Testing the Universality of the Effects of the Communities That Care Prevention System for Preventing Adolescent Drug Use and Delinquency

Social Development Research Group, University of Washington, 9725 3rd Ave. NE, Suite 401, Seattle, WA 98115, USA.
Prevention Science (Impact Factor: 3.15). 12/2010; 11(4):411-23. DOI: 10.1007/s11121-010-0178-1
Source: PubMed


Universal community-oriented interventions are an important component in the prevention of youth health and behavior problems. Testing the universality of the effects of an intervention that was designed to be universal is important because it provides information about how the program operates and for whom and under what conditions it is most effective. The present study examined whether the previously established significant effects of the universal, community-based Communities That Care (CTC) prevention program on the prevalence of substance use and the variety of delinquent behaviors held equally for boys and girls and in risk-related subgroups defined by early substance use, early delinquency, and high levels of community-targeted risk at baseline. Interaction analyses of data from a panel of 4,407 students followed from Grade 5 to Grade 8 in the first randomized trial of CTC in 12 matched community pairs suggests that CTC reduced students' substance use and delinquency equally across risk-related subgroups and gender, with two exceptions: The effect of CTC on reducing substance use in 8th grade was stronger for boys than girls and the impact of CTC on reducing 8th-grade delinquency was stronger for students who were nondelinquent at baseline.

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    • "Evaluations of prevention programs can thus be a useful tool for identifying salient and gender-specific predictors of crime and for guiding gender-responsive approaches to prevention . Fortunately, many impact evaluations have begun to investigate gender differences (e.g., Eckenrode et al., 2010; Oesterle, Hawkins, Fagan, Abbott, & Catalano, 2010; Reynolds, Temple, Ou, Arteaga, & White, 2011). However, this information has yet to be systematically reviewed, which is particularly important when considering gender differences in the effectiveness of community-based programs which are seeking to prevent or reduce delinquency among youth not yet involved in the juvenile justice system. "
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    ABSTRACT: Empirical research indicates that males are more likely than females to be delinquent, yet it is unclear why this gender gap exists. This uncertainty can impede gender-responsive prevention efforts to implement programs that target the criminogenic factors most salient for each sex. However, information from experimental evaluations of gender differences in the effectiveness of prevention services can guide gender-responsive approaches. This article provides a systematic review of such literature. The results demonstrated some evidence of gender differences in the ability of community-based preventive interventions to reduce substance use, delinquency, and/or violence, although no clear patterns emerged regarding the types of programs that are most effective for each sex. In addition, some programs had similar effects on females and males and others evidenced harmful effects for one sex or the other. These findings suggest that practitioners should carefully review evaluation evidence prior to targeting females, males, or both sexes for prevention services.
    Preview · Article · Aug 2014 · Criminal Justice and Behavior
    • "When a preventive intervention is designed to be universal, it does not necessarily mean the preventive intervention will maintain all its universal properties when implemented in practice (Vigna-Taglianti et al. 2009). The universality of drug prevention has been demonstrated in several studies (e.g., Oesterle et al. 2010; Hill et al. 2013). This study introduces indicative evidence that Unplugged may be considered a true universal preventive intervention for cannabis use. "
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    ABSTRACT: This study aims to examine the effect of school-based preventive intervention on cannabis use in Czech adolescents with different levels of risk factors and provide evidence of its universality. A randomized controlled prevention trial with six waves was conducted over a period of 33 months. We used a two-level logistic random-intercept model for panel data; we first looked at the statistical significance of the effect of the intervention on cannabis use, controlling for the characteristics of the children and time dummies. Then we analyzed the effects of the interactions between the intervention and the characteristics of the children on cannabis use and related it to the definition of universal preventive interventions. The setting for the study was in basic schools in the Czech Republic in the years 2007-2010. A total of 1,874 sixth-graders (mean age 11.82 years) who completed the baseline testing. According to our results, the prevention intervention was effective. We found all the selected characteristics of the children to be relevant in relation to cannabis use, except their relationships with their friends. We showed empirically that the intervention is universal in two dimensions for the selected characteristics of the children. First, all adolescents who undergo the intervention are expected to benefit. Second, with respect to the effect of the intervention on cannabis use, the total level of individual risk of cannabis use is superior to the composition of the risk factors in the individual risk profile. We present indicative evidence that the drug prevention intervention may be considered a true universal preventive intervention.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2014 · Prevention Science
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    • "Indeed, the family is the social relationship that has received the most attention in substance use risk factors research (Rhodes et al., 2003, p. 312). Family structure has been operationalized in numerous ways, including separation , and/or divorce within an adolescent's family, single parenthood, etc. Family quality has been operationalized as management practices, parental supervision , familial communication, parenting styles, parent– child relationships, family socio-emotional problems, parental substance use, etc. (Choquet, Hassler, Morin, Falissard, & Chau, 2007; Hall et al., 2008; Hallfors & van Dorn, 2002; Kosterman et al., 2000; Niv, 2007; Oesterle et al., 2010; Rhodes et al., 2003; Spoth, Redmond, & Shin, 2001). Many studies suggest an association between family structure and quality and adolescent cannabis initiation and use (Butters, 2002; Chen, Storr, & Anthony, 2005; Galea et al., 2004; Hall & Pacula, 2003; Hall et al., 2008; Hayatbakhsh et al., 2006; Niv, 2007; van den Bree & Pickworth, 2005). "
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    ABSTRACT: Cannabis is the most widely used illicit drug in the world. Although the risk of problematic cannabis use is relatively low, the lifetime prevalence of dependence is greater than for all other illicit drugs. As such, the population burden of problematic cannabis use warrants attention. Many health and psychosocial risks associated with cannabis use are exacerbated or predicted by initiation of cannabis use in early adolescence and early adolescent users are more vulnerable to negative developmental outcomes, longer cannabis use trajectories, earlier transitions to heavier use and dependence. This suggests a need for effective prevention interventions targeting this age group. Unfortunately, most prevention efforts focus on individual-level risk factors and evidence indicates that they are not particularly effective for deterring use. This overview outlines a more effective approach for preventing cannabis-related harm. Using a social determinants of health perspective, it highlights peer networks and family structure and quality as the main risk factors associated with early adolescent cannabis use. This article suggests that interventions that targeting these determinants can be effective for preventing cannabis use. It concludes by suggesting complementary harm reduction programmes for older adolescents as a means to further reduce cannabis-related harm.
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