The Society for Prevention Research 20 Years Later: a Summary of Training Needs

Sarah M. Chilenski, Keryn E. Pasch, Ashley Knapp, Elizabeth Baker, Rhonda C. Boyd, Camille Cioffi, Brittany Cooper, Abigail Fagan, Laura Hill, Leslie D. Leve, Kelly Rulison

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The Society for Prevention Research (SPR) aims to continually provide relevant professional development training opportunities to advance scientific investigation of ways to improve the health, well-being, and social and educational outcomes of individuals and communities. Our study, led by the Training Needs Assessment Task Force, designed a quantitative questionnaire informed by semistructured, qualitative interviews of 13 key prevention science informants. The questionnaire was deployed to all SPR members, of which 347 completed it. Questions about training topics were asked along 8 categories: (1) theory; (2) preventive interventions; (3) research methods, design, and evaluation; (4) teaching and mentoring; (5) practical and interpersonal skills; (6) communication; (7) project management; and (8) data analysis. Across all categories, respondents reported a high level of interest in receiving training: more than 80% were interested in training in data analytic methods; about 70% indicated interest in theory, preventive interventions, and research methods, design, and evaluation; about 65% were interested in at least 1 communication and project management topic; and 60% showed interest in at least 1 practical and interpersonal skills topic. Training-related interests varied across career level and race/ethnicity, with early-career individuals and people of color typically indicating the most interest. Participants were most likely to endorse self-initiated learning and webinars. SPR preconference training workshops were strongly endorsed for data analysis and preventive intervention topics. Recommendations from our study include a need for SPR to more strongly support self-initiated learning opportunities and continue preconference training programs, with special focuses in statistical methods and preventive interventions and regular assessment of members’ training preferences.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)985-1000
Number of pages16
JournalPrevention Science
Issue number7
StatePublished - Oct 1 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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