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Evidence-Based Practices Brief #2.

Recognizing the need to support youth before problem behaviors take shape, prevention programs emerged in the 1970s to address the needs of youth and families; however, these early programs were rarely rooted in either theory or research on childhood development. Consequently, programs began incorporating information gleaned from longitudinal studies to address specific risk factors identified as predictive of problem behaviors in youth. In the 1980s, prevention efforts often focused on a single problem behavior, however in the early 1990s, consensus emerged that programs should expand beyond focusing on a single problem behavior and instead examine co-occurrence of problem behaviors and common predictors of multiple problem behaviors (Catalano et al., 2004). Further, prevention efforts recognized that promoting positive youth development was just as important as avoiding negative behaviors (Catalano et al., 2004; W.T. Grant Consortium, 1992).