Program

Sep 17, 2010

OVERVIEW

Project STAR (also known as the Midwestern Prevention Project) is a community-based prevention program designed to decrease drug use among high-risk 6th- and 7th-graders (Chou, Montgomery, Pentz, Rohrbach Anderson, Johnson, Flay & MacKinnon, 1998). Experimental evaluations show that the program lowered participants’ cigarette smoking, alcohol use, and marijuana use for two to three years after the program; however, certain effects dissipated as the adolescents aged.

DESCRIPTION OF PROGRAM

Target population: Sixth and seventh grade students at high risk of drug use.

Project STAR is a 10-session, community-based, drug and alcohol prevention program that intervenes at the classroom, family, and community level using strategies including skills training, parent education, mass media campaigns, and health policy programming.

The classroom component uses modeling, role playing and discussion to teach children social skills and drug use resistance skills; and student peer leaders are asked to assist teachers in the implementation of classroom activities. Homework is assigned to involve parents and facilitate student learning. The family component includes a parent-principal committee that is involved in the review of school drug policies and engages in training related to positive parent-child communication. The community and policy components deliver the message, using various approaches, that abstaining from drugs and alcohol is important. Teachers and community leaders meet regularly to review and refine their respective curricula. According to information obtained from the Blueprints web site, updated in 2006 (http://www.colorado.edu/cspv/blueprints/modelprograms/MPP.html), the program has “a $175,000 minimum cost over a three year period (includes costs of teacher, parent, and community leader training and curriculum materials for school-based program). Costs are based on up to 20 teachers trained in one group for the school program, 20 parent group members trained in one group for the parent program (about 3-4 principals, 4 student peer leader, 12 parents), and 1,000 participating middle school students. Costs increase beyond this minimum approximately as follows: $4,000 per additional group trained on the same day or trip, $100-$125 per additional trainer manual, and $7 per additional student workbook.”

EVALUATION(S) OF PROGRAM

Johnson, C. A., Pentz, M. A., Weber, M. D., Dwyer, J. H., Baer, N., MacKinnon, D. P., Hansen, W. B., Flay, B. R. (1990). Relative effectiveness of comprehensive community programming for drug abuse prevention with high-risk and low-risk adolescents. Journal of Consulting & Clinical Psychology, 58, 447-456.

Evaluated population: Sixth and seventh-graders from eight Kansas City public schools (n=1607). The sample was 77 percent white, 19 percent black, and 2 percent Hispanic.

Approach: Eight schools were randomized to each study condition, resulting in four intervention schools and four control schools..  Schools in the control group only received the community-based component of the intervention.

Results: The analysis of long-term program impacts (three years after program completion) found that the program reduced tobacco and marijuana use in the past month but had no effect on alcohol use.

SOURCES FOR MORE INFORMATION

This program is not commercially available. For general program information, contact:

Mary Ann Pentz, Ph.D., or Karen Bernstein, M. P.H.
Institute for Prevention Research
University of Southern California

1000 S. Fremont Avenue, Unit #8 Alhambra, CA 91803
Ph.: 626.457.6687
Fax: 626.457.6695
pentz@usc.edu or karenber@usc.edu

References:

Johnson, C. A., Pentz, M. A., Weber, M. D., Dwyer, J. H., Baer, N., MacKinnon, D. P., Hansen, W. B., Flay, B. R. (1990). Relative effectiveness of comprehensive community programming for drug abuse prevention with high-risk and low-risk adolescents. Journal of Consulting & Clinical Psychology, 58, 447-456.

Program also discussed in the following Child Trends publication(s):

Zaff, J. F., & Calkins, J. (2001). Background for community-level work on mental health and externalizing disorders in adolescence: Reviewing the literature on contributing factors. Washington, DC: Child Trends.

Zaff, J. F., Calkins, J., Bridges, L. J., & Margie, N. (2002). Promoting positive mental and emotional health in teens: Some lessons from research (Research brief). Washington , DC : Child Trends.

KEYWORDS: Community- based, School-based, Middle School, Adolescence (12-17), Substance Use, Tobacco Use, Alcohol Use, Marijuana Use, Community or Media Campaign, Behavioral Problems, White or Caucasian.

Program information last updated 9/17/10.