Strengthening the Power of Evidence‑Based Prevention in Cooperative Extension: A Capacity‑Building Framework for Translation Science‑Driven Behavioral Health

Thumbnail Image



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



Background Translation science entails application of information gained through scientific research to practices intended to improve prevention and public health. The outreach arm of Land-Grant Universities—the Cooperative Extension System—is uniquely poised to facilitate this translation process and contribute to resolution of current substance misuse and other behavioral health issues. Objective This paper summarizes selected literatures that guided the conceptualization of a framework for building Extension’s capacity to enhance the translation process, in order to better address substance misuse and other behavioral health issues. Method Peer-reviewed literature was obtained from journals representing varied disciplines including medicine, public health, education, and psychology. Journals for Extension professionals were a prominent source of relevant literature. The literature review informed the identification of relevant practice gaps, barriers in addressing those gaps, and the development of a capacity-building framework. Results The framework described highlights opportunities for building Cooperative Extension’s capacity to address goals in four key domains. These goals include (1) catalyzing Extension’s organizational development to support science-driven practices, (2) bolstering prevention and behavioral health-oriented professional development for Extension faculty and staff, (3) creating a stronger culture of behavioral health in Extension, and (4) strengthening Extension’s financing of prevention-oriented behavioral health efforts. Conclusion Addressing the capacity-related goals identified in this paper could be a major catalyst for enhancing the power of proven, prevention-oriented behavioral health and, thereby, the well-being of our families, communities and nation.




Spoth, Richard, Nancy Franz, and Alison Brennan. “Strengthening the Power of Evidence-Based Prevention in Cooperative Extension: A Capacity-Building Framework for Translation Science-Driven Behavioral Health.” Child & Youth Care Forum 50, no. 1 (2021): 121–145. doi:10.1007/s10566-020-09559-0.
Copyright (c) 2002-2022, LYRASIS. All rights reserved.