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Keywords:

  • prevention;
  • intervention;
  • neuroscience;
  • children;
  • youth;
  • frontal lobe

Abstract: Preventive interventions focus on reducing risk and promoting protective factors in the child as well as their cultural ecologies (family, classroom, school, peer groups, neighborhood, etc). By improving competencies in both the child and their contexts many of these interventions promote resilience. Although there are now a substantial number of preventive interventions that reduce problem behaviors and build competencies across childhood and adolescence, there has been little integration with recent findings in neuropsychology and neuroscience. This article focuses on the integration of prevention research and neuroscience in the context of interventions that promote resilience by improving the executive functions (EF); inhibitory control, planning, and problem solving skills, emotional regulation, and attentional capacities of children and youth. Illustrations are drawn from recent randomized controlled trials of the Promoting Alternative Thinking Strategies (PATHS) curriculum. The discussion focuses on the next steps in transdisciplinary research in prevention and social neuroscience.