This Grand Opportunity project will create the infrastructure to begin research on comprehensive preventive interventions in the nation's highest poverty neighborhoods. Neighborhoods of concentrated poverty are major contributors to the high levels of drug abuse, antisocial behavior, depression, academic failure, and intergenerational poverty in the U.S. and thus are critical targets for public health interventions. The recent accumulation of evidence-based preventive interventions (NRC-IOM, 2009) shows that substantial reductions in the prevalence of these problems are achievable. However, such changes will not occur until we can translate existing knowledge into effective interventions in high-poverty communities. The Obama administration has called for a """"""""Promise Neighborhood"""""""" initiative, in which 20 high-poverty neighborhoods receive help in implementing comprehensive preventive interventions. However, the scientific infrastructure to support such interventions and to conduct the research needed to evaluate them and refine them does not yet exist. Additionally, it is possible to assist more than 20 such neighborhoods. We therefore propose to create the Promise Neighborhood Consortium, which will develop the infrastructure through which the scientific community can assist America's high-poverty neighborhoods in translating existing knowledge into widespread, multiple improvements in wellbeing, including the prevention of substance abuse, antisocial behavior, risky sexual behavior, depression, and academic failure and promotion of diverse forms of pro-social behavior and academic achievement. The prevention plan will focus on promotion of nurturing environments, emphasizing impact on children, youth, and families. The Consortium will (a) build a network of neighborhood and community leaders and behavioral scientists;(b) define and begin to implement measures of wellbeing and of risk and protective factors that are fundamental to evaluating preventive intervention in neighborhoods;and (c) develop research on the impact of evidence-based policies, programs, and practices when implemented in high-poverty communities. These activities will be supported by a state-of- the-art website that networks people and organizations, obtains and displays data about neighborhoods, disseminates information about evidence-based interventions, advocates for research and intervention in high- poverty neighborhoods, and supports intervention research in these neighborhoods. Over two years, this project will (a) create a network of high-poverty neighborhoods that will be linked through systematic efforts to implement and evaluate preventive interventions;(b) implement monitoring systems in these neighborhoods;(c) develop the capacity of national, early-career, and local community prevention scientists for neighborhood development;and (d) develop experimental evaluations of intervention research in these neighborhoods to advance the efficiency and effectiveness of efforts to reduce intergenerational poverty in America.

Public Health Relevance

We plan to create the Promise Neighborhood Consortium to develop an infrastructure through which the scientific community can develop research to evaluate interventions to help America's highest poverty neighborhoods. Using current scientific knowledge, the Consortium will help these neighborhoods identify ways to prevent substance abuse, antisocial behavior, risky sexual behavior, depression, and academic failure;to promote diverse forms of positive behavior and academic achievement;and to conduct experimental evaluations of their strategies for trying to affect these outcomes. The prevention plan will focus on promotion of nurturing environments, emphasizing impact on children, youth, and families.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
High Impact Research and Research Infrastructure Programs (RC2)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZDA1-NXR-B (6C))
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Sims, Belinda E
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Oregon Research Institute
United States
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Komro, Kelli A; Flay, Brian R; Biglan, Anthony et al. (2011) Creating nurturing environments: a science-based framework for promoting child health and development within high-poverty neighborhoods. Clin Child Fam Psychol Rev 14:111-34

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