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Evaluating the Effectiveness of NORTH STAR: A Community-Based Framework to Reduce Adult Substance Misuse, Intimate-Partner Violence, Child Abuse, Suicidality, and Cumulative Risk

NCJ Number
Prevention Science Volume: 21 Dated: 2020 Pages: 949-959
Date Published
11 pages

This article provides an evaluation of the efficacy of NORTH STAR in reducing the prevalence of several secretive adult problems such as hazardous drinking or prescription drug misuse; it lays out the authors’ methodology, outcomes, and implications for practice.


The authors evaluated the effectiveness of NORTH STAR, a community assessment, planning, and action framework to reduce the prevalence of several secretive adult problems, including hazardous drinking, controlled prescription drug misuse, suicidality, and clinically significant intimate partner violence and child abuse—both emotional and physical, as well as cumulative risk. One-third of U.S. Air Force (AF) bases worldwide were randomly assigned to NORTH STAR or an assessment-and-feedback-only condition. Two AF-wide, cross-sectional, anonymous, web-based surveys were conducted of randomly selected samples assessing risk/protective factors and outcomes. Process data regarding attitudes, context, and implementation factors were also collected from Community Action Team members. Analyzed at the level of individuals, NORTH STAR significantly reduced intimate partner emotional abuse, child physical abuse, and suicidality, at sites with supportive conditions for community prevention (i.e., moderation effects). Given its relatively low cost, use of empirically supported light-touch interventions, and emphasis on sustainability with existing resources, the authors suggest that NORTH STAR may be a useful framework for the prevention of a range of adult behavioral health problems that are difficult to impact. Publisher Abstract Provided

Date Published: January 1, 2020