Primary Prevention Programs in Schools

  • Joseph A. Durlak
Part of the Advances in Clinical Child Psychology book series (ACCP, volume 19)


The title of Klein and Goldston’s (1977) text, Primary Prevention: An Idea Whose Time Has Come,was prophetic. Whereas there had been relatively few reports of school-based prevention before the mid-1970s, over the past two decades there has been a surge of interest in such programs. In fact, each year millions of school-children throughout the United States are exposed to programs with a preventive thrust, with many receiving more than one program. For instance, over 90% of all school districts offer services to children who are at risk for academic problems (Slavin, Karweit, & Madden, 1989). Between 72% and 77% of all districts provide programming relevant to smoking, alcohol and other drug use, nutrition, physical fitness, and sex education; between 51% and 67% of districts instruct students on such matters as AIDS, suicide prevention, physical violence, and the use of seat belts and other safety behaviors (Holtzman et al., 1992). There are also many other programs devoted to students’ personal growth and adjustment, and specialized interventions to prevent teenage pregnancy, sexual abuse, and school dropouts. Unfortunately, the overwhelming majority of school-based prevention programs have never been systematically evaluated, with the result that students are being exposed to many programs of unknown impact. Because schools are willing to offer prevention programs, it is important to ascertain which programs are effective in achieving which goals.


Prevention Program Protective Factor Primary Prevention Resistance Training Academic Problem 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joseph A. Durlak
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyLoyola UniversityChicagoUSA

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