Trends and Opportunities for Bridging Prevention Science and US Federal Policy

Prevention science sheds light on complex social policy problems, yet its social impact cannot reach full potential without the uptake of research evidence by policymakers. This mixed-methods study examined the US federal legislation pertaining to justice-involved youth to reveal opportunities for strengthening the use of prevention science in legislation. The results indicated that research language, particularly references to the type of study (e.g., longitudinal) or methodology (e.g., data mining), within bills predicted bill progression out of committee and enactment. Rigorous scientific methods may either lend credence to a bill during its progression in the legislative process or may be infused in language during mark-up and negotiation of bills that successfully progress in Congress. In-depth bill coding illustrated the ways that research has been used in legislation to define problems, reinforce effective practice, generate knowledge through research and evaluation, and disseminate findings. A prominent implication of these findings is that policies could be used to improve data monitoring and evaluation capacity in ways that enhance the implementation of evidence-based interventions. The comprehensive use of research in legislation increases the likelihood that policies reach their intended outcomes and benefit those they are designed to serve.

This version of the article has been accepted for publication, after peer review (when applicable) and is subject to Springer Nature’s AM terms of use, but is not the Version of Record and does not reflect post-acceptance improvements, or any corrections. The Version of Record is available online at:


  • Trends.pdf

    size: 316 KB | mime_type: application/pdf | date: 2024-03-11 | sha256: 3cc24d5

  • Trends_Supplemental.pdf

    size: 254 KB | mime_type: application/pdf | date: 2024-03-11 | sha256: 3f09739


Work Title Trends and Opportunities for Bridging Prevention Science and US Federal Policy
Open Access
  1. J. Taylor Scott
  2. Sarah Prendergast
  3. Elizabeth Demeusy
  4. Kristina McGuire
  5. Max Crowley
  1. Evidence-based policy
  2. Juvenile justice
  3. Research use
  4. Legislation
  5. Delinquency
License In Copyright (Rights Reserved)
Work Type Article
  1. Prevention Science
Publication Date August 5, 2022
Publisher Identifier (DOI)
Deposited March 11, 2024




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Work History

Version 1

  • Created
  • Added Trends.pdf
  • Added Trends_Supplemental.pdf
  • Added Creator Daniel M. Crowley
  • Added Creator Jennifer Scott
  • Added Creator S Prendergast
  • Added Creator T Scott
  • Added Creator D Demeusy
  • Added Creator Elizabeth Demeusy
  • Added Creator K McGuire
  • Added Creator Max Crowley
  • Added Creator D M. Crowley
  • Published
  • Updated Keyword, Publication Date Show Changes
    • Evidence-based policy, Juvenile justice, Research use, Legislation, Delinquency
    Publication Date
    • 2022-08-01
    • 2022-08-05
  • Deleted Creator T Scott
  • Deleted Creator D Demeusy
  • Deleted Creator Max Crowley
  • Deleted Creator D M. Crowley
  • Renamed Creator Max Crowley Show Changes
    • Daniel M. Crowley
    • Max Crowley
  • Renamed Creator J. Taylor Scott Show Changes
    • Jennifer Scott
    • J. Taylor Scott
  • Renamed Creator Sarah Prendergast Show Changes
    • S Prendergast
    • Sarah Prendergast
  • Updated Creator Elizabeth Demeusy
  • Renamed Creator Kristina McGuire Show Changes
    • K McGuire
    • Kristina McGuire
  • Updated