The 130th Annual Meeting of APHA

4174.0: Tuesday, November 12, 2002 - 3:06 PM

Abstract #39087

Leadership decisions institute and life skills training: Three-year follow-up findings from an evaluation of school-based alcohol, tobacco and illicit drug prevention in Maine

Nancy Asdigian, PhD1, Ron Deprez, PhD1, Janie Diels-Roll, BA1, and Wendy Harrington2. (1) Public Health Research Institute, 120 Exchange Street, Portland, ME 04101, 303.282.9278,, (2) Kieve Leadership Decisions Institute, PO Box 169, Nobleboro, ME 04555

Substance abuse and dependence disorders occur at alarming rates in this country, affecting over 1 in 4 Americans. Even more will become addicted to tobacco, the leading cause of preventable disease and death. Effective prevention programs, especially those targeted to youths, are key to reducing this burden. This study provides three-year follow-up data from an evaluation of ‘Leadership Decisions Institute’ (LDI) training, a skill-building and decision enhancement intervention for youths. It also provides one of the first tests of the efficacy of Life Skills Training (LST) in a rural population. Outcomes included alcohol, tobacco and illicit drug use (ATOD), as well as related cognitions, attitudes and social influence resistance skills. Sixth grade students in school districts across the State of Maine (N=1,969) were exposed to three years of either LDI, LST, both LDI and LST or neither. Outcomes were assessed at pre-intervention and at yearly intervals thereafter. We evaluated the degree to which changes over time in ATOD use, attitudes, knowledge and skills differed as a function of intervention exposure. LDI was associated with smaller age-related increases in frequent smoking, heavy drinking, and use of marijuana and inhalants. LDI’s preventive effects worked by reversing trends for students to make poorer decisions and to feel less self-confident as they age. Trends in alcohol and drug knowledge, drug refusal skills, and intentions to refrain from future ATOD use were more favorable among students exposed to LST, although use patterns were not. Implications for school-based substance abuse prevention programming are discussed.

Learning Objectives:

  • At the conclusion of the session, the participant in this session will be able to

    Keywords: Rural Populations, Prevention

    Presenting author's disclosure statement:
    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.

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    The 130th Annual Meeting of APHA