This application proposes to build on the successful Phase I Picture Me Alcohol Free (PMAF) feasibility pilot study. PMAF is a community-based program designed to train groups of youth to a) represent contributing factors and consequences (e.g., social availability, alcohol-involved crashes) of underage drinking in their communities through a specific photographic technique called photovoice, and b) use photo projects to raise community awareness and motivate community-level change. Underage drinking continues to be serious public health concern in this country. This is reflected in the recent Call to Action by the U.S. Surgeon General's Office (2007) which places an emphasis on youth involvement in community-wide prevention. However, there are few, if any, commercially available tools that can be used by communities to train and support youth in community-based prevention. The proposed project will fill that need by using existing research and instructional technology to develop an innovative online training program that will guide youth, with the help of an adult facilitator, through the photovoice process in attempt to raise community awareness and motivate alcohol-related environmental and policy changes. Phase II aims include completion of the full PMAF program and evaluation of the program using a pair- matched group randomized design. Thirty SADD (Students against Destructive Decisions) groups will be randomly assigned to treatment (PMAF) or standard practice control conditions. Outcomes include media coverage, public events, advocacy activities, and education.
This project has the potential to contribute to the health and well- -being of underage youth, as well as increase the capacity of communities to employ comprehensive strategies and involve youth as stakeholders in the process of reducing underage drinking and associate problems. A contribution to the science of prevention will be made by developing and testing a targeted approach to prevention that has the potential to be applied to preventive interventions with other high risk behaviors.