Prevention Science

, Volume 9, Issue 3, pp 139–152 | Cite as

Acceptance and Commitment: Implications for Prevention Science

  • Anthony Biglan
  • Steven C. Hayes
  • Jacqueline Pistorello


Recent research in behavior analysis and clinical psychology points to the importance of language processes having to do with the control of negative cognition and emotion and the commitment to valued action. Efforts to control unwanted thoughts and feelings, also referred to as experiential avoidance (EA), appear to be associated with a diverse array of psychological and behavioral difficulties. Recent research shows that interventions that reduce EA and help people to identify and commit to the pursuit of valued directions are beneficial for ameliorating diverse problems in living. These developments have the potential to improve the efficacy of many preventive interventions. This paper reviews the basic findings in these areas and points to some ways in which these developments could enhance the impact of preventive interventions.


Acceptance Commitment Therapy Prevention 



NIDA Grant Numbers PA018760 and DA017868, NICHD Grant Number DA018760, and NIMH Grant Number MH074968 supported in part the preparation of this manuscript. The authors thank Christine Cody for editorial assistance and help in preparation of the document.


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Copyright information

© Society for Prevention Research 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anthony Biglan
    • 1
  • Steven C. Hayes
    • 2
  • Jacqueline Pistorello
    • 2
  1. 1.Oregon Research InstituteEugeneUSA
  2. 2.University of Nevada RenoRenoUSA

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