Organizing for Change

11 - Unleashing the Power of Prevention

November 28, 2017

Organizing for Change Podcast - Episode 11 Show Notes

Goal: “to equip coalitions, organizations, and individuals to bring change to their community”


In this episode we feature Dr. J. David Hawkins, Endowed Professor of Prevention Emeritus and Founding Director of the Social Development Research Group. Delivered as a Ted Talk style presentation, this recording was taken with permission at the 2017 Massachusetts Statewide Conference for Substance Use Prevention.

Dr. Hawkins research focuses on understanding and preventing child and adolescent health and behavior problems. He seeks to identify risk and protective factors for health and behavior problems across multiple domains; to understand how these factors interact in the development of healthy behavior and the prevention of problem behaviors. He develops and tests prevention strategies which seek to reduce risk through the enhancement of strengths and protective factors in families, schools, and communities.

He is principal investigator of the Community Youth Development Study, a randomized field experiment involving 24 communities across seven states testing the effectiveness of the Communities That Care prevention system developed by Hawkins and Richard F. Catalano. He has authored numerous articles and several books as well as prevention programs for parents and families, including Guiding Good Choices, Parents Who Care, and Supporting School Success. His prevention work is guided by the social development model, his theory of human behavior.

Welcome to Episode 011 of the Podcast: Unleashing the Power of Prevention


Guest: Dr. J David Hawkins, Endowed Professor of Prevention Emeritus and Founding Director of the Social Development Research Group.


Slides for presentation:

Organizing for Change Website:

Organizing for Change Twitter: @organizing4chng


4 Insights from This Episode:


Untested good ideas can make things worse. Dr. Hawkins speaks about prevention efforts of the past, which were untested. These efforts sounded good at the time, but were not effective and some even caused more harm than good. Use good ideas, but test them.

Bonding provides the motivation for youth to live up to the standards. Dr. Hawkins says that street gangs understand bonding better than we do. He speaks about the power of bonding and how this protective factor makes youth more likely to embrace our message.  


We can promote healthy development of young people. We have over 70 tested effective preventive programs now to reduce and prevent alcohol and drug addiction. Use the resources and tools that are tested and proven.  


We will not solve the opioid epidemic unless we invest seriously in prevention. Dr. Hawkins talks about proven programs that reduce opioid use and how implementing them in our communities will address the opioid epidemic.

Website Resources Dr. Hawkins mentions:

Blueprints Programs: (University of Colorado)

Surgeon General's Report: Effective Policies to Prevent Substance Use Disorder:

Washington State Institute for Public Policy: (Cost Benefit Analysis of Prevention):


Programs Dr. Hawkins mentions:

Botvin LifeSkills:

Strengthening Families:


Communities that Care:


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