Preventing Psychological Disorders: Introduction (03:23)
People make home movies to remember the good times, but life challenges are inevitable. Prevention programs attempt to reduce risk factors including poverty, child neglect, social isolation, and major life stressors.
Young Children: San Antonio, Texas (03:34)
Parenting can be burdensome for troubled or unprepared individuals. Diane Mendez recalls spanking her daughter during challenging early years. Mercedes de Colon works to stabilize, educate and motivate low-income families to nurture children through the AVANCE Program. Learn about neglect outcomes.
AVANCE Program (03:50)
Poverty, lack of education, and substance abuse perpetuate a cycle of emotional deprivation. Gloria Rodriguez started AVANCE in 1973 to teach parenting methods and provide job skills training and placement. Mary, a program graduate, visits Diane to provide support.
Early Childhood Education (03:24)
Children play in the Avance childcare center. Improving language skills and increasing curiosity leads to school success and higher self-esteem. Social groups decrease parent isolation; classes teach coping skills to reduce chaotic home environments.
Improving Child Outcomes and Breaking the Poverty Cycle (04:50)
A father's group teaches participants to be emotionally involved with their children. Children are less likely to suffer academic failure or develop conduct disorder. AVANCE also helps parents graduate high school and get better jobs—cultivating a sense of empowerment.
Adolescents: New Haven, Connecticut (02:54)
Middle school students are at risk for substance abuse, conduct disorder, dangerous sexual behavior, and depression. Cohesive families, adult role models, and schools responding to academic and social needs can help them make healthy choices as they develop their identities.
Social Development Project (02:41)
New Haven's program uses systematic classroom instruction helping adolescents manage stressors through critical thinking and problem solving skills. Dr. James Comer discusses enlisting adults to create positive climates and serve as role models. Adolescent challenges exist in all socioeconomic groups.
Six Step Problem Solving Model (05:00)
Life skills educator Cheryl Merritt teaches Jackie Robinson Middle School students to manage stressful situations like avoiding fights, drugs, and pregnancy. Group discussions around role play help students internalize lessons.
Adolescent Mental Health Intervention (05:03)
Social Development Project staff members discuss student reactions to a classmate's death. Group grief counseling helps prevent psychological disorders and maintain academic focus. Participants display less delinquent behavior, better self-control, and improved problem solving skills.
Adults: Ann Arbor, Michigan (06:09)
Social support helps adults negotiate familial and work transitions. Many unemployed people become depressed and anxious. The Jobs Project targets recently unemployed workers to prevent psychological disorders. Workshops feature roleplays simulating job interviews, peer feedback, and group therapy.
Anticipating Life Setbacks (03:27)
Jobs Project trainers use group problem solving to prepare unemployed participants for losing motivation or becoming depressed. People from the program showed less anxiety and depression, had better job prospects, and more confidence than a control group.
Older Adults: Austin, Texas (04:58)
Mrs. Allison's husband died and she has no support system. Services can help prevent depression in socially isolated older people. Bert Kruger Smith created Austin Groups for the Elderly to coordinate service agencies such as Elderhaven, an adult daycare.
Austin Groups for the Elderly (05:22)
Mutual help groups like Grandparents Raising Grandchildren meet at AGE, providing social support. Agencies share administrative employees and equipment to save money. Older adults work with children in daycares; volunteering staves off depression.
Preventing Psychological Disorders: Summary (01:34)
Tens of millions of Americans will be dysfunctional at some point in their lives, losing productivity and increasing healthcare costs. Preventative programs seem to be worthy social investments.
Credits: Ounce of Prevention (01:23)
Credits: Ounce of Prevention
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