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What Makes Primary Prevention Programs Work? (From Families in Transition: Primary Prevention Programs That Work, V 11, P 343-354, 1988, Lynne A Bond and Barry M Wagner, eds.)

NCJ Number
L A Bond; B M Wagner
Date Published
This paper extracts from effective primary prevention programs the guidelines and considerations important in developing such programs.
The general orientations of effective prevention programs are a multisystem, multilevel perspective; an emphasis on promoting competence; the empowerment of individuals and groups; and sensitivity to the developmental process. Important for program development and refinement are guidance by scientific theory, program replicability, field experience by the researcher and program designer, and longitudinal tracking of program operation and effectiveness. The securing of resources for program implementation and maximizing the likelihood of program use require identifying resources, securing resources, and establishing alternative sources of resources. The marketing of prevention programs involves assessing the needs of the service deliverers and program recipients; creating translatable, adaptable programming; encouraging a sense of ownership of the program among service deliverers and program recipients; embedding programs within existing institutions and structures; and making the program engaging for its participants. Steps in strengthening and sustaining prevention efforts are establishing ties with existing power structures, educating policymakers and the public, and training preventionists. An important component of any prevention program is an evaluation that determines when a program has worked. 12 references.