The Massachusetts State Needs Assessment Project developed and assessed social indicator-based measures of substance abuse-related problems, risk, and protection at the town level. Structural equation models using longitudinal data showed that higher levels of the risk index were associated with subsequent increases in the index of substance abuse-related problems, when autocorrelation and measurement error in each index, and reciprocal and contemporaneous associations between the indexes were controlled for. Similar models indicated that (1) higher levels of the diversity of non-profit, community-based organizational activities were associated with subsequent declines in the risk index; and (2) an increase in the diversity of these activities for two successive years was also associated with subsequent declines in the risk index. The measures exhibited an overall year-to-year stability across Massachusetts’ 351 towns and cities. This relative stability implies that the measures are informative in generating multi-dimensional profiles of town prevention needs and potential resources. At the same time, the measures help identify towns where change is likely. For example, towns high in risk with moderate rates of substance abuse-related problems represent contexts where prevention interventions may have high leverage. The study demonstrates that protection, as well as substance abuse-related problems and risk, can be measured using social indicator data. The measures of protection are system-level measures that highlight the role of non-profit organizations in prevention.
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the session, the participant (learner) in this session will be able to: 1. Discuss the issues and strategies involved in creating reliable and valid geographic measures of substance abuse prevention needs using indicator data. 2. Articulate the application of a risk and protection framework to the geographic level. 3. Identify the uses and limitations of indicator-based measures in substance abuse prevention planning at the local level
Keywords: Substance Abuse Prevention, Indicators
Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Organization/institution whose products or services will be discussed: None
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.
The 128th Annual Meeting of APHA