The Prevention Research Center is an organization of researchers whose common goal is the advancement of Prevention Science; the study of the mechanisms by which adverse health outcomes may be prevented by early intervention, education, environmental change, and policy change.

Research at the Center examines the full range of prevention activities:

  • Primary Prevention - Preventing problems before they start

  • Secondary Prevention - Preventing problems among those at risk

  • Tertiary Prevention - Preventing continued problems once they start

Research at the Center considers the full scope of preventive goals:

  • Universal Prevention - Directed at all segments of society

  • Selective Prevention - Targeted at at-risk populations

  • Indicated Prevention - Targeted at high-risk individuals

The Center's research program integrates theoretical and empirical work from the academic disciplines of anthropology, economics, epidemiology, public health, policy science, psychology, and sociology. The goal of the basic scientific research is to understand the individual, social, political, and environmental circumstances related to adverse health outcomes. Basic scientific research into the characteristics of individuals that predispose them to health risks are integrated with studies of social milieu and environmental structures in which these risks are too often realized in injury and death.

Applied scientific research at the Center focuses upon the development and implementation of creative preventive interventions that promote positive outcomes. Studies of the effectiveness of these creative interventions proceed through the following five stages:

  • Basic research on the mechanisms that produce adverse health outcomes

  • Development of effective preventive intervention strategies

  • Experimental tests of the efficacy of prevention strategies

  • Tests of the effectiveness of these strategies in real world settings

  • Effective dissemination of the results of this research

These studies require the application of advanced evaluation and health services research methods to assess the efficacy, efficiency, and cost effectiveness of preventive intervention services. The Prevention Research Center has been at the leading edge of these research enterprises in the United States since 1983.

The areas of research at the Prevention Research Center include:

  • Alcohol and drug use, abuse, and related problems

  • Violence prevention and the study of intentional injury

  • College drinking and drug use

  • Traffic Safety Adolescent studies in support of youth prevention efforts

  • Workplace studies in support of alcohol and drug prevention efforts

  • Alcohol advertising and youth use of alcohol

  • Community-based research into the ecology of alcohol and drug problems