• By Kevin Mount
  • Posted on Wednesday 27th May, 2009

Preventionists unpick the ties that bind

From the first, prevention science has focused on relationship questions, especially those to do with the essential bond between parent and child. But there are many kinds of relationships across the lifespan and this year’s Society for Prevention Research meeting is attempting to spread the net.Planning has been led by Deborah Capaldi, a research scientist at the Oregon Social Learning Center, and her focus reflects the Center’s core interest in relationship building as well as the quality of existing bonds.The opening plenary sessions consider “intimate partner violence”. Thanks to improving empirical evidence, a major re-evaluation of what used to be called "domestic violence" is taking place, leading to new prevention opportunities, some of which are explored at this year’s meeting.The landmark US Institute of Medicine report Preventing Mental, Emotional and Behavioral Disorders Among Young People published in March also gets a high profile at the Washington conference, as do the findings of two Society task forces. One has been examining how the integration of biological and psycho-social evidence can lead to better understanding of how to prevent impairments to children’s behavioral development. Another Oregon Social Learning Center scientist, Leslie Leve, led a a pre-conference workshop yesterday about adding data on genetics to studies of prevention.The other task force is concentrating on Type 2 Translation Research – the business of persuading society to absorb the successes of prevention science into standard daily practice. • For more about Preventing Mental, Emotional and Behavioral Disorders Among Young People, see for example, Pull down the silos - it's time to pool resources and Has the time come for the "preventionist"?

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