Society's conventional response to problems of young people such as teenage pregnancy, school dropout, substance abuse, juvenile delinquency, and violence -- is to target a specific problem and develop intervention or prevention programs for individuals who manifest the problem or are at high risk of it. Research shows that overlapping risk and protective factors affect the occurrence of all of these problems and that prevention strategies aimed at enhancing youths' development, reducing communities specific risks, and strengthening protective factors are likely to be more successful than programs addressing the problem behaviors themselves. Among such strategies deserving wider consideration are "comprehensive community initiatives" that create collaborative partnerships among public officials, service providers, primary institutions, and citizens to promote the well-being of children, youths, and families.
Barton, William H.; Watkins, Marie; and Jarjoura, Roger, "Youths and Communities: Toward Comprehensive Strategies for Youth Development" (1997). School K-12. 41.