To help close the knowledge gap and to help program directors, practitioners, and community leaders enlarge the network of effective programs and approaches for at-risk youth, Urban Institute researchers reviewed what is known about successful prevention interventions and their dissemination. They identified 51 problem behavior prevention interventions whose initial effectiveness has been demonstrated through scientific evaluation. A subset of 21 programs was selected on the basis of the rigor of their evaluations or the strength of their results for closer examination of the program elements and/or delivery modes that appeared to be associated with their effectiveness. The researchers also explored with the assistance of experienced prevention scientists and school-based practitioners what might be the essential elements of schools' and other community organizations' readiness to undertake research-based problem behavior prevention programming.
This guidebook to promising programs and approaches offers the fruits of that research. It is our hope that it will provide a helpful starting point for the development of a larger, more sustainable network of effective prevention programs and approaches for at-risk teens.
In the booklet you will find:
- An Update on Adolescent Risk-Taking -- what is known about the level and characteristics of teen risk-taking today and why it is both necessary and an opportune time to improve and expand the network of effective prevention programs for at-risk preteens and teens.
- The Common Elements of Successful Prevention Programs, briefly summarized, along with an explanation of the criteria used to select the 51 programs profiled in this guidebook.
- Moving from Research to Practice -- a discussion of the challenges facing practitioners seeking to replicate promising intervention programs or approaches, with some suggestions for ways to meet these challenges.
- A Prevention Readiness Questionnaire to help program directors and planners identify and assess factors necessary to create favorable conditions and circumstances for successful adaptation or replication of the programs or their salient components in new settings.
- Profiles of 51 Prevention Programs whose behavioral evaluations demonstrate their effectiveness. The profiles provide general information about the program, highlight unique features, summarize evaluation results, and give general contact information. The 21 (most) rigorously evaluated programs also have curriculum, training, and contact information included.
- A Handy Reference Chart for quick comparison of the 51 programs.