(NICHD), Administration on Children, Youth, and Families (ACYF), Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), and the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)) and the Departments of Education, Justice, and Defense might be interested in sponsoring such research.
Research on preventive interventions aimed at major depressive disorder should be increased immediately and substantially. This should include a large number of new research grants and at least one new specialized prevention research center. The knowledge base in this area is extensive, and promising preventive interventions have been empirically tested across the life span. Research to prevent depressive disorders should be more focused on preventing co-morbid mental disorders than it has been in the past. Also, outcomes often extend beyond traditional boundaries of mental disorders. For example, prevention of depression has strong implications for reducing suicides, lost work productivity, and physical disorders. High priority should be given to interagency agreements for research projects and specialized prevention research centers. Gradually over the next five years, other new specialized prevention research centers should be initiated to focus on depression and co-occurring conditions. Links between these new centers and other research sites are essential, and monies should be set aside to provide for ongoing collaboration.
Research on preventive interventions aimed at alcohol abuse should be increased immediately. The knowledge base is extensive, and promising preventive interventions have been empirically tested. A less categorical approach to alcohol abuse preventive intervention research is needed. Coexisting illnesses, such as depressive disorders and physical disorders, must be carefully studied. Prevention of alcohol abuse has strong implications for reducing drug abuse, spouse and child maltreatment, and physical injury. The outcomes of preventive interventions on these problems also should be considered. For alcohol abuse, it may be best to target children and young adolescents to delay the initiation of alcohol use.
Support for pilot and confirmatory preventive intervention trials should be increased for conduct disorder. Priority should be given to research that addresses multiple risk factors for young children with early onset of aggressiveness, including parental psychopathology, poverty, and neurodevelopmental deficits in the child.
Research should be supported on alternative forms of intervention for the caregivers and family members of individuals with mental disorders, especially Alzheimer's disease and schizophrenia, to prevent the onset of stress-induced disorders among these caregivers.