SPR NEWS (1) 2003

SPR News 1 — March 11, 2003

Dear SPR Member:

Over the past few years, there have been a number of exciting developments as the Society for Prevention Research has grown to over 500 members. Some of these include starting PREVENTION SCIENCE, our scientific journal, obtaining a conference grant from NIH to help support SPR’s annual conference, opening an SPR office in Washington DC, hiring an administrative director, and developing an appropriate administrative infrastructure to support SPR’s current activities and future growth.

In order to keep the SPR membership better informed about ongoing activities and new developments, we are starting an e-newsletter called “SPR News” which will be e-mailed to all members of SPR on a periodic basis. Our first issue includes information on the following:

  • Strategic Planning
  • Updates on Funded Projects
  • New Conflict of Interest Policy
  • Planning for 2003 and 2004 SPR Conferences
  • Nominations for SPR Officers and Board Positions


Over the past year the Board of Directors has been developing and implementing a strategic plan for the organization. The Board met most recently in January 2003 to further develop “A Plan to Promote Effectiveness and Dissemination” which is a core element of the three-year strategic plan. This strategic objective involves a three-pronged approach that intended to: (1) encourage federal and state-level initiatives on the integration of research and practice, 2) develop standards for the level of rigor required for “effective” practices, and (3) develop and promote the use of data systems to measure trends in positive youth development and factors that influence it at state and local levels. Several task forces and staff are now working on implementing the approved work plan and we will provide further updates on their progress in the coming months.


Along with the specific goals and actions steps articulated in SPR’s strategic plan, a report “A Framework for Understanding ‘Evidence’ in Prevention Research” was completed and accepted, in November 2002, as a product of SPR’s first contract with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS). The report calls for increased collaboration among a broad range of prevention stakeholders including prevention researchers, practitioners, educators, policy makers, community leaders, and government agencies. I’d like to thank Shep Kellam, project director and SPR Past President, for heading up this successful project. The report will be published in an upcoming issue of PREVENTION SCIENCE.
SPR is undertaking another important project, the “Multi-Problem Youth” project, funded by the National Science Foundation and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Tony Biglan is principle investigator. Highlights of the project include the publication of a book on multi-problem youth, a mini-conference “Creating Communities That Monitor the Well-Being of America’s Children and Adolescents” held in late February, and a communications and advocacy plan to promote the outcomes of the project and the work of SPR as it relates to multi-problem youth.


A major initiative of the SPR Board over the past 18-months has been the development and implementation of a Conflict of Interest (COI) policy (see our website, www.preventionresearch.org). The purpose of the COI policy is to ask prospective participants in SPR activities to consider whether or not they may have a conflict of interest, financial or otherwise, that may compromise or appear to compromise the objectivity or unbiased nature of these activities. Individuals participating in various SPR activities will be expected to disclose any real or apparent conflict of interest, in most cases by completing a disclosure statement indicating whether or not they have a conflict of interest. The conflict of interest policy includes PREVENTION SCIENCE journal article submissions, annual meeting abstract submissions, and the officers, directors and standing committee chairs of the Society.

All current SPR officers, directors and standing committee chairs have completed a conflict of interest disclosure statement, as have the authors of all articles published in the journal since the policy was implemented. The one area that requires increased compliance and visibility is for conference abstract submissions. During the 2003 conference, authors will be asked to include his/her conflict of interest statement on the first slide of an oral presentation or poster presentation. Additionally, all conflict of interest statements that were included in the on-line abstract submission process will be printed in the conference program.


The 2003 Executive Program Committee, chaired by Zili Sloboda, has been working diligently on the program development of SPR’s 11th Annual Meeting “Research to Policy” to be held June 12th to the 14th (2003) in Washington, D.C. A record 471 abstracts were submitted this year representing 39 organized symposia, 19 roundtable discussions, 142 individual paper presentations, 100 posters and 17 technology demonstrations. Numerous subcommittees have reviewed each abstract to develop a well-round, high quality program. Author acceptance notifications were recently sent via e-mail.

SPR’s 12th Annual Meeting will be held May 26th to 28th (2004) in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. Quebec City is a beautiful city with lots of charm. It has a European feel and due to its small size provides a retreat atmosphere. Ray Peters, one of our Canadian members of SPR, will chair the 2004 Executive Program Committee. The 13th Annual Meeting will be held in Washington, D.C. in either late May or early June 2005.


The 2003 Nominations Committee will be convening shortly. As immediate past president Sheppard Kellam chairs this committee comprised of C. Hendricks Brown, Richard Catalano, Felipe Castro, Denise Gottfredson, Denise Hallfors, Clemens Hosman, Richard Price, John Reid, and Paula Smith. The 2003 ballot will include the nominees for president-elect and five board members. Please contact any one of the committee members if you have recommendations for nominations.

Please don’t hesitate to contact me at gjbotvin@med.cornell.edu or Jennifer Lewis SPR Administrative Director at jenniferlewis@preventionresearch.org if you have any questions or comments about SPR activities.



Gilbert J. Botvin, Ph.D.

Visit the SPR website at www.preventionresearch.org