The objectives of this five-year study are to increase community use of evidence-based prevention programs and subsequently decrease adolescent drug use.
The specific aims are to: (1) test the effects of two prevention training interventions with high national diffusion potential (televised training with interactive satellite down-link capability, training + off-site technical assistance, control), on community leader and community adoption, implementation, and dissemination of evidence-based prevention programs; and (2) test the effect of these interventions at the community level, and the effect of a classroom-based media literacy program at the school level, on increasing adolescent attention to the national anti-use campaign, use of local media for promoting prevention messages and programs, and changes in use norms and behaviors. Two research designs are used: at the community level, communities will be randomly assigned from within each of 8 states to one of the three training conditions (5 training segments across two years on needs assessment, community organization, media literacy/advocacy, school, and parent programs; training + assistance, control; N=24 communities); at the school level, two middle/junior high schools within each community will be randomly assigned to a media literacy program on interpreting and counteracting drug use images, use of local media, and social norm expectations; or control; N=48 schools). At the community level, subjects are community leaders (youth/recreation agency, school, parent, policy/government, law enforcement, media, business, special interest; n=25-35 per community; N=840). At the school level, subjects are all 6,7,8th grade students from 2 classes/school and parents of 7th graders; N=5,760). The measurement design is longitudinal, with community leaders and students followed annually for four years with surveys and archival records. Independent variables include intervention and time; covariates include demographic variables, community readiness, and drug use risk; dependent variables include participation in community organization for prevention and use of evidence-based prevention programs and local media for prevention; and drug use norms and drug use. Intervention effects will be analyzed with regression, growth curve, structural equation modeling, time series, and cost-effectiveness analyses, with community, school, and individual as the units of analysis. Results should be generalizable to all communities and cities with satellite down-link capabilities (the majority of U.S. communities). The findings should help determine whether evidence-based programs supported by federal research agencies and Congress can be disseminated to and used by communities at relatively low cost, with a relatively high degree of fidelity, and whether communities can use available mass media constructively to enhance prevention initiatives and anti-use norms.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
Research Project (R01)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-SNEM-1 (01))
Program Officer
Sims, Belinda E
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
University of Southern California
Public Health & Prev Medicine
Schools of Medicine
Los Angeles
United States
Zip Code
Fujimoto, Kayo; Volente, Thomas W; Pentz, Mary Ann (2009) NETWORK STRUCTURAL INFLUENCES ON THE ADOPTION OF EVIDENCE-BASED PREVENTION IN COMMUNITIES. J Community Psychol 37:830-845
Riggs, Nathaniel R; Nakawatase, Morgan; Pentz, Mary Ann (2008) Promoting community coalition functioning: effects of Project STEP. Prev Sci 9:63-72
Valente, Thomas W; Chou, Chich Ping; Pentz, Mary Ann (2007) Community coalitions as a system: effects of network change on adoption of evidence-based substance abuse prevention. Am J Public Health 97:880-6
Pentz, Mary Ann; Jasuja, Guneet Kaur; Rohrbach, Louise Ann et al. (2006) Translation in tobacco and drug abuse prevention research. Eval Health Prof 29:246-71
Pentz, Mary Ann; Mares, David; Schinke, Steve et al. (2004) Political science, public policy, and drug use prevention. Subst Use Misuse 39:1821-65
Pentz, Mary Ann (2004) Form follows function: designs for prevention effectiveness and diffusion research. Prev Sci 5:23-9