• By Kevin Mount
  • Posted on Tuesday 27th May, 2008

Wanting nothing lost in translation

Understanding the part social and physical settings play in healthy child development – the influence of families, peer groups, schools, neighborhoods and the infrastructure of our cities – is one of the focal points of this year’s US Society for Prevention Research conference, which opens in San Francisco today.There has been limited investigation of the relationship between neighborhood context to preventive intervention outcomes, say the organizers. Evidence on the connection between community and neighborhood characteristics and psychosocial and health outcomes is improving, but the knowledge has yet to be be fed back creatively into program design.The Society for Prevention Research began in 1991 with a meeting of academics in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania led by epidemiologist Zili Sloboda and Bill Bukoski, a psychologist from Concordia University in Canada. The San Francisco congress will be the eighteenth and approaching 1,000 people are expected to attend.The Society is dedicated to advances in science-based prevention programs and policies through empirical research. It acts as a bridge between the work of The Society for Research on Child Development, which majors on the causes of children's distress and the evaluation of prevention initiatives, and the Blueprints conference, which is mainly concerned with effective programs and their implementation.The week’s program includes presentations, panels and posters on epidemiology, the causes of impairments to children's health and development, the effectiveness of prevention programs and ways of disseminating the results.The conference will also give good coverage to Prevention Action's growing interest in what is called Type II translational research. When we manage to turn the results of science into effective programs -Type I translation- how to we make the next step and get the programs embedded into ordinary services and daily life?The conference will examine the effectiveness of operating systems such as Communities that Care, which help society introduce prevention programs into the mainstream, alongside other research directed towards the scaling up of effective interventions.Prevention Action will also be covering important breakthroughs in understanding of the causes of problems in children's health and development. The role of genes as they interact with the environment in children's responses to maltreatment will be another strong theme.

Back to Archives