Results of a Type 2 Translational Research Trial to Prevent Adolescent Drug Use and Delinquency: A Test of Communities That Care | Adolescent Medicine | JAMA Pediatrics | JAMA Network
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Article
September 7, 2009

Results of a Type 2 Translational Research Trial to Prevent Adolescent Drug Use and Delinquency: A Test of Communities That Care

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Social Development Research Group (Drs Hawkins, Oesterle, Brown, Arthur, and Catalano), and College of Education (Dr Abbott), University of Washington, Seattle; and Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice, University of South Carolina, Columbia (Dr Fagan).

Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2009;163(9):789-798. doi:10.1001/archpediatrics.2009.141
Abstract

Objective  To test whether the Communities That Care (CTC) prevention system reduces adolescent alcohol, tobacco, and other drug use and delinquent behavior communitywide.

Design  The Community Youth Development Study is the first randomized trial of CTC.

Setting  In 2003, 24 small towns in 7 states, matched within state, were randomly assigned to control or CTC conditions.

Participants  A panel of 4407 fifth-grade students was surveyed annually through eighth grade.

Intervention  A coalition of community stakeholders received training and technical assistance to install the CTC prevention system. They used epidemiological data to identify elevated risk factors and depressed protective factors in the community, and chose and implemented tested programs to address their community's specific profile from a menu of effective programs for families, schools, and youths aged 10 to 14 years.

Main Outcome Measures  Incidence and prevalence of alcohol, tobacco, and other drug use and delinquent behavior by spring of grade 8.

Results  The incidences of alcohol, cigarette and smokeless tobacco initiation, and delinquent behavior were significantly lower in CTC than in control communities for students in grades 5 through 8. In grade 8, the prevalences of alcohol and smokeless tobacco use in the last 30 days, binge drinking in the last 2 weeks, and the number of different delinquent behaviors committed in the last year were significantly lower for students in CTC communities.

Conclusion  Using the CTC system to reduce health-risking behaviors in adolescents can significantly reduce these behaviors communitywide.

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