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Adolescents at RiskPrevalence and Prevention$
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Joy G. Dryfoos

Print publication date: 1992

Print ISBN-13: 9780195072686

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780195072686.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 24 October 2021

Common Concepts of Successful Prevention Programs

Common Concepts of Successful Prevention Programs

Chapter:
(p.227) 13 Common Concepts of Successful Prevention Programs
Source:
Adolescents at Risk
Author(s):

Joy G. Dryfoos

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780195072686.003.0018

The review of four major fields—prevention of delinquency, substance abuse, teen pregnancy, and school failure (in Chapters 9 to 12)—yielded about 100 different programs that appear to have potential for changing behavioral outcomes. Most of the selected programs reported evaluation data that showed improvements in social behavior or school achievement or reductions in substance abuse or unprotected sexual intercourse. However, 20 of the programs were included as examples of new interventions based on proven theories of behavioral change but with incomplete evaluations. These programs represent a cross-section of thousands of efforts to change the lives of children and youth in all parts of the country. In each chapter, the programs were loosely categorized by type. Among all the models discussed, about 10 percent fell into the category of early child or family intervention, 60 percent were school-based interventions, and 30 percent community-based or multiagency programs. Among the school-based programs, one-third involved specialized curricula, one-third provided nonacademic services in schools, and one-third dealt with school organization or were alternative schools. As we will see, the successful programs share a number of common elements, more than might be expected given the extensive differences in size, complexity, goals, and level of documentation. Among the program models are those directed at very small groups of selected high-risk children and those directed at an entire school or community. Some of the programs had a single purpose (smoking prevention), while others had multiple goals (dropout and pregnancy prevention). Some were offered at one site, while others were multisite. The criterion of primary prevention was loosely applied; some of the most successful models combined identification and counseling or teaching of potential high-risk children with treatment of those who already had the problem. The evaluation of some of the programs accepted here as models was admittedly less than ideal, demonstrating only short-term effects with imperfect control groups. However, for other models, the evaluation meets scientific standards. More than half of the evaluations were carried out by the “designers” of the programs, typically testing their own curricula in schools.

Keywords:   Ability grouping, Bilingual education, Comprehensive services, El Puente, Financial incentives, Holistic approaches, Incentive programs, Job placement, Life Skills Training Program, Marketing

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