The prevention area includes researchers from multiple disciplines who examine issues related to the prevention of mental health problems, substance abuse, and behavioral problems and the promotion of positive outcomes and wellbeing across the life course. Researchers in this area are involved in developing, adapting, testing, implementing, and bringing to scale prevention programs for children, adolescents, adults and the elderly across a range of community and service settings.
Faculty and students, in partnership with community stakeholders, are engaged in a series of interrelated projects that address all levels of the prevention continuum, including mental health promotion, universal, selective, and indicated prevention programs, and prevention in populations with existing problems or co-morbid conditions. These activities aim to reduce the incidence and prevalence of mental and behavioral disorders among children, youth, and adults through the implementation of prevention programs in a variety of ecological contexts, including schools, families, workplaces, and communities. Prevention research activities in the department include the prevention of violence, suicide, child sexual abuse, substance abuse problems, aggressive-disruptive behavior problems, anxiety, depression, age-related cognitive impairment, and Alzheimer’s disease, as well as the promotion of positive parenting, wellbeing, and resiliency.
Common elements across many of these initiatives include the application of epidemiologic findings to the development of novel prevention programs, enhancements to existing programs, adaptations of programs to ensure fit with cultural, developmental, and contextual factors, and the integration of different programs. There is a particular interest in bridging efficacy and effectiveness research to aid the implementation of preventive interventions in real-world settings. Several faculty members have expertise in the design, conduct, and analysis of group-randomized trials and in collaboration with service providers, educational systems, and community-based organizations.
Several centers housed across the Bloomberg School of Public Health support research that aims to reduce the incidence and prevalence of mental and behavioral disorders among children, youth, and adults: