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From The CriticsReviewer: Robert Cohen, PhD (Medical College of Virginia at Virginia Commonwealth University)
Description: This book provides an overview of effective primary and secondary prevention programs directed at a wide range of problems, and targets child and adolescent populations. In addition to describing exemplary initiatives focused on a variety of behavioral and physical health problems (as well as educational and social problems), there is also discussion of critical issues and problems in the field of prevention.
Purpose: The author attempts to inform a broad audience about the scientific progress that has been made in the field of prevention. The book clearly explains how contemporary prevention programs are designed, implemented, and evaluated. Given the enormous human and financial cost of the problems addressed here, it is important for this audience to have a clear understanding of potential contribution of prevention efforts. For the most part, the author succeeds in achieving these objectives.
Audience: This book is worthy for preventionists, service providers, and students from a variety of health and human service disciplines. It appears to have been an extension of a well received review of prevention published by the author in 1997, is clearly written, and should be of use to the wide audience for which it is intended.
Features: Although some useful tables and figures are provided, the book basically follows a narrative format. The references are comprehensive and up to date and the table of contents and index appear to be sufficient. It is not a particularly attractive book, but the quality of the content compensates for its stylistic limitations.
Assessment: This is a well-written, timely book that gives the reader a good knowledge base and useful framework for understanding the current status of prevention programs for children and adolescents. Although it overlaps with other works on this subject, its comprehensive scope, up-to-date references, and balanced point of view make it a worthwhile addition. It should be included in any basic reference collection and is a useful text for courses dealing with prevention. Its primary limitation — acknowledged by the author — is that as an overview, it does not provide the reader with a thorough discussion of any of the specific topics or issues covered. In relation to its many positive attributes, this is a minor problem.