Monday, November 22, 2010

More prevention principles

Last week I blogged about scientifically based principles that can guide communities to implement prevention strategies that work. Following are a few more principles about starting programs in communities.

1) Prevention programs aimed at general populations at key transition points, such as the transition to middle school, can produce beneficial effects even among high-risk families and children.

2) Community prevention programs that combine two or more effective programs, such as family-based and school-based programs, can be more effective than a single program alone.

3) Community prevention programs reaching populations in multiple settings—for example, schools, clubs, faith-based organizations, and the media—are most effective when they present consistent, community-wide messages in each setting.

These three principles point to the effectiveness of integrated, comprehensive prevention strategies rather than one-time events. Some examples are:
  • providing structured time with adults through mentoring;

  • increasing positive attitudes though community service;

  • communicating clear policies on substance abuse;

  • supporting a large number of prevention strategies or integrating strategies into already existing activities.

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