Jay's World of Abstracts

Jay's World of Abstracts 00009

Research-based Prevention Approaches for The Youth Domain

(no identified author)

[Standard disclaimer: The nature of abstracts are that they are pieces of something larger. Not everyone is going to be happy with my choice of abstracts from any larger work, so if you are dissatisfied, I would refer you to the original document, which should be able to be found on the Internet. I encourage others to make their own abstracts to satisfy their needs.

Jay's Introduction

This abstract talks about school-based prevention and what reasearch has shown to work in that setting. Though it offers no specific remedies and names no programs, it does give a laundry list of attributes that you should expect to find in successful school- or community-based substance abuse preventions programs.

I produced this abstract using time paid for by the Quay County Maternal Child and Community Health Council with funds from the New Mexico Department of Health.


Youth focused prevention approaches are targeted directly at influencing young people’s knowledge of the consequences of ATOD use, their attitudes about ATOD use by others, their own intentions to use drugs, their ability to refuse drugs in social situations, and their actual drug use behavior. The majority of young people receive these prevention approaches through ATOD education programs delivered in the schools. Schools provide a captive audience of almost all children in this country. As a result, schools have a long history as a place where most people believe the social ills of society can be ameliorated. Since the turn of the century, schools have been teaching, in one form or another about the dangers of alcohol, marijuana and other drugs.


An effective universal, drug use prevention curriculum incorporates the following teaching methods and substantive content (Making the Grade: A Guide to School Drug Prevention Programs, 1996):

Youth must have the chance to learn, develop, and practice academic, social, communications, and problem-solving skills if they are to take advantage of pro-social opportunities (Zunz, 1997).


Principles for Effective Mentoring Programs

Mentoring programs provide youth with structured time with adults and are related to reductions in substance use, and increases in positivity toward others, the future, and school. Also, participation in these programs is related to increased school attendance (LoSciuto, Rajala, Townsend & Taylor, 1996).

Effective mentoring programs require a minimum of 1 year (or one school year) commitment from both student and mentor who interact for a minimum 4-6 hours per month, on a weekly or bi-weekly basis (LoSciuto, Rajala, Townsend & Taylor, 1996).

While minority mentors may serve as positive role models for their proteges, there is no evidence to suggest that same race or same gender matches are more effective then cross race or cross gender matches (LoSciuto, Rajala, Townsend & Taylor, 1996).

Training is crucial to a successful mentoring program. It is important that mentors set realistic expectations as to what kind of difference they can make over time. The most successful mentoring relationships are those in which the mentors respond to the self-stated needs of their proteges (CSAP, 1995). Likewise clear boundaries need to be established so that mentors do not take on inappropriate roles. Mentors need to be friends without becoming a "buddy." All mentors should pass a background check or screening.

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