Leading researchers in prevention science will meet May 30-June 1, 2007 at the Hyatt in Washington, DC, to present new findings on a wide variety of health challenges facing youth and families. More than 250 researchers will present the latest findings of their work, addressing a range of topics, such as:
- The tragedy at Virginia Tech has focused attention on what schools, families and students can do to prevent similar incidents in the future. Some answers may lie in research on preventing violence among youth in general. Researchers from one of the largest tests of violence prevention efforts to date will present some of the early results of their work. One of the key questions is how to focus violence prevention on large groups of students as opposed to high risk students.
- The Garrett Lee Smith Memorial Act was signed into law on October 21, 2004 to prevent suicide and suicide attempts in adolescents and young adults. Scientists will look at the evidence available for screening as an approach to suicide prevention.
- Three million students are suspended from school for behavioral problems as a form of punishment. But there is a lack of clear evidence on effectiveness of suspension as a deterrent.
- Obesity rates are disproportionately high among African-American and Latino children, as early as age 6. School-based prevention is one way to deal with obesity, but researchers are learning more about how family involvement can also affect obesity rates.
- Prevention research shows that kids who have difficulty paying attention and who have negative attitudes in earlier grades maybe at higher risks for arrests later. Data on more than 8,000 students shows how interventions can help these kids during elementary school years.
- A national effort surveying nighttime and daytime motorists will be launched in the fall of 2007 to determine alcohol and drug use by motorists. This is the first time the survey will take advantage of oral fluid analysis to collect information on drug use. Details of how the survey will be conducted will be explained at the SPR meeting.
- Drinking and driving is a major problem among teenagers. Can parents make a difference in preventing drunk driving? Can prevention programs aimed at parents help?
The Society for Prevention Research is an international organization focused on the advancement of science-based prevention programs and policies through empirical research. The membership of the organization includes scientists, practitioners, advocates, administrators and policymakers who are concerned with the prevention of social, physical and mental health problems and the promotion of health, safety and well being.