A sample of 189 psychiatrists were surveyed to determine their attitudes toward preventive activities with high-risk children in clinical practice. Respondents indicated generally positive attitudes toward the appropriateness and efficacy of such activities but expressed uncertainty about the ethicality of prevention and about the knowledge base on which such activities rest. Psychiatrists perceived serious barriers to preventive activities due to financial, educational, and time factors. Important attitudinal differences were related to the respondents' age, career aspirations, membership on an academic faculty, number of scholarly articles published, marital status, number of vacation days taken in the previous year, and training in child psychiatry. Psychiatrists whose personal health beliefs favored an internal locus of control were more positively inclined toward preventive activities.