Family-centered preventive intervention science: Toward benefits to larger populations of children, youth, and families

Richard L. Spoth, Kathryn A. Kavanagh, Thomas J. Dishion

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

117 Scopus citations


The field of family-centered preventive intervention science is well poised to seize an opportunity for larger-scale intervention implementation and greater public health impact. This opportunity has been created by earlier research in the areas of epidemiology, developmental etiology, and intervention outcome research. Both earlier and current research define a number of key tasks required to meet the many challenges involved in scaling-up for greater impact. Illustrations of how these tasks can be addressed are provided in articles on programs of family-centered research with infants, children, and adolescents. Each article in this special issue treats one or more tasks that concern (a) expansion of the set of rigorously evaluated, theory-driven interventions that have potential to reach large numbers of children, youth, and families; (b) effective strategies for family recruitment and retention; (c) cultural sensitivity of interventions; (d) application of a developmental life course perspective; (e) strategies for linking higher-risk population subgroups with potentially beneficial services; (f) improved diffusion mechanisms for sustained, quality delivery; and (g) policy making informed by research, including economic analysis. A summary of how articles address these tasks concludes with a discussion of the importance of further strengthening a public service orientation in prevention science.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)145-152
Number of pages8
JournalPrevention Science
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2002


  • Family-centered prevention
  • Public health
  • Scaling-up interventions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


Dive into the research topics of 'Family-centered preventive intervention science: Toward benefits to larger populations of children, youth, and families'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this