Assignment: Effective Prevention Programs

Characteristics of Effective Prevention Programs
“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
–Benjamin Franklin
Mental health services can target families and couples already experiencing severe problems, those couples and families experiencing common life stage transitions, and even couples and families that have not yet shown any signs of difficulty at all. Primary prevention seeks to intervene with the latter group on a mass scale with the goal of impacting the greatest number of couples and families as possible. As attractive as primary prevention sounds, and equally common-sensical and time-honored, the development and implementation of primary preventative interventions and programs proves difficult. For instance, it is difficult to measure the impact of an intervention or program that seeks to forestall some future outcome that may be one or more years away. Fortunately, much research has been conducted on what constitutes an effective, or good, preventative intervention or program. The dilemma for mental health professionals as a whole, and for you as a future marriage, couple, and family counselor, is how to carve out space in your professional work for the creation and development of prevention programming. This is challenging because in clinical practice, the majority of time and money may be spent on tertiary prevention or remedial counseling.
To prepare for this Discussion, use the Internet to find a prevention program for an area of professional interest. Consider how this program is effective or ineffective using the characteristics of effective programs outlined in the Learning Resources.
With these thoughts in mind:
Post by Day 4 the title for the prevention program you selected. Describe three characteristics that make this program effective and explain why. Then, describe at least one characteristic that the program is lacking. Finally, explain how you would redesign the program to effectively incorporate the missing characteristic.
Be sure to support your postings and responses with specific references to the Learning Resources.
Required Resources
Readings
Article: Bond, L. A., & Carmola-Hauf, A. M. (2004). Taking stock and putting stock in primary prevention: Characteristics of effective programs. The Journal of Primary Prevention, 24(3), 199–221.
Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.
Article: Kumpfer, K. L., Alvarado, R., Smith, P., & Bellamy, N. (2002). Cultural sensitivity and adaptation in family-based prevention interventions. Prevention Science, 3(3), 241–246.
Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.
Article: Larson, J. (2007). Couple enrichment approaches. Journal of Couple & Relationship Therapy, 6(1/2), 197–206.
Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.
Article: Stith, S., Pruitt, I., Dees, J., Fronce, M., Green, N. Som, A., & Linkh, D. (2006). Implementing community-based prevention programming: A review of the literature. The Journal of Primary Prevention, 27(6), 599–617.
Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.
Optional Resources
Articles
Sanders, M. R., Ralph, A., Sofronoff, K., Gardiner, P., Thompson, R., Dwyer, S., & Bidwell, K. (2008). Every family: A population approach to reducing behavioral and emotional problems in children making the transition to school. The Journal of Primary Prevention, 29(3), 197–222.
Wilson, K., Gonzalez, P., Romero, T., Henry, K., & Cerbana, C. (2010). The effectiveness of parent education for incarcerated parents: An evaluation of parenting from prison. Journal of Correctional Education, 61(2), 114–132.

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