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Jacobs Center for Productive Youth Development

The z-proso Research Infrastructure:
The life-course development of violence and crime

Exploring the life-course of 1,400 youths and the pathways that lead to violence and delinquency: The Zurich Project on the Social Development from Childhood to Adulthood

youths bild

z-proso studies the social development of children and youths, with a particular focus on aggressive and delinquent behaviour, but also of prosocial characteristics. In doing so, it investigates how individual, family, school and situational factors work together in the development of violence and other problem behavior. About 1400 children have been regularly followed since 2004, when they entered primary school. The most recent wave of data collection took place in 2022 at age 24.

The study is complemented by a field experiment aimed at evaluating the effectiveness of two early prevention programs, i.e., a parent training program (Triple P) and a school-based social skills training, originally named "PATHS" in English, and now "Denk-Wege" in German. z-proso fills an important gap in the field of violence prevention research as it examines the long-term effects of these prevention programs.

The marked cultural diversity of the sample, the long running time in association with an excellent retention rate of 90%, and the combination with a field experiment distinguish this project which is funded by the SNF as a research infrastructure.

Further reading

z-proso News: "Young People in the Corona Crisis" [available in German only] (PDF, 611 KB)

Brochure on the occasion of 15 years of z-proso (PDF, 4 MB)

"Forschungsmemo extremistische Einstellungen", April 2017 (german) (PDF, 474 KB)

factsheet with central findings 2017 (german) (PDF, 382 KB)

factsheet with central findings 2015 (PDF, 1 MB)