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Drug Abuse Prevention Research meeting.. details in text2nd National Conference on Drug Abuse Prevention Research:
A Progress Update


This Conference was held at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington D.C., August 9-10, 2001.

Abstracts (continued)

  FRIDAY WORKSHOPS
Bii-Zin-Da-De-Dah: The Listening to One Another Prevention Program
Leslie B. Whitbeck, Ph.D.

Bii-Zin-Da-De-Dah is a culturally specific, family intervention that targets alcohol and other drug use among American Indian early adolescents. This session will provide an overview of the prevention program, with particular emphasis on the importance of culturally specific program components in work with American Indians. The process and ethics of building research partnerships with American Indian communities will be covered. Research findings from the project baseline survey and the prevention trials will be used to support the efficacy of traditional culture as a resiliency factor for American Indian adolescents and adults. Specific cultural risks also will be addressed. Prevention trials indicated that cultural content was more likely to be retained and used by mothers and children than generic content.


Focus on Families
Kevin P. Haggerty, M.S.W.

The Focus on Families (FOF) preventive intervention was developed for parents receiving methadone treatment and their children. The primary goals of the project were to reduce parents' use of illegal drugs and reduce risk factors for their children's future drug use while enhancing protective factors. The intervention employs group training and home-based services to achieve the research goals. This presentation summarizes the lessons learned from the intervention research and the additional dissemination of FOF. Results find a pattern of significant differences favoring the experimental group at 12-month followup and a less stable pattern of reduced parent and child problem behaviors at 24-month followup. Results will be presented in consideration of conducting parenting interventions in treatment settings. Lessons learned from dissemination efforts and principles for effective dissemination will be offered.


Project Towards No Drug Abuse
Steven Sussman, Ph.D.

Very few evidence-based, high school drug abuse prevention programs exist. The Project Towards No Drug Abuse (Project TND) is evidence-based, as indicated by the 1-year postprogram followup results of three experimental field trials. Summed across conditions and trials, 2,468 senior high school youth from 42 alternative and regular southern California high schools were surveyed. Twelve interactive class sessions provide motivation-skills-decisionmaking prevention material. The sessions are active listening, stereotyping, myths and denial, chemical dependency, talk show, marijuana panel, tobacco use cessation, stress/health and goals, self-control, positive and negative thought and behavior loops, perspectives, and decisionmaking and commitment. Relative to a standard-care comparison group, a year after receiving the program, participants experienced a 27 percent 30-day prevalence reduction in cigarette use, a 9 percent 30-day prevalence reduction in alcohol use among baseline drinkers, a 22 percent 30-day prevalence reduction in marijuana use, a 26 percent 30-day prevalence reduction in hard drug use, and a 25 percent 1-year prevalence reduction in weapons carrying among males.


School-Based Drug Abuse Prevention With Multiethnic Youth Through Life Skills Training
Gilbert J. Botvin, Ph.D.

Advances in understanding the etiology and prevention of adolescent drug use have led to the identification of effective prevention approaches. One extensively used research approach to drug abuse prevention is a multiyear, multicomponent, school-based approach called Life Skills Training (LST). LST is designed to target a broad array of etiologic factors through components that teach drug resistance skills, norm-setting, self-management skills, and general social skills. Studies testing this approach show that it can cut tobacco, alcohol, and marijuana use among junior high school students by half. The LST approach not only reduces onset and early experimental drug use but also decreases escalation to more serious levels of drug involvement in terms of both the frequency and amount of a particular form of drug use, as well as with respect to the use of other classes of drugs. Moreover, research shows that this approach is effective when taught by different program providers and with different populations. A major challenge concerns how to take evidence-based programs such as LST to scale while maintaining their integrity and effectiveness. Findings supporting the effectiveness of the LST approach will be summarized, and initial efforts to move from research to practice will be discussed.


Youth-Focused Media To Prevent Substance Use
John K. Worden, Ph.D.

