Common Elements of Adolescent Prevention Programs: Minimizing Burden While Maximizing Reach

  • Maya M. BoustaniEmail author
  • Stacy L. Frazier
  • Kimberly D. Becker
  • Michele Bechor
  • Sonya M. Dinizulu
  • Erin R. Hedemann
  • Robert R. Ogle
  • Dave S. Pasalich
Original Article


A growing number of evidence-based youth prevention programs are available, but challenges related to dissemination and implementation limit their reach and impact. The current review identifies common elements across evidence-based prevention programs focused on the promotion of health-related outcomes in adolescents. We reviewed and coded descriptions of the programs for common practice and instructional elements. Problem-solving emerged as the most common practice element, followed by communication skills, and insight building. Psychoeducation, modeling, and role play emerged as the most common instructional elements. In light of significant comorbidity in poor outcomes for youth, and corresponding overlap in their underlying skills deficits, we propose that synthesizing the prevention literature using a common elements approach has the potential to yield novel information and inform prevention programming to minimize burden and maximize reach and impact for youth.


Prevention Mental health promotion Common elements Core skills Adolescent mental health School prevention 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maya M. Boustani
    • 1
    Email author
  • Stacy L. Frazier
    • 1
  • Kimberly D. Becker
    • 2
  • Michele Bechor
    • 1
  • Sonya M. Dinizulu
    • 3
  • Erin R. Hedemann
    • 1
  • Robert R. Ogle
    • 1
  • Dave S. Pasalich
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyCenter for Children and Families, Florida International UniversityMiamiUSA
  2. 2.University of Maryland School of MedicineBaltimoreUSA
  3. 3.University of Illinois at ChicagoChicagoUSA
  4. 4.Simon Fraser UniversityBurnabyCanada

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