We employ a developmental perspective to understand the conditions under which state health education curriculum requirements regarding alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs (ATOD) have protective or harmful effects on youth substance use. Multiple youth surveys show that rates of participation in risky behaviors such as consumption of ATOD remain troublingly high in the US despite two decades of modest improvement, suggesting wide latitude for public policy interventions to reduce youth substance use and its related harms. We will create and maintain an ongoing, comprehensive database of state requirements pertaining to ATOD education as well as a variety of other policies pertaining to health education and academic content adopted over the 1990s and 2000s. Developmental theory will guide our empirical models. This theory suggests that the effects of policies will likely vary with the biological age and personal characteristics (e.g., gender, self-control) of students;characteristics of the student's school and peer groups (e.g., prevalence of substance use;peer use);and characteristics of the programs themselves (e.g. duration, approach). We will test these theories with the first comprehensive quasi-experimental analysis of state requirements for ATOD education in health curricula by exploiting substantial variation across states in the timing and implementation of these policies. Our outcome data will include teacher reports of actual health education instruction and youth self-reports of substance use from several representative datasets. This research will significantly advance our understanding of the appropriateness of statewide ATOD curriculum interventions in youth substance use.

Public Health Relevance

This project will provide new evidence on the effectiveness of statewide curriculum interventions pertaining to alcohol, tobacco, and other drug (ATOD) education in US schools. We will study the effects of these policies on the delivery of ATOD instruction as reported by teachers and on substance use behaviors by middle and high school youths. Our results will have important implications for designing appropriately targeted ATOD interventions to reduce youth substance use and its related harms.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development (NICHD)
Research Program Projects (P01)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZHD1)
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
University of California Irvine
United States
Zip Code
Magnuson, Katherine; Duncan, Greg; Lee, Kenneth T H et al. (2016) Early School Adjustment and Educational Attainment. Am Educ Res J 53:1198-1228
Bailey, Drew H; Nguyen, Tutrang; Jenkins, Jade Marcus et al. (2016) Fadeout in an early mathematics intervention: Constraining content or preexisting differences? Dev Psychol 52:1457-69
Bailey, Drew H; Littlefield, Andrew K (2016) Does Reading Cause Later Intelligence? Accounting for Stability in Models of Change. Child Dev :
Vandell, Deborah Lowe; Burchinal, Margaret; Pierce, Kim M (2016) Early child care and adolescent functioning at the end of high school: Results from the NICHD Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development. Dev Psychol 52:1634-1645
Jenkins, Jade Marcus; Farkas, George; Duncan, Greg J et al. (2016) Head Start at ages 3 and 4 versus Head Start followed by state pre-k: Which is more effective? Educ Eval Policy Anal 38:88-112
Domina, Thurston; Penner, Andrew M; Penner, Emily K (2016) `Membership Has Its Privileges': Status Incentives and Categorical Inequality in Education. Sociol Sci 3:264-295
Nguyen, Tutrang; Watts, Tyler W; Duncan, Greg J et al. (2016) Which Preschool Mathematics Competencies Are Most Predictive of Fifth Grade Achievement? Early Child Res Q 36:550-560
Miller, Elizabeth B (2016) Child Care Enrollment Decisions Among Dual Language Learner Families: The Role of Spanish Language Instruction in the Child Care Setting. Early Child Res Q 36:223-232
Miller, Elizabeth B; Farkas, George; Duncan, Greg J (2016) Does Head Start differentially benefit children with risks targeted by the program's service model? Early Child Res Q 34:1-12
Simzar, Rahila M; Domina, Thurston; Tran, Cathy (2016) Eighth Grade Algebra Course Placement and Student Motivation for Mathematics. AERA Open 2:1-26

Showing the most recent 10 out of 29 publications