TABLE 13-1 Examples of Potential Components of a Prevention System That Supports Developmental Phases

Developmental Stage

In the Absence of Interventions

Illustrative Intervention Opportunities

Conception, pregnancy, postpartum

High risk of postpartum depression

Pregnant women screened routinely for risk factors and provided needed interventions, such as mood management training, home visitation, and nutritional counseling to prevent maternal depression during child’s critical developmental stages


Baby at risk for problems of attachment, later preschool or school problems, or later depression if mother is depressed

Well-baby visits to screen and intervene for developmental problems, abnormal feeding patterns, interactions with mother or other caretaker


Infant at risk for abnormal development

Screening is offered for age-appropriate behaviors and evidence of normal brain development


Early behavioral difficulties increase risk for later bonding problems, negative patterns of parent-child interactions

On-time remedial interventions are offered, such as parent training and referral to a developmental specialist

Preschool years

Child does not receive early cognitive stimulation

Caregivers are encouraged to read to their children


Child does not learn self-efficacy, prosocial skills, or appropriate school behaviors

In-home and out-of-home enrichment experiences such as early childhood education are offered for the child to build skills needed for school and social success



Families receive needed parenting support to foster nurturing relationships

Primary school

Child has difficulty establishing positive relationships with peers, caregivers, or teachers

Families and schools increase nurturance and decrease punitive experiences


Child does not experience early successes

Children learn skills to enhance school performance and manage problem behaviors

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