Society for Prevention Research
Call for Papers

21st Annual Meeting
The Science of Prevention: Building a Comprehensive National Strategy for Well-Being
Hyatt Regency San Francisco, San Francisco, CA
May 28 - May 31, 2013
Pre-conference Workshops May 28, 2013


The Society for Prevention Research (SPR) has the significant and important task of helping to guide the future of prevention science. Consistent with the mission of SPR and its annual meeting, the objective of the various prevention reports and strategies is to increase the number of individuals who are healthy and free of disease across the lifespan.

This year's conference theme "The Science of Prevention: Building a Comprehensive National Strategy for Well-Being" recognizes the significant knowledge generated over the last 20 years and the opportunity to continue to advance the science of prevention to inform policy and practice and build a comprehensive strategy to decrease risky and problematic behaviors, prevent disease, and promote health and well-being. The research conducted by SPR members and presented at the annual meetings is highly relevant to and has influenced the development of a number of recent reports and strategies, including the National Prevention Strategy, the National HIV/AIDS Strategy for the United States, the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention, Healthy People 2020, the NIH Training Institute on Dissemination and Implementation Research, and the National Collaborative on Childhood Obesity Research, to name a few.

The SPR Program Committee invites submissions from researchers, policy makers, and students for presentations within all content areas of public health, education, human services, criminal justice, medical and biobehavioral sciences, developmental science, social science, and genetics related to the conference theme, "The Science of Prevention: Building a Comprehensive National Strategy for Well-Being." We seek submissions that fit within the broad theme or the related special themes described below. We remain committed to maintaining SPR's strengths by also considering submissions that focus on different stages of the prevention cycle (e.g., epidemiology and etiology, development and testing of interventions, and implementation/dissemination), innovative methods and statistics, and systems science perspectives. The conference's special themes and the general themes are described below.

Special Conference Themes


Each year SPR selects special themes designed to highlight specific areas of research relevant for prevention scientists. These special themes guide the development of plenary sessions, symposia, and preconference workshops.

  1. Common Pathways to and Impact on Disease Prevention and Health Promotion

    Identifying common pathways associated with multiple disease and health outcomes is an effective and cost effective strategy to prevent disease and promote health and well-being. It also relates to several of the recent reports and strategies for prevention. For example, the 2009 Institute of Medicine Report on Preventing Mental, Emotional, and Behavioral Disorders Among Young People has called for a focus on examining the impact of preventive interventions across a broad array of health outcomes. In fact, early childhood preventive interventions demonstrating an impact on school outcomes also have had an impact on other outcomes, including drug use and unsafe sexual behavior. Thus, submissions examining the impact of preventive interventions on multiple outcomes and on examining common pathways to multiple outcomes (e.g., home visiting services have been shown to improve outcomes ranging from maternal and child health to family economic self-sufficiency and juvenile delinquency; poor self-regulation is linked to substance use and engagement in HIV risk behaviors among adolescents; and lack of physical activity is linked to diabetes and cardiovascular disease) are consistent with this theme. Submissions focusing on common pathways to multiple outcomes are encouraged.
  2. Social and Environmental Determinants of Health

    Social and environmental determinants of health are the social, economic, cultural, and environmental conditions that influence the health of communities and populations. Social determinants of health, such as stigma and discrimination, access to affordable health care, gender and cultural norms, and education, are associated with both morbidity and mortality, yet are often neglected in preventive intervention strategies and approaches, which often target individual risk and protective factors that influence health and disease. The need for more attention to these areas has been highlighted in major reports and recommendations for prevention strategies. Presentations that focus on the role of social and environmental determinants of health on morbidity, mortality, and well-being are consistent with this theme, along with preventive intervention strategies that target social and/or environmental determinants of health (e.g., promoting walkability by changing the built environment) or population-based or policy interventions (e.g., mass media campaigns, increased taxes to discourage unhealthy behaviors, financial assistance to encourage preventive health services, or restrictions on secondhand smoke in public places).
  3. Meeting the Goals of the HIV/AIDS National Prevention Strategy