The purpose of this research project is to develop and test a program of mass media messages designed to reduce regular cigarette and marijuana use among adolescents. The target population is a diverse sample of young people maturing from grades 4 to 5 to grades 7 to 8 during the intervention. Television and radio messages are developed in a variety of formats using diagnostic and formative research with youth in the target group. The 4-year campaign is placed as paid advertising in a media market representing both urban and nonurban youth. School surveys of cigarette and marijuana beliefs and behaviors are conducted in this area and in a comparison area before and after the campaign. This presentation will give an overview of the study and highlight the unique method of message development that involves target audience research, participation by experts in substance use prevention, and media design and production by creative advertising people.


Good Behavior Game/Mastery Learning
Nicholas S. Ialongo, Ph.D.

The speakers will examine the immediate and longer term impacts of the second-generation Johns Hopkins Prevention Intervention Center field trial. There will be a particular focus on the effects of a universal, first-grade, classroom-based, preventive intervention designed to reduce the risk of antisocial behavior and drug use. This intervention featured two primary components: The first sought to reduce the risk for later antisocial behavior and drug use by enhancing teachers' behavior management skills; the second sought to enhance achievement by targeting the teachers' reading and mathematics instructional practices. The basis for the classroom behavior management component was the Good Behavior Game (Barrish, Saunders, and Wolfe, 1969). The principles underlying the reading and mathematics instructional component were derived from Mastery Learning (Bloom, 1982). At age 12, relative to controls, children who received the classroom intervention had significantly lower ratings from their teachers in terms of conduct problems. They were also significantly less likely than control children to meet diagnostic criteria for conduct disorder and to have been suspended from school in the past year. In addition, children who received the classroom intervention were less likely to have experimented with smoking. These results, although incomplete and in need of replication, lend support for targeting the early risk behaviors for antisocial behavior and substance use in the first-grade classroom.


LUNCHEON
Palo Alto Summit on Improving the Prevalence of Successful Adolescence
Anthony Biglan, Ph.D.

The speaker will provide an overview of a year-long effort to forge a future research and practice agenda on the prevention of substance abuse and other problem behaviors, known as the Palo Alto Summit. The presentation will summarize evidence gathered through the project showing that a small proportion of youth engage in numerous problem behaviors, which account for a large proportion of these problems and of many problematic health outcomes. Evidence of the substantial costs to society associated with these behaviors and outcomes, as well as interventions that have been found to be effective in targeting young people who have developed multiple problem behaviors, will be presented. The implications of this analysis for the prevention of drug abuse will be discussed.


PLENARY PANEL IV: BUILDING MULTICOMPONENT COMMUNITY PROGRAMS
The Adolescent Transitions Program: A Multilevel, Family-Centered Preventive Intervention in Schools
Kathryn Kavanagh, Ph.D.

The speaker will present information about the implementation of a tiered strategy of preventive interventions, the Adolescent Transitions Program, in a population of diverse families within a school setting and the results of the research so far. The utility of the Family Check-Up as a motivational tool and mechanism for collaboration with parents will be highlighted. The benefits of family work within schools will be discussed in terms of improved assessment/screening capabilities and intervention opportunities. The speaker also will address some of the problems in becoming a part of a school and working both within and outside its boundaries, which offers many challenges to collaboration and the ability to ensure family confidentiality. Strategies to meet these challenges will be presented. Ideas for future directions for preventive interventions in schools and for increasing the numbers of parents participating in these preventive intervention opportunities will be shared.

Dishion TJ, Kavanagh K. (2000) A multilevel approach to family-centered prevention in schools: Process and outcome. Addictive Behaviors 25(6):899-911.

Dishion TJ, McCord J, Poulin F. (1999) When interventions harm; peer groups and problem behavior. American Psychologist 54(9):735-764.


