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Preventing Early Adolescent Substance Use: A Family-Centered Strategy for the Public Middle School

NCJ Number
Prevention Science Volume: 3 Issue: 3 Dated: 2002 Pages: 191-201
Thomas J. Dishion; Kathryn Kavanagh; Alison Schneiger; Sarah Nelson; Noah K. Kaufman
Date Published
11 pages
This article reports on analyses of the longitudinal effects of the Adolescent Transition Program (ATP) intervention on self-reported substance use through middle school and the 1st year of high school (Grades 6, 7, 8, and 9).
The ATP promotes student adjustment and reduces risk within a public school, focusing on parenting practices, using a tiered, multilevel prevention strategy. This article describes the program, levels of engagement, and intervention effects. Within each school, multiethnic students (N - 672) and their families were randomly assigned at the individual level to a control condition or the ATP intervention. Levels of engagement in the selected and indicated interventions were somewhat less than expected; however, despite relatively low levels of engagement, the intervention reduced initiation of substance use in both at-risk and typically developing students. These findings are discussed with respect to lessons learned about parent engagement, optimizing strategies for schoolwide implementation, and the promise of embedding family interventions within the public-school ecology. 60 references (publisher abstract modified)