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. Prevention Science plays a critically important role in informing policy by identifying cost beneficial, effective policies that support nurturing environments for families and communities. The 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.
NATIONAL PREVENTION SCIENCE COALITION TO IMPROVE LIVES
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; and (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.
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).
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.
Our proposal for a World-Class National Prevention System exemplifies our vision. We are pleased to share other documents on our website such as policy papers (e.g., A Multi-Issue Prevention Model for Benefiting Society), op-eds (e.g. ‘Prevention Science’ can Improve Baltimore’s Future), factsheets on various topics (e.g.: Mental Health, Early Childhood Development, and School Violence); and the details of our routinely hosted Congressional Briefings on topics relevant to our mission:
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Our accomplishments include (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.
As a volunteer organization, funding for these activities is essential to our sustainability and ability to exert socially meaningful impacts. Please visit our website to make a donation to support our efforts to bring life to science.
Guided by science, the National Prevention Science Coalition to Improve Lives envisions a society that fosters nurturing environments and caring relationships for the well-being of all.
To prevent social ills and promote well-being by translating scientific knowledge into effective and sustainable practices, systems and policies.
For more information, contact:
Diana H. Fishbein, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Human Development and Family Studies and Affiliate of the Prevention Research Center, Pennsylvania State University. Co-Director of the National Prevention Science Coalition to Improve Lives. Dfishbein@psu.edu
John Roman, Ph.D., Senior Fellow, Economics, Justice and Society Group at NORC, University of Chicago. Co-Director of the National Prevention Science Coalition to Improve Lives. firstname.lastname@example.org