The 9 Principles of Prevention

Maury Nation and colleagues completed research that looked at successful prevention programs and identified criteria that were commonly found in these programs. These are referred to as the Nine Principles of Effective Prevention Programs. The Nine Principles serve as a good checklist when reviewing prevention plans to ensure that multiple criterion are met.

Comprehensive Services
Strategies should include multiple components and affect multiple settings to address a wide range of risk and protective factors of the target problem.
Varied Teaching Methods
Strategies should include multiple teaching methods, including some type of active, skills based component.
Sufficient Dosage
Participants need to be exposed to enough of the activity for it to have an effect.
Theory Driven
Preventive strategies should have scientific or logical rationale.
Positive Relationships
Programs should foster strong, stable, positive relationships between children and adults.
Appropriately Timed
Program activities should happen at a time (developmentally) that can have maximum impact in a participant's life.
Socioculturally Relevant
Programs should be tailored to fit within cultural beliefs and practices of specific groups, as well as local community norms.
Outcome Evaluation
A systematic outcome evaluation is necessary to determine whether a program or strategy worked.
Well-Trained Staff
Programs need to be implemented by staff members who are sensitive, competent, and have received sufficient training, support, and supervision. Follow up (booster) training and technical assistance to staff are critical.

Resources on Other Websites

  • "Applying the Principles of Prevention: What Do Prevention Practitioners Need to Know About What Works" (2003). Nation, M., Crusto, C., Wandersman, A., Kumpfer, K. L., Seybolt, D., Morrissey-Kane, E., & Davino, K. American Psychologist, 58, 449-456. Prepared for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Division of Violence Prevention

Notes and References

  1. Nation, M., Crusto, C., Wandersman, A., Kumpfer, K. L., Seybolt, D., Morrissey-Kane, E., & Davino, K. (2003). What works in prevention: Principles of effective prevention programs. American Psychologist, 58, 449-456.