Prevention Science

, Volume 5, Issue 3, pp 185–196

A Conceptual Framework for Adaptive Preventive Interventions

  • Linda M. Collins
  • Susan A. Murphy
  • Karen L. Bierman

DOI: 10.1023/B:PREV.0000037641.26017.00

Cite this article as:
Collins, L.M., Murphy, S.A. & Bierman, K.L. Prev Sci (2004) 5: 185. doi:10.1023/B:PREV.0000037641.26017.00


Recently, adaptive interventions have emerged as a new perspective on prevention and treatment. Adaptive interventions resemble clinical practice in that different dosages of certain prevention or treatment components are assigned to different individuals, and/or within individuals across time, with dosage varying in response to the intervention needs of individuals. To determine intervention need and thus assign dosage, adaptive interventions use prespecified decision rules based on each participant's values on key characteristics, called tailoring variables. In this paper, we offer a conceptual framework for adaptive interventions, discuss principles underlying the design and evaluation of such interventions, and review some areas where additional research is needed.

adaptive interventionspreventionresearch design

Copyright information

© Society for Prevention Research 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Linda M. Collins
    • 1
  • Susan A. Murphy
    • 2
  • Karen L. Bierman
    • 3
  1. 1.The Methodology Center and Department of Human Development and Family StudiesThe Pennsylvania State UniversityUniversity Park
  2. 2.Institute for Social Research and Department of StatisticsUniversity of MichiganAnn Arbor
  3. 3.Department of PsychologyThe Pennsylvania State UniversityUniversity Park