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Module 5: FASD Prevention

Prevention Domains

Preventive interventions are designed to minimize risk factors and maximize protective factors. Risk factors increase the chances of engaging in harmful behaviors. Protective factors decrease the chances of engaging in harmful behaviors. Risk and protective factors exist in a variety of domains in a person's life:

  • Individual: biologic and psychological dispositions, attitudes, values, knowledge, skills, problem behaviors
  • Peers: norms, activities, bonding
  • Family: function, management, bonding
  • School/work: bonding, climate, policy, performance
  • Community: bonding, norms, resources, awareness/mobilization
  • Society: norms, policy/sanctions, environment

The following table provides examples of risk and protective factors for FASD in the various domains related to alcohol use during pregnancy.

Risk and Protective Factors for FASD in Various Domains.

Domain Risk Factors Protective Factors
Individual Low self-esteem, unemployment, tobacco use, frequent binge drinking Prenatal care, meaningful employment, education
Peers Friends who drink while pregnant Supportive peers who share messages about the harm of drinking while pregnant
Family Heavy drinking by parents and siblings Supportive partners and relatives who share messages about the harm of drinking while pregnant
School/work Drinking behavior of coworkers Alcohol-free social gatherings
Community Tolerance toward heavy drinking Education of health care and social service providers and law enforcement officers
Society Alcohol culture Norms against drinking while pregnant

Sources: Stratton, K.; Howe, C.; and Battaglia, F., eds. 1996. Fetal Alcohol Syndrome: Diagnosis, Epidemiology, Prevention, and Treatment. Washington, DC: National Academy Press.

Wilsnack, S.C., and Beckman, L.J. 1984. Alcohol Problems in Women: Antecedents, Consequences, and Intervention. New York: Guilford Press.

Wilsnack, S.C.; Klassen, A.D.; Schur, B.E.; et al. 1991. Predicting onset and chronicity of women's problem drinking: A five-year longitudinal analysis. American Journal of Public Health 81:305-318.

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