This revised Phase I feasibility study will examine psychosocial factors associated with drug use among adolescent women. Data on those factors will inform the development of an interactive computer-based intervention. Over the course of its 6 months, Phase I will accomplish three aims. First, we will assess the behavioral epidemiology of drug abuse and its prevention among a total sample of 84 Black, Latina, and white adolescent women, aged 10 to 14 years, from six community sites in New York City. Second, Phase I will develop a prototype version of interactive software to reduce the risks of drug and other substance use among those young women. Third, the study will pilot test the prototype interactive software with a sample of 270 Black, Latina, and white young women through the auspices of collaborating New York City community sites. In a randomized design, the pilot test involves a modest clinical trial with two arms. Young women in sites assigned to the computer intervention arm will interact with prototypic software developed in Aim 2. Young women in control sites will receive conventional drug awareness intervention. Before and after intervention, subjects will complete a battery of outcome measures. By meeting its aims, Phase I will lay a foundation for Phase II. That research will fully develop an interactive multimedia product to help young women reduce their risks for drug use. Phase II will include a randomized clinical trial to test the developed software with young women from various community settings in greater New York City. If Phase II software proves successful, Phase III will commercialize and disseminate the interactive program to schools and health care facilities and such community agencies as engaged in this R&D project.

Proposed Commercial Applications

Data from this study will shed empirical light on why young women use drugs and other substances and on how computer-mediated interventions can help them prevent that use. Intervening with young women via expressly designed and interactive content holds promise for reaching and impacting an at-risk population heretofore neglected in drug abuse prevention research.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
Small Business Innovation Research Grants (SBIR) - Phase I (R43)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-BBBP-5 (02))
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Seitz, Larry
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Intersystems, Inc.
United States
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Schwinn, Traci M; Schinke, Steven P; Di Noia, Jennifer (2010) Preventing drug abuse among adolescent girls: outcome data from an internet-based intervention. Prev Sci 11:24-32