WHAT IS PREVENTION SCIENCE?
PREVENTION SCIENCE addresses individual and societal problems before they develop and encourages a wellness approach to positive childhood, adolescent, family and community outcomes. It informs decision makers as to what practices are most effective to ensure that children and adolescents reach their potential and plays a critically important role in informing policy by identifying cost beneficial, effective policies that support nurturing environments for families and communities. Prevention science has generated scientific evidence for practices and policies that,
(1) recognize early warning signs and risk factors that predict or lead to unfavorable outcomes;
(2) are developmentally and culturally appropriate and accessible to the communities they serve;
(3) focus on reducing exposure to detrimental conditions – or addressing the effects of such conditions – that otherwise contribute to poor outcomes;
(4) demonstrate the cost-savings of prevention.
Embracing the concepts and strategies from prevention science promises to improve our young people’s chances for growing up healthy and being successful in multiple domains of life. Our ultimate goal is to infuse a prevention mentality into the public and private sectors, where the emphasis is more on proactively preventing problems rather than reactively responding to them.
We are comprised of scientists (across disciplines), educators, community stakeholders, practitioners and clinicians, policy makers, advocates, and foundation representatives (view our Board of Directors and committee members). We work in a nonpartisan manner with congressional offices and caucuses on issues such as poverty and juvenile justice where some are incorporating the evidence-based knowledge we convey in proposed legislation. Additionally, we work with federal agency administrators who advise us and incorporate Prevention Science in their work (e.g., NIH, SAMHSA, ONDCP, and CDC). We also collaborate with like-minded groups and national organizations and are working to expand on those partnerships.
Fourth Annual Board of Directors' Retreat Hosted by the Annie E. Casey Foundation January 2018
WHAT WE DO
clinicians and practitioners, educators, youth and family serving organizations,
advocacy groups, & policymakers
The NPSC was formed to promote the application of validated, science-based findings to wide-scale, effective implementation of prevention practices and policies. In doing so, we address several areas of concern, such as mental and behavioral health, education, and environmental influences. Additionally, we address adverse social conditions that contribute to both behavioral problems (e.g., poor self-regulation, drug and alcohol abuse, violence) and major chronic illnesses (e.g., asthma, diabetes, obesity, heart disease) that originate in childhood and become compounded in adulthood. Given that behavioral, mental and physical health problems are highly concentrated in high poverty neighborhoods, the NPSC has prioritized the reduction of poverty and its ill effects. Criminal and juvenile justice issues are also a matter of concern to us. Effective prevention of these multiple problems requires fostering environments from the prenatal period onward that nurture child and adolescent successful development (Healthy Child Development). Our proposal for a World-Class National Prevention System exemplifies our stance. Please view some of our other documents such as policy papers, op-eds, and factsheets under resources.
We also have several critical accomplishments in the past year in the areas of of (a) promoting the use of scientific findings to develop evidence-based practices and policies (Two Special Issues, in Prevention Science & Translational Behavioral Medicine); (b) developing collaborations between scientists, practitioners and policy-makers; (c) disseminating knowledge about prevention strategies to individuals, organizations, communities and policy-makers; (d) advocating for the rigorous implementation and scaling up of evidence-based prevention practices and policies; (e) developing affiliations with several like-minded organizations and foundations; and (f) developing and engaging in several large-scale projects. Our accomplishments are, in large part, facilitated by our intensive relationship-building efforts to connect researchers with practitioners and policy-makers. We receive and respond to numerous requests by legislators for science-based materials and resources that will inform their decision-making.