Using theory and basic research to target primary prevention programs: recent developments and future prospects.
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This paper is concerned with recent attempts within the field of primary prevention to use theory and basic research to develop intervention programs. It starts by reviewing a number of recent large scale studies based upon the dominant theoretical perspective within this field--the social influences model. It argues that the results of such evaluations suggest that a 'universal' prevention strategy (i.e. one aimed in an undifferentiated manner at all individuals within a given population) is out of touch with our current knowledge concerning the etiological processes underlying substance use and misuse. As an alternative, it is suggested that prevention programs be developed according to a number of 'specific' strategies (i.e. ones targeted at vulnerable subgroups within larger populations). The rationale underlying this approach, as well as a number of theoretical models upon which such interventions might be developed, is then outlined.
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