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Research-Based Activities List

Research-based prevention activities that have been shown to be an essential component of comprehensive efforts to prevent youth drug use, violence, or disruptive behavior.

The research-based prevention activities are those activities that research suggests should be used to supplement science-based programs as part of a comprehensive effort to prevent alcohol, tobacco, other drug use (ATOD) and violence. Information related to most of these activities can be found in Getting Results publications.



Getting Results

After School Programs
Full Service Schools

Before and after school programs provide support for literacy, academic enrichment, and safe and constructive environments for students. Full-service schools provide positive alternatives to youths before the start of the school day and until late after school.

Part I, page 77-78
Update 3, page 51-53

Conflict Resolution

Conflict resolution teaches young people how to manage conflict in a productive way to reduce incidents of violent behaviors. This is a promising practice for which more research is needed.

Part I, page 63-65
Part I, page 127-129
Update 4

Early Intervention

Early intervention is the key to stopping or modifying ATOD use and experimentation. Early intervention addressing specific behavioral, family, and school problems and vulnerabilities is essential. Assistance, rather than punishment, needs to be available for youths who use drugs.

Part I, page 72
Part I, page 100-101
Part I, page 106-107

Environmental Strategies

Reducing the availability of ATOD in the community is an important prevention strategy. Student anti-ATOD activism such as monitoring merchant compliance with Synar regulations and promoting no-tobacco-use policies in public places are part of environmental strategies. Environmental strategies help create more powerful anti-ATOD attitudes and behaviors.

Part I, page 27
Part I, page 73-75
Part II, page 47-48
Part II, page 76-79
Part II, page 89-94

Community Collaboration

Community programs address the role of families, community-based organizations, policies and other elements affecting the student’s social environment. Research shows that embedding a school-based prevention effort within a community-wide initiative doubles the impact of the program in reducing ATOD use. Research shows that parent involvement in prevention activities helps parents to speak with their children about not using ATOD.

Part I, page 104-105
Part II, page 26-28
Part II, page 33

Media Literacy

Media literacy instruction helps students develop a critical understanding of the techniques used by mass media and its impact on behavior. Media literacy is particularly important to countering the manipulation by tobacco and alcohol advertisers. It provides students with the ability to create anti-ATOD media products as part of peer to peer strategies.

Part II, page 45
Update 3, page 22


Mentoring of young people by adults has been shown to be effective in reducing violence and the use of drugs if the mentoring relationship is sustained and non-prescriptive and if the mentors and youths are carefully matched

Part I, page 49
Update 1, page 58
Update 5, page 50

Peer Leaders

Peer programs are dramatically more effective than all other programs – even at the lowest level of intensity (hours spent in prevention programming). Peer-led classroom-based programs for middle or junior high school students are statistically superior to the same programs being taught by teachers.

Part I, page 104-106
Update 3, page 43

Positive Alternatives

Positive alternative are simply ATOD-free activities that alone are not sufficient to counteract drug use or violence. However, adolescents ATOD use serves an important psychosocial function that marks transition to adulthood. Positive alternatives provide youths with a healthy substitute as a means to mark their emerging maturity. For the high-risk adolescent, alternatives that focus on increasing skills such as physical adventures, mastery learning, and job skills are effective in reducing ATOD use.

Part I, page 79-81
Part I, page 104-106
Part I, page 108-109

School Policies

District policies outline the rules and norms concerning violence and the possession and use of ATOD and firearms on school district property. To be effective, no-use ATOD policies must be consistently communicated and enforced.

Part I, page 66-72
Part II, page 22-23

Service Learning

Service-learning is a teaching method that integrates community service into the school curriculum. Service-learning program evaluations have found reductions in some risk behaviors when service-learning is incorporated as a part of a comprehensive and integrated prevention effort.

Part I, page 81-83
Part II, page 46-47

Student Assistance Programs

Student assistance programs are a comprehensive approach to improving the health and academic success of students. Students identified as exhibiting one or more health risk behaviors or school performance problem are referred to a multidisciplinary team that gathers additional data; assess student needs; and recommends related intervention or services. The intervention may be as simple as a hearing test or as complex as ATOD treatment.

Part I, page 72
Part I, page 100-101

Tobacco-Use Cessation

Cessation services are directed toward young people who have begun using tobacco. Tobacco-cessation is still a promising practice—no exemplary practices in cessation for adolescents have yet been identified. The cessation studies available today do not conclusively determine which cessation strategies work best.

Part II, page 28
Part II, page 42-43
Part II, page 72-74

Youth Development

Youth development is a non-problem-focused set of supports and opportunities that build assets, protective factors, and connection for all youths. The youth development approach can help youth become resilient in the face of adversity. Schools committed to youth development are characterized by a positive school climate; opportunities for student participation in planning and decision making; and students connected with a caring teacher or adult.

Part I, page 93-95
Part I, page 121-123
Part I, page 136-137
Part II, page 28
Update 1
Update 5

Questions:   Coordinated School Health and Safety Office | 916-319-0914
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