Journal of Primary Prevention

, Volume 21, Issue 2, pp 267–284 | Cite as

Research on Family Engagement in Preventive Interventions: Toward Improved Use of Scientific Findings in Primary Prevention Practice

  • Richard Spoth
  • Cleve Redmond


Effective strategies for family engagement are essential in the implementation of models directed toward the application of research findings to primary prevention practice. Although there has been limited investigation of family engagement in preventive interventions for general populations, the research has yielded several preliminary findings that warrant further study. Notably, families in eligible general populations can differ to a significant degree in intervention preferences and beliefs that influence their motivation to engage in interventions or in intervention evaluations. Also, a number of stable family member characteristics, such as internalizing/externalizing problems, have not been predictive of family engagement. Educational attainment has been predictive, but the differences between participants and nonparticipations have tended to be small. In addition, there are several common barriers to engagement, including family scheduling conflicts, that place practical limits on participation levels and need to be carefully addressed through engagement techniques. Collectively, findings from the literature suggest directions for the development of effective engagement strategies; also, they underscore the value of family engagement research in science-based prevention practices.

family engagement participation preventive interventions dissemination 


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Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press, Inc. 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard Spoth
    • 1
  • Cleve Redmond
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute for Social and Behavioral Research ISU Research ParkIowa State UniversityAmes
  2. 2.Institute for Social and Behavioral ResearchIowa State UniversityUSA

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