Prevention Science

, Volume 20, Issue 1, pp 10–20 | Cite as

Personalizing and Optimizing Preventive Intervention Models via a Translational Neuroscience Framework

  • Diana H. FishbeinEmail author
  • Jacinda K. Dariotis


A new generation of research, building upon developmental psychopathology (Luthar et al. 1997; Luthar et al. (Child Development, 71, 543–562, 2000)), provides evidence that individual differences in risk for behavioral health problems result from intrapersonal and environmental modulation of neurophysiologic and genetic substrates. This transdisciplinary model suggests that, in any given individual, the number of genetic variants implicated in high-risk behavior and the way in which they are assorted and ultimately suppressed or activated in the brain by experiential and contextual factors help to explain behavioral orientations. Implications are that behavioral health problems can be amplified or reduced based on characteristics of an individual and socio-contextual influences on those characteristics. This emerging research has extraordinary implications for the design of prevention programs that more precisely target the malleable mechanisms that underlie behavioral health problems and, hence, more effectively prevent behavioral problems and promote resilience. A detailed, theory-driven examination of all evidence-based interventions is called for to identify the active ingredients that specifically impact these underlying mechanisms. Such an approach will enhance the ability of preventive interventions to achieve effect sizes indicative of beneficial impacts for a greater number of recipients. This paper presents the significant implications of this collective knowledge base for the next generation of precision-based, prevention-focused personalized interventions.


Transdisciplinary Translational Personalized Prevention Intervention Neuroscience 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

This paper does not describe a data collection effort and thus issues pertaining to research involving human participants are not applicable.

Informed Consent

This paper does not describe a data collection effort and thus issues pertaining to research involving human participants are not applicable.


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Copyright information

© Society for Prevention Research 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Human Development and Family Studies and Edna Bennett Pierce Prevention Research CenterThe Pennsylvania State UniversityUniversity ParkUSA
  2. 2.College of Education, Criminal Justice, and Human Services, Evaluation Services CenterUniversity of CincinnatiCincinnatiUSA

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