The 19 attendees decided to form the Society for
Prevention Research (SPR), and later that year,
the society was incorporated as a non-profit organization.
its first four years, the society focused on sponsoring
professional research meetings on the etiology,
epidemiology, and the prevention of drug and alcohol
abuse. Ongoing and vigorous support from NIDA made
these meetings possible, and Sloboda and Bukoski
continued to play key roles in the organizational
effort. Ralph Tarter, Ph.D., and his colleagues
at the Center for Education and Drug Abuse Research
(CEDAR) at the University of Pittsburgh provided
central administrative support. Steve Schinke, Ph.D.,
and Dick Clayton, Ph.D. served as presidents during
first SPR conference was held in Ft. Collins and
was organized by Gene Oetting, Ph.D. of the Triethnic
Center at Colorado State University. The first official
"annual" meeting was held the next year
in Lexington and organized by Clayton and the Center
for Prevention Research at the University of Kentucky.
For several years following this meeting, SPR linked
its meetings to the College on Problems of Drug
Dependence (CPDD) meetings, and met in West Palm
Beach, Scottsdale, and San Juan, Puerto Rico. Tarter
served as chair of each of these meetings.
the same time that SPR was forming, the National
Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) was also sponsoring
national conferences on prevention research. Unlike
the NIDA efforts, these conferences were not linked
with the formation of a professional organization.
Due to an administrative reorganization, NIMH chose
not to sponsor a prevention conference in 1997.
At this point, members of the NIMH conference planning
committee and the SPR leadership discussed holding
a joint conference under the SPR banner and independent
of the CPDD meeting. The conference would incorporate
multiple themes, including bio-behavioral mechanisms
underlying drug and alcohol abuse, methodology for
conducting preventive trials, cutting edge methodology
for analyzing preventive trial outcomes, the causes
and prevention of aggressive behavior, and early
career researcher training.
this meeting was held in Baltimore and was chaired
by Tarter. Numerous federal agencies provided financial
support, including NIDA, the NIMH Office of Prevention,
the NIMH Office of AIDS Research, the Center for
Mental Health Services within the Substance Abuse
and Mental Health Services Administration, and the
National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.
this groundbreaking meeting, efforts to broaden
the focus of SPR accelerated. The SPR Board of Directors,
under the guidance of Presidents Clayton and Karol
Kumpfer, Ph.D., was expanded to include representatives
of various constituencies, including members of
the former NIMH prevention research conference planning
committees. A representative of the Early Career
Preventionists Network (ECPN), an internet-based
group of researchers at the beginning of their prevention
science careers, was also included.
the leadership of President Sheppard Kellam, M.D.,
interest in expanding the organization continued.
Each year, attempts were made to broaden the scope
of content areas represented in the annual meetings.
Bukoski led the organization of the meetings in
Park City and New Orleans, and J. Mark Eddy, Ph.D.,
chaired the first international meeting in Montreal.
Through efforts by Oregon Social Learning Center
staff, the web page was expanded, a listserv was
established, and joint efforts on web publishing
relevant to prevention were launched with the American
Psychological Association and with the ECPN.
the organization grew, new administrative structures
were needed. A new constitution and bylaws were
drafted and approved by the membership in 1999.
The Board was expanded to include international
representation. Elections were initiated. A variety
of new committees were created. The first edition
of the SPR flagship journal, Prevention Science
(published by Kluwer/Plenum), was released in the
spring of 2000, with Gil Botvin, Ph.D., as editor.
2001, under the leadership of President Botvin,
SPR entered a new phase. The Society was awarded
a grant from the National Institutes of Health to
sponsor the SPR annual meeting. An office was opened
in Washington, D.C. A new Administrative Director,
Jennifer Lewis, was hired. A Management Committee
was created and Denise Hallfors, Ph.D. was appointed
as chair. A variety of committees increased their
visibility, including the Advocacy Committee (chair,
Tony Biglan, Ph.D.) and an international subcommittee
of the Membership Committee (chair, Clemens Hosman,
Ph.D., from the Netherlands).
Growth by Year
1995 — 193
1996 — 208
1997 — 162
1998 — 208
1999 — 282
2000 — 427
2001 — 475
2002 — 507
2003 — 635
2004 — 675
2005 — 690
2006 — 680
2007 — 707
2008 — 736
2009 — 747
1993 - 1995
E. Tarter, Ph.D.
1993 - 2000
1995 - 1997
2000 - 2003
1997 - 1998
2003 - 2007
2007 - 2010
1998 - 2001
2001 - 2003
1993 - 1999
David Hawkins, Ph.D.
2003 - 2005
Mark Eddy, Ph.D.
1999 - 2001
Biglan , Ph.D.
2005 - 2007
2001 - 2004
2007 - 2009
2004 - 2007
2009 - 2011
2007 - 2008
Miller Brotman, Ph.D.
2008 - 2010