Iowa State University

Partnerships in Prevention Science Institute

Findings sorted by goals







Since the initiation of the Institute projects in late 1991, a number of key results and conclusions have emerged that address several Institute goals. 

Intervention efficacy

  • Literature reviews conducted for Project Family reveal that preventive interventions for families and youth are widely disseminated, but rarely subjected to rigorous evaluation.

  • Brief family-focused interventions can positively change parenting behaviors directly targeted by the interventions which, in turn, positively influence parent-child affective quality and child management practices.

  • Brief family-focused interventions can reduce adolescent substance use and other conduct problems, as long as four years following baseline, with changes in substance-use trajectories evident as long as six years past baseline.

  • Family-focused interventions for general populations can be cost effective in preventing lifetime alcohol disorders, yielding considerable returns on dollars invested.

Family participation factors

  • Parents consider teen problem behaviors to be serious, but often believe their own children to be at low risk for developing such problems.

  • Parents view prevention programs for families as beneficial and research on such programs as worthwhile--the primary barriers to their participation are practical ones, such as time demands and schedule conflicts.

  • Successfully engaging families in brief preventive interventions requires effective community partnerships and substantial resources for recruitment and retention.

Strategies for diffusion of interventions

  • School-communityuniversity partnerships assisted by the Land Grant University Extension System have enhanced the quality of research on universal, evidence-based intervention adoption, participation, and implementation adherence

  • Partnership-based outcome studies have helped to expand knowledge and evidence base concerning universal youth and family intervention efficacy

  • Currently, research on partnership processes and outcomes is aiding researchers in moving toward a better understanding of how partnerships can serve ongoing, quality implementation of evidence-based interventions


Needs assessment research

  • The level of need for preventive interventions in Iowa varies with household sociodemographic factors, such as family structure, as indicated by measures of survey respondent risk and protective factors.

     Needs assessment data can be useful in guiding plans for state-funded

     prevention service delivery.

Manuscripts and publications produced since 1993 have covered a wide range of family-focused preventive intervention research topics and issues related to each of the four areas listed above.  Key work has included the development and testing of models of family processes that influence a range of parent and youth outcomes, as well as models of factors influencing family engagement in interventions. 

Methodological issues also have been addressed, including alternative methods for calculating optimal sample sizes, structural equation and logistic growth-curve modeling applications to the evaluation of preventive intervention outcomes, application of consumer research methods to examine family engagement in preventive interventions and graphical technique applications to preventive intervention research.

Finally, a number of recent manuscripts address science-practice integration, including issues associated with high-quality program implementation. One of these describes the development of an Extension-based partnership model for diffusion of empirically-supported preventive interventions through community-school-university collaborations.  Other recent articles summarize critical research tasks required for increasing the public health impact of family-focused interventions. 






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