Abigail A. Fagan is an Associate Professor at the University of Florida in the Department of Sociology, Criminology & Law. Dr. Fagan's research focuses on the etiology and prevention of adolescent substance use, delinquency, and violence, with an emphasis on examining the ways in which scientific advances can be successfully translated into effective crime and delinquency prevention practices. Her etiological research has been funded by the National Institute of Justice and National Institute on Drug Abuse and focuses on the effects of family processes (e.g., parenting practices and sibling relationships), victimization experiences, and community influences on juvenile offending. Her prevention-related research includes work on the Blueprints for Healthy Youth Development initiative and the Community Youth Development Study, both of which seek to assist community agencies and practitioners in identifying effective crime prevention and health promotion interventions and implementing these strategies with fidelity. Dr. Fagan has published over 50 peer reviewed articles on these topics, presented to various community agencies, academic audiences, and policy makers, and served on the Board of Directors of the Society for Prevention Research (SPR).
Overcoming Obstacles to High Quality Implementation of Evidence-based Principles in Violence Prevention
Achieving significant reductions in violence world-wide, the goal of this conference, will be contingent upon the adoption, implementation, and dissemination of programs, policies, and practices shown in well-conducted studies to decrease violent behaviors. Although progress must still be made in the identification of such evidence-based interventions, this presentation will focus on enhancing the use of existing violence prevention strategies. Drawing from studies of implementation science, I will discuss the importance of all stages of the implementation process, from exploration through sustainability (Fixsen, Blase, Naoom, & Wallace, 2009). To achieve local implementation success, communities must: 1) differentiate evidence-based strategies from non-evidence-based interventions and prioritize the use of the former, 2) engage in careful planning and needs assessments prior to adopting a new intervention, 3) commit to replicating the new strategy with integrity and enthusiasm, and 4) monitor the quality of implementation and engage in quality improvement as needed. Challenges in completing these steps and strategies for overcoming obstacles will be highlighted using examples from communities engaged in violence prevention and youth health promotion activities. The potential for taking these practices to scale nationally and internationally will also be discussed.