There is more to the international transfer of prevention programs than just hitting the “copy and paste” buttons. The introduction of the Big Brothers Big Sisters mentoring program to Ireland offers insights into how to succeed.
Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ)
The Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire is a short screening questionnaire for children aged three to 16 years that gives reliable information on emotional health, conduct problems, hyperactivity, peer relationship problems and pro social behavior. Also known after its originator as Goodman's SDQ, the instrument exists in several versions to meet the needs of researchers and clinicians, and has been published in over 50 languages. An impact supplement asks parents, teachers or the child about chronicity, distress, social impairment, and burden to others if a mental health problem exists. Some applications also ask two follow-up questions "Has the intervention reduced problems?" and "Has the intervention helped in other ways, for example by making the problems more bearable?"
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Few people working with children will have heard the term “prevention scientist,” let alone know what one is or does. Yet this relatively new breed of researcher is behind the growing list of evidence-based programs being promoted in western developed countries. A new publication puts them under the microscope.
Crime and antisocial behavior prevention efforts have flourished over the last 10 years in the US. This progress can and should be used to help communities improve the life chances of their young people, a recent update urges.
Given the well-known barriers to implementing evidence-based programs, is it better to identify their discrete elements and trust practitioners to combine them in tailored packages depending on the needs of the child and family in question?