Iowa State University

Partnerships in Prevention Science Institute


Our Mission





Research Record


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Learn about our Partnership with ISU Extension and Outreach

Our university motto “science with practice” captures the central theme of the institute—promoting the application and translation of intervention science into community practices to improve people's health and well-being.

Our Vision: We envision prevention science that promotes capable and healthy youth, adults,
families, and communities, contributing to legacies of well-being across generations.
Central to this vision is the land grant university ideal of science with practice,
fostered by a culture of collaboration and public health innovation. We are realizing
this vision through a network of partnerships with communities and schools that aims
to advance the science and practice of positive human development.

Our Mission: PPSI’s mission is to conduct innovative research promoting capable and healthy
youth, adults, families, and communities—through partnerships that integrate science
with practice.

Current Science-with-Practice Goals—Toward greater public health impact:

*To expand the evidence base on the effectiveness of prevention, positive youth development, and health promotion interventions for youth, adults, families and communities. This includes examination of
  • How interventions produce their outcomes
  • What factors influence the effectiveness of interventions
  • What economic benefits interventions provide
  • What cultural adaptations improve intervention effectiveness
*To evaluate engagement of youth, adults, and families in evidence-based prevention and health promotion intervention projects

*To evaluate community-school-university partnership approaches to dissemination of evidence-based prevention, positive youth development, and health promotion interventions, including factors related to quality delivery and sustainability

Partnership Results To Date:

*Community-school-university partnership delivery of evidence-based interventions has resulted in:
  • High intervention recruitment and retention rates, compared with similar interventions
  • High-quality intervention delivery
  • Successful cultural adaptations of interventions
  • Community-supported intervention sustainability

*Evidence of intervention effectiveness includes:
  • Positive youth and family skills-building
  • Long-term academic success
  • Long-term reductions in substance use (maintained after six years)
  • Long-term conduct/behavior problem reduction (e.g., reduced aggressive behaviors, reduced depression symptoms)
  • Economic benefits (e.g., $9.60 return on the dollar invested)
  • Similar long-term intervention benefits for both lower- and higher-risk adolescents

*Evidence of benefits of community-school-university partnerships to the high-quality implementation of scientifically-rigorous research studies includes:
  • High levels of school recruitment and retention across studies
  • Sample quality, representative of general populations
  • Successful assessment of approximately 30,000 individuals—most longitudinal

Partnership Network Approach:

*We are developing a partnership network to support community participatory research. This network links public education systems—the national Cooperative Extension and public school systems—and other community-based groups and institutions.

*Our partnership network approach is intended to achieve large-scale public health benefits, through broader use of a community-school-university partnership model.

*The partnership network will:
  • Deliver evidence-based interventions that promote public health and well-being on a large scale
  • Evaluate the public health impact of evidence-based interventions
  • Foster development and evaluation of promising interventions

*The targeted public health and well-being outcomes for the partnership network fall under two general categories:
  • Behavioral health (e.g., decreased substance use and other problem behaviors, increased competencies and healthy lifestyles)
  • Emotional health (e.g., decreased depression and day-to-day stress, increased well-being)

    Our Values and Core Beliefs:


    Partnerships with communities—schools, Extension, other community agencies—are
    essential to long-term, positive outcomes for youth, adults, families and communities.

    Prevention and health promotion program efforts should be oriented toward building
    community capacity to sustain evidence-based interventions in a scientifically-sound way.

    Science with practice approaches are critically important in sustained, high quality delivery,
    evaluation, and dissemination of evidence-based interventions.

    Independent functioning of staff is respected within a culture of collaboration.

    Innovation and creativity are key in the implementation, evaluation and dissemination
    of programs to promote healthy development and prevent problems.

    Systems and policy changes most appropriate for local cultures and environments
    are actively pursued.

    Unwavering pursuit of highly effective partnerships and interventions is essential.

    For more information, please view the powerpoint:
Making a Difference with Youth, Families and Communities (.ppt)
Updated 11/03/05

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