycare centers carried out in 2003 (n = 5,300) with the following stratifying factors: children's aggressiveness, hyperactivity, anxiety and socioeconomic status. Additionally, the geographic identification of socioeconomically deprived neighborhoods regarding low-income children was taken from the Frankfurt Municipality Statistics. Children's attachment classification and children's aggressiveness, hyperactivity, anxiety and social competence are measured as outcome criteria before and after 2 years of intervention. The programs in the study aim to reach a high-risk population. Therefore, the combination of a random sampling of daycare centers out of a representative baseline survey in all daycare centers in Frankfurt and the application of official data on the local distribution of low-income children are unique features offered by the EVA study design. Data on preschooler's attachment representations are collected in socioeconomically deprived neighborhoods for the first time.