There is more to the international transfer of prevention programs than just hitting the “copy and paste” buttons. The introduction of the Big Brothers Big Sisters mentoring program to Ireland offers insights into how to succeed.
Diathesis-stress models examine the relationship between a non-biological or genetic predisposition (diathesis) with the environment and life events (stressors) to produce disorders such as schizophrenia. The idea is similar to models to explore GxE or gene environment interactions, to better understand the way genes and environment combine to alter the risk of impairments to children's health and development. One example is the way the MAOA enzyme mediating the environmental risks of child maltreatment. Such evidence has helped shift science from 'nature versus nurture' to 'nature and nurture'.
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Few people working with children will have heard the term “prevention scientist,” let alone know what one is or does. Yet this relatively new breed of researcher is behind the growing list of evidence-based programs being promoted in western developed countries. A new publication puts them under the microscope.
Crime and antisocial behavior prevention efforts have flourished over the last 10 years in the US. This progress can and should be used to help communities improve the life chances of their young people, a recent update urges.
Given the well-known barriers to implementing evidence-based programs, is it better to identify their discrete elements and trust practitioners to combine them in tailored packages depending on the needs of the child and family in question?