Iowa State University

Partnerships in Prevention Science Institute



Overview of Key Studies Corresponding to Research Models


Summary of Randomized Controlled Outcome Studies


Study 1 Project Family Pilot Study

In 1992-1993, a preliminary randomized, controlled efficacy study of the Preparing for the Drug Free Years (PDFY) preventive intervention was conducted. PDFY, a family-focused program designed to prevent adolescent substance abuse and other problem behaviors, had not previously been evaluated with a rural population. The pilot efficacy study included 209 families of 6th and 7th graders enrolled in rural schools in two Iowa counties. Multimethod, multi-informant measurement procedures were employed in the pre- and posttest assessments.


Study 2 - Initial Longitudinal Efficacy Trial

Initiated in 1993, and now in its 10th year, Project Family's Initial Longitudinal Efficacy Trial includes an evaluation of two family-focused interventions designed to prevent adolescent substance abuse and other problem behaviors. The two interventions, Preparing for the Drug Free Years and the Iowa Strengthening Families Program, were delivered to families when their child was in the 6th grade. 667 families, recruited from 33 rural school districts in southern Iowa, participated in the trial pretest assessment. Subsequent assessments included 6th grade posttests and follow-up assessments when the adolescents were in the 7th, 8th, 10th, and 12th grades. Multimethod, multi-informant measurement procedures were employed for each wave of data collection.


Study 3 - Harambee: Iowa Strengthening Families Program replication with African-American families

The purpose of the Harambee project is to conduct a controlled study of a culturally-sensitive adaptation of the Iowa Strengthening Families Program, called the Strengthening Families Program For Parents and Youth 10-14, using a randomly selected subsample of African-American families from the Institute's ongoing Family and Community Health Study (FACHS). A number of aspects of program implementation and study feasibility have been evaluated. Program efficacy is being evaluated with multi-informant, multimethod measurement procedures used in the FACHS project, as well as with additional measures specific to program content and objectives.


Study 4 - CaFaY : Capable Families and Youth

The CaFaY project, initiated in 1997, includes the delivery and testing of a multicompontent intervention based on two research-based programs designed to prevent adolescent substance abuse and other problem behaviors. In addition, the CaFaY project seeks to promote linkages among families, schools, and communities. The multicomponent intervention, including the school-based Life Skills Training and the Strengthening Families Program For Parents and Youth 10-14, were delivered to students and their families when the students were in the 7th grade, with booster sessions delivered the following year. 1,679 7th graders and 691 families of 7th graders from 36 rural Iowa school districts participated in the CaFaY project pretest assessments. In addition to in-school written questionnaires for all participating students, multimethod multi-informant measurement procedures were employed with participating families and their student in the study. Data were collected while the students were in the 7th (pretest and posttest), 8th, and 9th grades. A plan for 5-year MERIT extension to the CaFaY project has been approved by the National Institute on Drug Abuse and is now being implemented.


Study 5 - Georgia Collaboration Study- Strong African-American Families

The purpose of the Georgia Collaboration Study (University of Georgia, Gene Brody, PI) is to design an empirically-guided multicomponent prevention program to decrease the use of alcohol and other substances among African-American youth living in rural Georgia. The multiwave research design will allow the investigators to determine which intervention components of the prevention program contribute most to the intervention's overall effectiveness and to explore the mediational processes through which these components operate.


Study 6 - PROSPER: PROmoting School-community-university Partnerships to Enhance Resiliency

      The purpose of the PROSPER project is to promote the development of sustainable partnerships among schools, communities and universities, in order to facilitate the delivery of scientifically-tested interventions designed to reduce adolescent substance use or other problem behaviors and to promote youth competencies.

      The need for the PROSPER project is clearly indicated by the high prevalence of youth substance use and related problems in both rural and urban areas. In response, numerous programs and practices intended to prevent youth substance use have been developed and widely disseminated. However, few of these programs have been carefully evaluated, and fewer still have been shown to be effective when subjected to such evaluation.

      PROSPER will entail sustainable linkages between the two existing systems for the delivery of preventive interventions that have universal reach in the United States, namely, the Cooperative Extension System and the public school system--in order to support effective local delivery of scientifically-tested programs and practices. More specifically, it will promote the development of partnerships among school and Cooperative Extension personnel, other community stakeholders, and university prevention researchers knowledgeable about scientifically-tested interventions. Through the development of stable linkages among the Cooperative Extension staff, public school personnel, and other local service providers and stakeholders, up-to-date information on effective interventions and the necessary resources to implement them will be available to assist communities in applying interventions of their choice.

      The first phase of the planned PROSPER project involves the development of school/community-university partnerships in selected communities in two states (Iowa and Pennsylvania). A randomized trial will evaluate effectiveness on a range of outcomes, including youth competencies and problem behavior reduction. Also, the relationship between partnership functioning and intervention outcomes will be examined. Using the first phase results as a guide, the second phase will entail (a) an expansion to additional sites in Iowa and Pennsylvania and, most importantly, (b) the gradual inclusion of an increasing number of states, as part of a national network of partnerships.

For more information, please view the powerpoint:

Making a Difference with Youth, Families and Communities (.ppt)
Updated 11/03/05


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