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Post-conference SIGs

Special Interest Group (SIG) Meetings will be held virtually June – August, 2021.

Schedule to be determined.

Advancing Lifespan Prevention Science

Conveners: Raven Weaver, Department of Human Development, Washington State University,
and Cory Bolkan, Department of Human Development, Washington State University.

Prevention scientists need to rise to the challenge of addressing the significant shifts in global population demographics; population aging is a crisis in plain sight, yet much of the prevention research foci stop after the transition to adulthood. In addition, addressing racism and disparities requires a true lifespan perspective because the accumulation of risk exposure occurs over time, and the likelihood of even reaching later adulthood is unequal in our society (Abramson, 2016).

The goal of this Special Interest Group is to foster ongoing discussion and identify action priorities for how prevention scientists can apply and expand prevention science principles to address shared challenges that occur across the life course (e.g., substance use; depression; health and leisure changes; stress; discrimination; access to health care/services). Prevention scientists have an opportunity to investigate and understand the changing nature of risk and protective factors and social/environmental contexts that contribute to healthy development beyond early adulthood. Interacting systems (e.g., individual, family, community, and society) are potential facilitators or inhibitors of health and well-being in both early and later life.

Increased longevity necessitates an extension of the scientific conversation to middle and later adulthood. There are also many benefits in taking a lifespan prevention science perspective to address disparities that continue to exist among marginalized groups as they grow older. As prevention scientists, we have the opportunity to make a large contribution to this timely area of study. As a field, we also have much to learn and room to expand our horizons.

 

Advancing Strong Standards for Preventive Interventions

Conveners: Karl G. Hill, Institute of Behavioral Science, University of Colorado Boulder,
and Christine M. Steeger, Problem Behavior and Positive Youth Development Program, Institute of Behavioral Science, University of Colorado Boulder.

Despite SPR’s publication of the Standards of Evidence (Flay, et al. 2005; Gottfredson, et al. 2015), many studies with serious design and implementation flaws get funded, incorrectly analyzed and become published. For example, the Blueprints team has reviewed over 1500 interventions to date, but only 95 had sufficiently strong design and implementation materials to be certified by the review board. In conjunction with members of the SPR Advocacy Committee, NIH’s Office of Disease Prevention, and the Early Career Preventionist Network, we invite you to join this Special Interest Group meeting to discuss strategies that we can pursue at SPR to promote strong intervention design and implementation. This SIG met with great attendance in 2019 and we hope to continue our discussion and planning at the 2021 meeting.

 

American Indian and Alaska Native Prevention Research

Conveners: Kathy Etz, Division of Epidemiology, Services and Prevention Research, National Institute on Drug Abuse and Aria Crump, NIDA/NIH,

This Special Interest Group session will provide a forum to continue discussions on American Indian and Alaska Native Prevention Research. Topics discussed will be influenced by the priorities of those participating. Broadly, discussion will focus on ensuring that American Indian and Alaska Native Prevention Research is cutting edge, reflects community needs and desires and advances this research area in a way that enhances intervention services, having an impact on health equity. As in past years, discussion will focus on identifying gaps in responding to communities and in the science, lessons learned in previous research that can inform innovations and advances in this area, and on considering any factors that are barriers to or have the potential to improve the ability to harness the full potential of this science for improving health outcomes. Additionally, it will consider the roles of the multiple partners involved in this science (researchers, funders, and community members) and seek to identify how these partnerships can be most effective in responding to community identified prevention research needs.

 

Developing Skill-Based Approaches to Decrease Micro-Aggressions and Anti-Racist Behaviors

Conveners: Stephen S. Leff, Child Development/Pediatrics, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia & University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and Rui Fu, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

While many institutions across the country are working to recruit and support under-represented minorities, it is often the micro-aggressions that individuals of underrepresented minority status experience that are hurtful and discriminatory. Micro-aggressions, which are defined as “subtle verbal and nonverbal slights, insults, and disparaging messages directed towards an individual due to their gender, age, disability, and racial group membership, that often occur automatically and subconsciously” (Prieto et al., 2016), are quite harmful. In fact, micro-aggressions in the workplace have been associated with less job satisfaction, higher rates of job-turnover and burnout, and lower levels of social-emotional and physical health. Further, racial micro-aggressions within schools have been associated with minority students feeling invisible, ignored, and disregarded. Our team at the Center for Violence Prevention (CVP) at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia has been developing a micro-aggression and anti-racism skill building intervention for faculty and fellows in the Department of Pediatrics. We have also been trying to better understand minority adolescents’ perceptions and experiences of racial micro-aggressions in order to eventually develop a micro-aggression and anti-racism skill-building program for youth of color and their classmates attending urban schools. This special interest group (SIG) will discuss strategies and challenges for developing empirically-supported skill-building racial micro-aggression interventions across different settings such as in the work-place and within the schools. The need for developing and utilizing empirically-supported approaches to address micro-aggressions, unconscious bias, and anti-racism is clearly an urgent need.

