Integrated Prevention

An Integrated Approach to the Prevention of Youth Problems

(source: The Guidebook to Effective Prevention of Youth Problems, (English edition: Grzelak, S. et al., 2017))

What is Integrated Prevention?

  • The perception of individual problems and risk behaviours in the broad context of many other problems and risk behaviours
  • The analysis of the correlations between various problems and search for their common causes and determinants (risk factors)
  • The emphasis on protective factors in prevention, especially those which protect against many problems and risk behaviours simultaneously
  • The usage of a wide range of indicators referring to an extensive variety of problems and risk behaviours in both diagnostic and evaluation research
  • The perception of the human being in the context of all their dimensions: physical, emotional, intellectual, spiritual, and social
  • Acknowledging and taking into account the role of different actors affecting children and young people in prevention programmes: parents, the extended family, teachers, local government, NGOs, religious organizations and finally the young people themselves1.
  • A pragmatic approach to preventive healthcare, expressed in the search of formulas for action that will bring maximum results at the lowest possible cost2.


An integrated approach and the Integrated Prevention Model refer to the following recognized, detailed theories (Grzelak, 1999; Grzelak, 2009), among others:

  • problem behaviour theory (trend towards risk theory) by Jessor (1987)
  • the interactive influence model by Hawkins et al. (1992)
  • the theory of psychosocial development by Erikson (2000)
  • the concept of positive youth development by Catalano et al. (2002).

1 In conducting research, diagnosis, and practical activities special attention should be applied to the identification of resources, including in particular the social capital and human capital, which can be used for increasing the effectiveness of health prevention and streamlining the management of this area. Consequently, in the process of identifying and overcoming barriers for the development of effective prevention special attention should be paid to those barriers that lead to the reduction of social capital at the local level or result in the existing social capital and human capital.

2 In the management of preventive health care knowledge in economics should be considered so that the posed objectives, strategies and methods would minimize the so-called transactional costs and as a result enable optimal relationship between the costs and the effects (cost-effectiveness) at local and national level.