|Anthony Biglan, Ph.D., is a senior scientist at the Oregon Research Institute and a leading figure in the development of prevention science. His research during the past 30 years has helped to identify effective family, school, and community interventions to prevent the most common and costly problems of childhood and adolescence. He is a leader in efforts to use prevention science to build more nurturing families, schools, and communities, throughout the world. Dr. Biglan is a former president of the Society for Prevention Research. In recent years, his work has shifted to comprehensive interventions with the potential to prevent the entire range of child and adolescent problems. He was a member of the Institute of Medicine Committee on Prevention, which released its report in 2009 documenting numerous evidence-based preventive interventions that can prevent multiple problems. His recent review of preventive interventions concluded that diverse psychological, behavioral, and health problems can be prevented through the promotion of nurturing families, schools, and communities. Dr. Biglan's book, The Nurture Effect: How the Science of Human Behavior Can Improve Our Lives and Our World (New Harbinger Publications) is a union of his experience and knowledge and experimental evidence stressing the importance of nurturing in raising happy children who become thriving and successful as adults. The book will be available in spring of 2015.|
Ensuring that the behavioral sciences produce the improvements in human well-being that we all hope for requires that many more people understand and appreciate the knowledge about human behavior and society that have accumulated in the past 50 years. In The Nurture Effect, Dr. Anthony Biglan has tried to communicate to a broad audience of scientists and nonscientists how the behavioral sciences have accumulated programs, policies, and practices that can have great benefit in improving well-being. Taking an evolutionary approach, he will describe the development during the past 50 or so years of our understanding of operant learning and symbolic processes, as well as the principles involved in the recent evolution of capitalism. In the first section of the book, he describes the contextual principles that are, in his view, the foundation for the progress that has been made. In the second section, he describes family, school, peer, and clinical interventions that have solid evidence of benefit in the prevention and treatment of virtually all of the most common and costly problems of human behavior. But our progress in improving well-being will be limited if we fail to change the trajectory of modern capitalism so that its practices benefit everyone. In the third section, he describes the current problems with our system in terms of the contexts that have selected harmful business practices and economic policies. In the fourth section, he describes what can be done to ignite a movement that influences our societies to adopt the programs, policies, and practices that make all of our environments more nurturing.