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Thanks to improvements in child health, more children are surviving into adolescence and the burden of disease has shifted to non-communicable diseases often produced by behavioral health problems including tobacco, alcohol, and other drug use, violence, risky sexual behavior, unsafe driving, and mental health problems. These behavioral health problems increase risk for illness and death throughout adulthood. Over the last 40 years, longitudinal studies have identified potential causes of these behavior problems, often called risk and protective factors. Prevention scientists have designed and rigorously tested preventive interventions to reduce known risk factors and enhance protection. These studies have identified effective preventive interventions. Widespread installation of tested and effective preventive interventions could have significant public health impact. Despite the progress of prevention science, tested, effective prevention programs are not widely implemented in communities. If the discoveries of prevention science are to impact behavioral health in the 21st century, communities need to build prevention infrastructure across multiple sectors to take full advantage of these recent developments.
Join us for this presentation of the research base for prevention of behavioral health problems, why community coalitions may be effective way to build prevention infrastructure, and one of these approaches to building prevention infrastructure, Communities that Care (CTC). This approach builds prevention infrastructure to guide communities to choose, install, and monitor tested and effective preventive interventions to address elevated risks and suppressed protective factors affecting youth. CTC process and outcomes from a 24 community randomized trial will be described.
Dr. Richard Catalano is the Bartley Dobb Professor for the Study and Prevention of Violence and the co-founder of the Social Development Research Group in the School of Social Work at the University of Washington. For 35 years, he has led research and program development to promote positive youth development and prevent problem behavior. His work has focused on discovering risk and protective factors for positive and problem behavior, designing and evaluating programs to address these factors, and using this knowledge to understand and improve prevention service systems in states and communities. He has served on expert panels for the National Academy of Science, Federal and State government, and foundations. He has published over 350 articles and book chapters. He is the co-developer of the Social Development Model; the parenting programs “Guiding Good Choices,” “Supporting School Success,” “Staying Connected with Your Teen,” and “Focus on Families;” the school-based program “Raising Healthy Children;” and the community prevention approach, “Communities That Care.”