This application, Distance Learning to Support Prevention Services for Early Drug Abuse Risk, focuses on the education sector, specifically elementary school, a normative setting for children and an important delivery system for prevention programs. A number of school-based prevention programs directed at aggressive, disruptive behavior, a confirmed antecedent for drug abuse and violence, have demonstrated both short- and long-term impact in randomized field trials. A challenge is that little is known about how to move these programs into general practice while maintaining high-quality fidelity of implementation. This application proposes to develop a program of research aimed at understanding how implementer training, fidelity, dosage, and delivery setting impact program implementation and outcomes-a focus of prevention services research or Type 2 translational research. The programmatic base for the proposed work is the Good Behavior Game (GBG). GBG, a classroom-based behavior management strategy for elementary school, is one of the few prevention programs that have shown positive impact from elementary school to young adulthood, ages 19- 21, including reductions in the incidence of drug abuse and dependence. The proposed R21 will provide funds for formative research leading to a subsequent randomized field trial to test GBG training and support under conditions that allow for variation i modality, intensity, and feedback in response to the unique needs of each teacher. The specific work outlined in this R21 includes developing a suite of distance learning modules to support high-quality implementation of GBG;collecting and analyzing preliminary data regarding implementation, student outcomes, and a set of multilevel contextual factors hypothesized to influence implementation;and finalizing the measurement framework and the design requirements for a subsequent fully randomized trial. If effective, distance learning has the potential to further the reach of GBG and other school-based preventive interventions more quickly than face-to-face options alone. The proposed work is supported by a set of close institutional partnerships among researchers, practitioners, and methodologists, including American Institutes for Research;the Center for Prevention Implementation Methodology for Drug Abuse and Sexual Risk Behavior, University of Miami;and the Nebraska Department of Education.

Public Health Relevance

This application focuses on the next stage of drug abuse prevention services research or Type 2 translational research aimed at improving the implementation and dissemination of evidence-based drug abuse prevention programs in schools. The proposed formative research will lay the groundwork to study, in a subsequent randomized field trial, how the mode and intensity of training and support as well as characteristics of the teacher and the delivery setting impact teachers'implementation of the Good Behavior Game, an elementary school-based drug abuse prevention program. The proposed work will provide information to guide policy and funding decisions made by schools and districts.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
Exploratory/Developmental Grants (R21)
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Community-Level Health Promotion Study Section (CLHP)
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Sims, Belinda E
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American Institutes for Research
United States
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