The main reference in the course of our research group has always been the adolescent population. Initially, we focused on the theoretical study of risk factors in the use of drugs and the development of antisocial behaviour of different natures and later, on the prevention of these problems.
Since the group’s main researcher started studying juvenile delinquency in 1982, UDIPRE kept on researching this field, doing many studies and issuing numerous publications.
• Our later work, from 1992 onwards, focused on the development, implementation and evaluation of prevention programmes to avoid the use of drugs and antisocial behaviour in teenagers: the “Construyendo Salud” Programme. This was possible thanks to the economic support of the Spanish General Directorate for Scientific and Technical Research (DGICYT) that subsidized several research projects of the group up to 1999.
• Once “Construyendo Salud” was completely developed, it was resumed by the Spanish administration that applied the programme with our collaboration in almost 200 schools of different autonomous regions, reaching almost 900 teenagers. This gave us the opportunity to evaluate the programme at a large scale. During the years 1999 and 2004 the programme was adapted to be implemented in Galician foster care institutions.
• In the last past years, we started a new research line that deals with the identification of early-onset behaviour problems and the study of predictors of persistent antisocial behaviour risks in order to develop preventive intervention programmes. In the framework of this research, we developed the programme called: “EmPeCemos: Emociones, Pensamientos y Conductas para un desarrollo saludable” [Let’s Start: Emotions, Thoughts and Behaviours for a Healthy Development], a prevention programme with the aim of avoiding behaviour problems that start during childhood. The programme acts on different contexts: the individual, educational and familiar ones.
• Currently, we are immersed in two new research lines. The first one deals with the identification and analysis of risk factors implied in the genesis of behaviour problems in immigrant teenagers, while the second one focuses on the development of a protocol to evaluate the risks of violence and recidivism in juvenile offenders.