    The incidence and prevalence of HIV/AIDS globally remains unacceptably high despite many scientific breakthroughs (both domestically and internationally), and disproportionately high in high-risk populations (e.g., men who have sex with men, transgender persons, minorities, youth, people who use drugs). Those submissions that align with the National HIV/AIDS Strategy for the United States (e.g., reducing new infections, increasing access to care and improving health outcomes for people living with HIV, reducing HIV health disparities) or the efforts of the International AIDS Society are particularly encouraged. The National HIV/AIDS Strategy for the U.S. is available here: Innovative HIV prevention strategies and approaches such as "combination" (i.e., behavioral, biomedical, and structural) prevention interventions, treatment as prevention, and multi-pronged approaches under the seek, test, treat and retain model also are highly encouraged, along with less explored areas such as social, environmental and economic interventions. Novel approaches to the diffusion of evidence based behavioral interventions to prevent HIV transmission are consistent with this theme, as well as research concerning the determinants, processes, and cultural contextual issues influencing HIV-related risk and protective factors. Novel approaches to research methodology in areas such as sampling, recruitment, measurement, analysis and research design are also welcomed. Also encouraged are effective strategies that have emerged outside of the U.S. that can help inform future research efforts in the U.S.
General Conference Themes: Advances Across the
Stages of the Prevention Research Cycle


  1. Epidemiology and Etiology

    Submissions focused on describing the distribution and patterns of disease (e.g., cancer, cardiovascular disease, depression, and HIV/AIDS) as well as on identifying risk and protective targets of preventive interventions, especially those with a developmental and/or lifespan approach, or that include neurobiological, genetic, or contextual factors, are consistent with this theme.
  2. Development and Testing of Interventions

    Prior to wide scale dissemination and implementation, prevention interventions should be tested for efficacy ("proof of concept") under conditions of high quality assurance and strong research designs, and tested for effectiveness under real world conditions in settings and systems. Submissions reporting the findings from efficacy or effectiveness trials (including pilot studies) are welcomed, and those that combine the findings of such trials with one of the special conference themes are particularly encouraged.
  3. Dissemination and Implementation Science

    Dissemination, implementation, and operations bridge the gaps between research and everyday practice through a dynamic, transactional process between the public health community and researchers. Submissions under this theme should advance the scientific understanding of: dissemination, adoption, fidelity and adaptation, cost-effectiveness, integration of evidence-based preventive interventions into practice, and sustainability of preventive interventions into systems. Outcomes are encouraged at the individual, provider, organizational, and system level.
  4. Research, Policy and Practice

    Submissions should focus on: how and under what conditions research can influence policy and practice, on how policy priorities shape what researchers study, or on the impact of policy (e.g., smoke-free policies, minimum drinking age laws) on behavior.
  5. Innovative Methods and Statistics

    "Cutting edge" studies and methodological analyses that address measurement, statistical and design challenges to prevention science, as well as the benefits offered by various innovative statistical methods are invited with particular attention to the unique challenges to prevention science.
  6. Systems Science Perspectives

    Exploring the use of systems science approaches (e.g., computational modeling and simulation, network analysis, engineering control methods) to conceptualize prevention at the micro- or macro-levels of analyses is encouraged, along with approaches that consider systems over time. For more information on how “systems science,” is defined, please visit the following website:


NIDA International SPR Poster Session


The National Institute on Drug Abuse is sponsoring an international poster session. Posters will highlight drug abuse prevention and/or drug-related HIV prevention research completed in international settings by international, domestic, and cross-nation teams of researchers. A separate call for submissions to this international poster session will be issued.

Begin a submission to the following:

Abstract Submission Deadline:November 12, 2012 11:59pm, Pacific

Abstract Submission Deadline:November 12, 2012 11:59pm, Pacific

Abstract Submission Deadline:November 12, 2012 11:59pm, Pacific

Abstract Submission Deadline:November 12, 2012 11:59pm, Pacific

Abstract Submission Deadline:November 12, 2012 11:59pm, Pacific

Abstract Submission Deadline:November 12, 2012 11:59pm, Pacific

Abstract Submission Deadline:November 12, 2012 11:59pm, Pacific