The Community Action for Successful Youth Project: Community Builders and the Prevention of Problem Behaviors Among Middle Schoolers
Carol W. Metzler, Ph.D.

Research shows that monitoring the activities of early adolescents, setting and enforcing clear rules, and reinforcing prosocial behavior are essential for ensuring young people's academic and social success. The Community Action for Successful Youth (CASY) Project developed and tested a comprehensive approach to assisting parents, schools, and communities in improving the monitoring and guidance of middle-school youth. Dubbed "Community Builders," the CASY Project intervention involved multiple components in the community, school, and family: (1) community-level strategic planning, community organizing, and assistance with obtaining funding for programs; (2) assistance to schools in improving their behavior management practices; (3) development of free, supervised after-school programs on school grounds; (4) direct mail and parent-child homework activities to promote effective parenting; and (5) establishment of a parent training program and referral system for at-risk families. In this presentation, the components of the intervention, their effects, challenges to implementation, and lessons learned will be described.

Metzler CW, Biglan A, Ary DV, Li F. (1998) The stability and validity of early adolescents' reports of parenting practices constructs. Journal of Family Psychology 12(4):600-619.

Metzler CW, Taylor TK, Gunn B, Fowler RC, Biglan A, Ary DV. (1998) A comprehensive approach to the prevention of behavior problems: Integrating effective practices to strengthen behavior management programs in schools. Effective School Practices 17(2):8-24.


Community Readiness, Media, and Schools
Michael D. Slater, Ph.D.

Community Action for Drug Prevention is a multilevel intervention trial incorporating community readiness training workshops, community- and school-level media, and an in-school drug abuse prevention program. The media effort provides community prevention leaders with media training and materials that support community action efforts and help ensure that the community reinforces the messages received by youth in schools. By the conclusion of the intervention (in fall 2003), this multilevel intervention will have been fielded in eight treatment communities around the United States, with comparison data being collected in eight control communities. In addition, in each intervention and control community, one middle school receives the All-Stars in-school prevention curriculum, and one does not. This design permits examination of community readiness/media intervention effects in increasing the effect of an in-school prevention curriculum as well as in influencing youth in the absence of an in-school curriculum. Lessons learned to date will be discussed.

Edwards RW, Thurman PJ, Plested B, Oetting ER, Swanson L. (2000) Community readiness: Research to practice. Journal of Community Psychology 28:291-307.

Slater MD, Kelly K, Edwards RW. (2000) Integrating social marketing, community readiness, and media advocacy in community-based prevention efforts. Social Marketing Quarterly 6:125-137.


Families and Schools Together
Lynn McDonald, M.S.W., Ph.D.

Families and Schools Together (FAST) involves outreach to and the engagement of whole families in multifamily groups to build relationships important at several levels of the youth's social ecology. Rather than delivering treatment or instruction, local teams of parents, youth, and professionals, who are culturally representative and collaborative, are trained to plan and facilitate family evenings at schools with meals, songs, and communication games. The FAST team structures repetitive, positive interactions sequenced in dyads (parent to youth, parent to parent) and in small groups (the youth's family, peer groups for parents, peer groups for youth). FAST activities apply theory and research from family stress, family systems, and community development in age-appropriate formats attractive to difficult-to-reach parents of at-risk youth. Participation in six weekly sessions has predictable results in systematically strengthening the social capital of youth from low-income communities. Of families who attend one FAST session, 80 percent complete six of the eight sessions. These retention rates hold across the inner city, rural Indian Nations, and suburban environments. Recently completed experimental studies with 1- and 2-year followups with schoolteachers blinded to condition indicate that the positive effects of FAST hold over time on academic competence, academic performance, social skills, and maladaptive behaviors (CBCL). FAST has an infrastructure for program replication, using trainers who conduct multiple site visits of new programs. The trainers conduct process and outcome evaluations of each new pilot. FAST has replications in more than 600 sites in 38 States and five countries, including six statewide initiatives.

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