Interactive technology for media literacy drug prevention in community groups

Project Details


? DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): The goal of this STTR R41 proposal is to transfer the technology from Rutgers University to REAL Prevention needed to adapt a substance use prevention media literacy curriculum for web-based delivery in community organizations for commercialization. Substance use increases in frequency and risk through mid- adolescence, yet most prevention interventions target only early use and only in a limited number of settings such as schools. Moreover, they often fail to address the media-saturated lives of youth despite research demonstrating the deleterious effects of advertising and entertainment media. This project adapts the Youth Message Development (YMD) Curriculum for online access through 4H clubs. This intervention develops critical perspective taking about peer substance use decisions and confers resistance to pro-drug messages through youth analysis of pro-drug (alcohol, cigarette, smokeless tobacco) media messages combined with interactive media manipulation and active involvement of youth in planning substance use prevention messages. The curriculum demonstrates promising results when administered face-to-face during an NIH- funded pilot research, and the brief online format makes it ideal for use by national youth organizations. Formative research will be used to adapt the Youth Message Development (YMD) prevention curriculum for web-based use by 4H clubs. The clubs provide access to youth with substance use prevalence reflective of national levels but outside of the school context that is standard for most interventions. Refinements will incorporate interactive message manipulation features along with a new social proliferation approach that encourages 4H members to informally disseminate anti-drug messages they create to peers and family members. Pilot testing will be conducted to insure that the adaptation maximizes engaging features of the curriculum and an independent usability test will also be conducted. Self-report and observational measures of usability will be obtained. In the short term, this innovative, brief intervention is expected to influence substance use norms, expectancies, and prevalence as well as the development of higher-order critical thinking and decision-making skills with ultimate substance use outcomes. The social proliferation strategy insures that the effects also are spread widely among peers and family. The delivery flexibility of the brief format with our community partner should foster immediate dissemination if successful, potentially extending the intervention to 7 million 4H members each year as well as to similar community based organizations such as Boys and Girls Club and YWCO/YMCA as well as in the school setting through D.A.R.E America. Thus, the proposal responds to NIDA PA-14-072 Small Business Technology Transfer Grant Applications (R41) calling for projects that: 1) stimulate a partnership of ideas and technologies between innovative small business concerns (SBCs) and non- profit research institutions through Federally-funded research or research and development (R/R&D); and 2) establish the technical/scientific merit and feasibility of the proposed R/R&D efforts.
Effective start/end date5/1/151/31/16


  • National Institute on Drug Abuse: $224,630.00


  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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