Preventing Substance Use, Delinquency, Violence, and Other Problem Behaviors over the Life-Course Using the Communities That Care System

  • Abigail A. Fagan
  • J. David Hawkins


This chapter describes the development and evaluation of the Communities That Care (CTC) system, a comprehensive, community-based strategy for preventing substance use, delinquency, and violence among youth. We explain how communities trained in this system access information regarding the predictors of youth crime and target these predictors using science-based and developmentally appropriate proven interventions that can be implemented from the prenatal period through young adulthood to reduce offending over the life-course. Use of this system by community coalitions has been shown to reduce the initiation and prevalence of substance use, delinquency, and violence in well-controlled scientific trials.

These results demonstrate that CTC’s theory-guided strategy for building community capacity to use tested and effective preventive interventions that reduce prevalent risks and strengthen protective factors can minimize involvement in offending, as hypothesized by life-course theories. Additional research is needed to better understand which risk and protective factors are most salient and malleable during different developmental stages, the relative benefits versus costs of preventive intervention at different developmental stages, and how strategies like CTC that seek to increase the use of tested and effective preventive interventions in communities can be sustained.


Protective Factor Antisocial Behavior Collective Efficacy Smokeless Tobacco Community That Care 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This work was supported by research grants from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (R01 DA015183-03) with co-funding from the National Cancer Institute, the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, the National Institute of Mental Health, and the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention, and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. The content of this paper is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the funding agencies.

The authors gratefully acknowledge the ongoing participation in the study and data collection efforts of the residents of the 24 communities described in this chapter.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Abigail A. Fagan
    • 1
  • J. David Hawkins
    • 2
  1. 1.College of Criminology and Criminal JusticeFlorida State UniversityTallahasseeUSA
  2. 2.Social Development Research GroupUniversity of Washington School of Social WorkSeattleUSA

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