It is becoming increasingly common for community teams or coalitions to implement programming for children and families designed to promote positive youth development and prevent adolescent problem behaviors. However, there has been only limited rigorous study of the effectiveness of community teams' programming efforts to produce positive outcomes. This study employed a community-level randomized control design to examine protective parent and youth skills outcomes of evidence-based preventive interventions selected from a menu and delivered by community teams supported by a community-university partnership model called PROSPER. Twenty-eight rural communities in two states were randomized across intervention and control conditions. Data were collected through written questionnaires that were completed by approximately 12,000 middle school students in the fall of the 6th grade, prior to intervention delivery, and again in the spring of the 7th, 8th, and 9th grades. Positive intervention effects were found for youth, parent, and family outcomes (e.g., association with antisocial peers, child management, parent-child affective quality) at each post-intervention assessment point. Improvements in these family and youth skill outcomes are expected to support long-term reductions of adolescent problem behaviors, such as substance abuse. Editors' Strategic Implications: In this important and well controlled trial, the authors demonstrate that university partnership-supported community teams, especially when supported with ongoing technical assistance, can continue to produce positive outcomes even after much of the control over delivery of programs is turned over to representatives of the communities in which they are implemented.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health