Adolescent preventive health: A cost-beneficial social and life group paradigm

John S. Wodarski, Paul R. Smokowski, Marvin D. Feit

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


The problematic behaviors of teenagers and the negative consequences are extensive and well documented. Skills an adolescent must master, such as social, cognitive, and academic, which should provide the focus for intervention from a life-span development perspective, are reviewed. From a cost-benefit standpoint, the interventions the social service system has chosen are extremely costly and highly unproductive for both client and practitioner. This manuscript reviews various elements of the public health model which should set the stage for interventions. First the personal and societal costs of teen pregnancy, substance abuse, child maltreatment and racial disparities are analyzed. Then the personal, social, economic and political benefits of prevention are discussed. The discussion concludes with an elucidation of preventative models of service delivery. The Life Skills Training approach is proposed as the treatment of choice. The paradigm has rationale and elements in common with other prevention programs that are based on a public health orientation and comprise the essential components of health education, skills training, and practice applying skills.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-40
Number of pages40
JournalJournal of Prevention and Intervention in the Community
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - 1996
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology


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