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NCJ Number: 157455 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Choosing a Paradigm to Guide Prevention Research and Practice (From Prevention Practice in Substance Abuse, P 149-160, 1995, Carl G Leukefeld and Richard R Clayton, eds. -- See NCJ- 157443)
Author(s): A Biglan
Corporate Author: Oregon Research Institute
United States of America
Date Published: 1995
Page Count: 12
Sponsoring Agency: Haworth Press, Inc
Binghamton, NY 13904
National Cancer Institute
Bethesda, MD 20592
National Institute on Drug Abuse
Bethesda, MD 20892-9561
Oregon Research Institute
Grant Number: CA38273; DA07389
Sale Source: Haworth Press, Inc
10 Alice Street
Binghamton, NY 13904
United States of America
Type: Issue Overview
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This paper examines the strengths and weaknesses of the three main paradigms that guide prevention research: organicism, mechanism, and contextualism.
Abstract: Organicism is the world view that underlies developmentalism. The root metaphor of organicism is the integrated or developed organism. The analyst influenced by organicism views events in terms of their progress through stages toward an integrated whole. Organicism has prompted researchers to identify typical developmental sequences and to organize crime and drug prevention efforts to reduce the risk factors that contribute to problematic development. The organizing metaphor for mechanism is the machine. Under this paradigm the world is viewed as a machine with interrelated parts. For the mechanism paradigm, the criterion for the truth or validity of an analysis is predictive verification. Mechanism has encouraged researchers to search for generalizable models of the interrelationships among behavioral variables and randomized control trials of prevention programs. The root metaphor of contextualism is the act in context. Contextualist analysis begins with the event experienced as a whole in and with its context. For a contextualist, every event is unique. When contextualism focuses on the goal of prediction and influence of the phenomenon under study, it is likely to identify interventions that can be used to prevent problems of concern to communities and other social units. This paper discusses the strengths and weaknesses of each of these three paradigms. 23 references
Main Term(s): Drug prevention programs
Index Term(s): Crime prevention planning; Research design models; Research methods
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