 

Effective Communication of Prevention Research

Conveners: Lori-Ann Palen, Center on Social Determinants, Risk Behaviors, and Prevention Science, RTI International and Elizabeth Weybright, Human Development, Washington State University, Sara P. Brennen, Edna Bennett Pierce Prevention Research Center, The Pennsylvania State University,

Prevention science is, by its nature, an applied discipline. It seeks to equip service providers, educators, policy makers, and others with the information and resources they need to maximize health and well-being in their communities. However, some of our most common and rewarded methods of communicating research findings, including peer-reviewed journal articles and presentations at scientific conferences, are inaccessible to the professionals who could use them for the public good.

This SIG will allow for discussion and networking among prevention scientists who are interested in promoting more effective research communication. Possible discussion topics include:

* Which researchers, either within or outside of prevention science, are especially effective science communicators? What characteristics or strategies do they have in common?

* What sorts of communication training and experiences are currently offered to students of prevention science? Should that be changed and, if so, how?

* How are less traditional forms of science communication (i.e., NOT manuscripts, books, or scientific conference presentations) valued in the tenure/promotion process and in proposals for scientific funding? Should this be changed and, if so, how?

* What does SPR currently do to communicate prevention research findings? What else could we consider doing?

 

Health and Housing

Conveners: Jacqueline Lloyd, Prevention Research Branch, NIH/Office of Disease Prevention ,
and Carol Shapiro Star, Program Evaluation Division, DHHS HUD, Elizabeth Skillen,

Population Health and Healthcare Office/Office of the Associate Director for Policy and Strategy, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,

The role of housing as a social determinant that affects health is well-established. There is a clear connection between housing and other social determinants of health (SDOH), which collectively contribute to widen health disparities and inequities. One of the Healthy People (HP) 2030’s five overarching goals is specifically related to SDOH and includes many objectives related to social determinants. The direct effects of housing instability were priority topics in HP 2020. HP 2030 includes several objectives within the Neighborhood and Built Environment domain, which continues to promote healthy and safe home environments.

This Special Interest Group will bring together representatives from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and investigators from the prevention research community who are interested and engaged in research that addresses housing and health. Federal representatives will discuss the NIH housing and health research portfolio, funding opportunities and interests; current HUD signature initiatives and data resources; CDC work on evidence-informed housing policies and practices to improve health, including interventions to reduce health inequities; and, also discuss current cross-agency collaborations.

Researchers and representatives working in healthcare, community, education, and other sectors are invited to share their work and interests. This SIG will provide a forum to discuss research gaps and opportunities, including evidence-based policies, systems, and environmental strategies to mitigate social and health inequities related to COVID-19. The SIG will provide a platform for cross-discipline and cross-sector networking and collaboration.

 

Prenatal Programming of Childhood Health Complications: Opportunities for Prevention

Conveners: Steven M Brunwasser, Medicine, Vanderbilt University Medical Center and Judy Garber, Psychology & Human Development, Vanderbilt University,

The intrauterine environment plays an important and lasting role in shaping lifespan health. Prenatal exposure to toxic environmental stimuli (e.g., pollution, tobacco smoke, maternal stress and substance use) can alter the development of key biological systems (e.g., the neuroendocrine and immune systems and the gut microbiome) and confer risk for chronic health complications. Interventions targeting harmful prenatal exposures have the potential to promote maternal health and prevent the prenatal programming of chronic disease in offspring. Pregnant women have frequent contact with the healthcare system creating unique opportunities for prevention. This special interest group will provide a forum for researchers with an interest in perinatal prevention to network and build cross-disciplinary collaborations. We will discuss a number of topics that are broadly relevant to perinatal prevention researchers, for example: (1) improving identification of high-risk pregnancies in healthcare settings; (2) elucidating prenatal programming mechanisms (e.g., epigenetics) and disease pathways to inform intervention development; (3) overcoming challenges to intervention implementation in relevant settings (e.g., prenatal care clinics); (4) building cross-disciplinary collaborations and community partnerships; and (5) collecting and analyzing biospecimens (e.g., cord blood and placenta). Finally, we will discuss topics for a symposium proposal for the 2022 SPR meeting.

 

Prevention of Substance Use during Perinatal Period

Conveners: Golfo Tzilos Wernette, Family Medicine, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor,
and José Luis Vázquez-Martínez, Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD), Steven Ondersma, Merrill-Palmer Skillman Institute, Wayne State University,

Opioid, marijuana, and other substance use during pregnancy is a rapidly growing public health concern with significant consequences to both maternal and infant outcomes. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) have identified the prenatal period as an ideal opportunity for substance use prevention. Building off of the success of our 2020 inaugural meeting, this SIG meeting will provide an opportunity for prevention scientists to network, discuss current research efforts and collaborations, including mentorship, and address challenges and opportunities to advance the field.

