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Prevention Science: Open Call for Special Issue on Prevention & Intervention in Emerging Adulthood

Opportunities and Challenges for Prevention and Intervention in Emerging Adulthood

Guest Editors:

Michael J. Cleveland (Washington State University)

Abby L. Goldstein (University of Toronto)

The journal Prevention Science invites manuscripts for a special issue on “Opportunities and Challenges for Prevention and Intervention in Emerging Adulthood.” Emerging adulthood is a time of both risk and opportunity, yet the majority of preventive interventions focus on earlier stages of the lifespan, most notably childhood and adolescence. Although successful interventions have been developed to target high-risk alcohol use among college students, far fewer efforts have targeted emerging adults in other contexts or on other health risk behaviors. In addition, there is a lack of theoretical and empirical research on prevention and intervention that explicitly address the challenges and opportunities of this stage of development. The primary goal of this special issue is to advance work in this area by highlighting current theoretical and empirical research that addresses the unique prevention and intervention needs of emerging adults. We are particularly interested in papers that extend beyond college populations and cover a range of contexts and prevention/intervention targets and international perspectives. Examples of topics might include (but are not limited to) prevention and intervention in mental health, sexual assault, obesity/lifestyle choices, substance use, and child welfare contexts.

Background & Rationale for Special Issue

Emerging adulthood has been identified as a critical period of developmental transition (generally between ages 18-25 years) when young people face an array of new experiences and navigate changes associated with the assumption of adult roles, such as establishing financial and residential independence, entering stable romantic partnerships, and securing full-time employment. As a result of these diverging trajectories, emerging adulthood often marks the age when many health disparities first present. Because of this instability, emerging adulthood is considered a critical period in the lifespan when possibilities for increased life satisfaction co-exist with increased likelihood of serious psychopathology, such as major depression, anxiety, schizophrenia and substance use. Research in this area is particularly needed now that global economic conditions have increased the challenges many emerging adults face as they navigate this transition. Given the lack of institutional support provided to emerging adults who are not in college or university settings and the need to address cultural variations in emerging adulthood, development and evaluation of preventive interventions aimed at emerging adults in diverse contexts is needed.

In this special issue of Prevention Science, we will bring together creative and rigorous empirical papers from multiple disciplines and methodologies to present the opportunities and challenges for broadening the scope of prevention to emerging adults. Because both empirical research and theoretical integration will be necessary to advance our understanding of this important public health topic, we encourage submissions that include any of the following types of papers:

  • Original empirical research that examines effectiveness of prevention and intervention efforts developed for emerging adults
  • Reviews and perspectives that integrate key conceptual issues and advance theoretical knowledge
  • Policy analysis, development, and implementation papers

Authors interested in contributing a manuscript for this special issue are asked to submit a letter of intent by March 10, 2017, that includes the following: (1) tentative title; (2) brief description of 500 words or less; (3) brief justification of how the proposed submission contributes to the aim of the special issue; (4) author affiliations and contact information for corresponding author. The guest editors will review the letters of intent for fit with the special issue and work to provide an inclusive set of papers that best advances theoretical and empirical knowledge in prevention and intervention in emerging adulthood. Letters of intent should be sent electronically as PDF files to Michael Cleveland, michael.cleveland@wsu.edu and Abby Goldstein, abbyl.goldstein@utoronto.ca with the subject line noted as “Special Issue of Prevention Science: Emerging Adulthood.” All letters of intent will be reviewed by March 24, 2017, and invited contributors will be asked to submit a manuscript by June 30, 2017. Manuscripts will be sent out for full peer review in accordance with the standard Prevention Science review guidelines.

Questions concerning letters of intent can be directed to the guest editors, Michael Cleveland and Abby Goldstein.

Manuscript formats can include original empirical submissions, systematic reviews, meta-analyses, brief reports etc. For additional information on the journal and author guidelines, see http://link.springer.com/journal/11121.

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