Primary Prevention: The Only Course of Action

Billy A. Barrios, Lizette Peterson


The present paper discusses some of the distinguishing features associated with behavioral prevention methodology, e.g., the design, implementation, and evaluation of preventive programs. It is argued that Behaviorists for Social Action has already implicitly identified target populations (those at high risk of being objects of social injustice and those at risk for engaging in inequitable social behavior) for preventive intervention; and that the two distinct populations which have been identified can form the focus of preventive endeavors. Various research skills which behaviorists must acquire in order to competently initiate and evaluate prevention programs are sophistication with epidemiological research, group designs, longitudinal methodology, sampling techniques, and psychometric principles. Finally, it is suggested that primary prevention represents a sensible and cost - efficient approach which can effectively and comprehensively deal with critical social problems.

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