 

Research Needs to Address Disparities in Reproductive Health

Conveners: Rosalind B King, NICHD and Juanita Chinn, Population Dynamics Branch, NICHD, Charisee Lamar, NICHD,

Prevention science brings important expertise to research and practice in reproductive health. Preventive interventions are a core feature of such care: the prevention of diseases such as HIV/AIDS, impairments such as infertility, and normative processes that might simply be mistimed such as pregnancy. Most recently, a great deal of attention from researchers, policy makers, and the public has focused on preventing maternal mortality and morbidity and reducing the stark racial and ethnic disparities. Reproductive health is a particularly appropriate topic for discussion within the 2021 conference theme of Addressing Racism and Disparities when Considering Biology and Context because access to reproductive health care and birth outcomes for mothers and infants in the United States currently vary significantly by race and ethnicity.

This SIG will discuss which aspects of reproductive health prevention science are already present within the SPR community and which aspects are of interest but not yet well represented. For example, risky sexual behavior appears often within a list of problematic behaviors such as delinquency, violence, and the use of alcohol, tobacco, and drugs. But health promotion and encouraging positive well-being are also essential for reproductive health. Participants will share ideas for future annual meeting activities.

 

Research Synthesis Methods for Prevention Science

Conveners: Emily Tanner-Smith, Counseling Psychology and Human Services, University of Oregon and Sean Grant, Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health, Indiana University,

The purpose of this SIG is to provide an opportunity to network and discuss issues related to quantitative research synthesis methods in the field of prevention science. The SIG meeting will provide an opportunity for attendees to discuss recent methodological advances in and challenges associated with methods used to conduct, interpret, report, and disseminate quantitative research syntheses. Topics to be discussed may include: advanced meta-analytic methods for complex interventions (e.g., individual participant data meta-analysis, network meta-analysis); challenges with data sharing for integrative syntheses; rating confidence in findings from meta-analyses of complex interventions; and other recent methodological or software innovations. The SIG will provide a valuable networking and professional development resource for prevention scientists interested in quantitative research synthesis methodology.

 

Research Transparency, Openness, and Reproducibility

Conveners: Sean Grant, Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health, Indiana University,
and Frances Gardner, Centre for Evidence Based Intervention, Department of Social Policy and Intervention, University of Oxford,

The purpose of this SIG is to discuss and promote transparent, open, and reproducible research practices. The SIG will provide a valuable networking and professional development resource for prevention scientists and other stakeholders (journal editors, research funders, policy-makers) interested in research transparency and reproducibility. Each year our SIG meeting focuses on recent methodological advances and innovations that can help increase the transparency, reproducibility, and replicability of prevention science. Examples include: study pre-registration; development of protocols and pre-analysis plans; research reporting guidelines; data, code, and materials sharing; dynamic documents; and open access publication. This year, we will present and discuss the papers accepted for the forthcoming special issue in Prevention Science called “Transparency, Openness, and Reproducibility: Implications for the Field of Prevention Science.”

 

Unleashing the Power of Prevention

Conveners: Valerie Shapiro, School of Social Welfare, University of California, Berkeley,
Kimberly Bender, Graduate School of Social Work, University of Denver and Melissa Ann Lippold, The School of Social Work, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill,

Unleashing the Power of Prevention is an initiative developed by the Coalition for the Promotion of Behavioral Health, an interdisciplinary group of researchers, policymakers, educators, and practitioners dedicated to advancing preventive interventions that promote behavioral health among young people from birth through age 24. The Coalition is implementing seven action steps necessary to decrease the prevalence of behavioral health problems in the nation’s youth by 20 percent within a decade. Unleashing the Power of Prevention was developed as a response to the American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare’s Grand Challenges for Social Work Initiative. It is also available from the National Academy of Medicine. This Special Interest Group meeting will offer a forum for SPR members to learn about progress being made in the Unleashing the Power of Prevention initiative.

 

Using Neural Measures in Prevention Research and Policy

Conveners: Tamara J Sussman, Psychiatry, Columbia University Medical Center and Claudia Lugo-Candelas, Psychiatry, Columbia University,

Neural correlates of psychological processes, such as those measured by fMRI and EEG, can reveal how behavioral and environmental risk factors are instantiated in the brain. Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), including child maltreatment, and other types of early adversity, such as poverty, have been shown to relate to differences in neurodevelopment (e.g., Luby et al, 2019; Nobel et al, 2015; Teicher et al, 2016; Teicher et al, 2014). Preliminary results from my K award from NIDA have also found an impact of ACEs on task-related brain activation. Studies finding neural changes related to the successful treatment of trauma in brain regions similar to those impacted by ACEs (Malejko et al, 2017) suggest that the neural correlates of ACEs may be a target for prevention of long-term negative outcomes. How can we best make use of neural data in the context of prevention research and policy? This special interest group (SIG) meeting will discuss the role of neural data in prevention research and policy, focused on discussing what approaches to neural research can provide the most benefit to prevention and policy research. The aim of this group will be to form an interdisciplinary networking opportunity for researchers in the areas of neural correlates of risk, prevention, and policy. This SIG will foster cross-disciplinary discussions of how neuroscience and prevention and policy research can help inform each other.