Development and evaluation of a novel school community-based intervention to reduce cannabis use and associated harms among high risk adolescents

April 2015

Ms Lisa Gibson
Prof Jan Copeland

Other Collaborators: 

Dr Sally Nathan, School of Public Health and Community Medicine, UNSW

Project description: 

Research has shown that early initiation of cannabis use can have detrimental effects on adolescent development and contributes to a range of physical, psychological and social problems which can persist into adulthood. Recently, schools have expressed increasing concern about the rate and level of cannabis use among students. However, despite being well suited environments for intervention, schools critically lack evidenced-based tools to deal with this issue effectively.

This research aims to address this gap by developing and evaluating an intervention for adolescent cannabis users, their families and schools, delivered at the opportune time when a student is involved in a school-initiated, cannabis-related disciplinary issue.

The project aims to:

  1. Develop a novel, school-based early intervention for students facing a disciplinary sanction for a cannabis issue or otherwise identified with early or problematic cannabis use;
  2. Conduct initial pilot testing of the early intervention to determine its potential impact on adolescent cannabis use and cannabis-related problems; and
  3. Evaluate the feasibility of this approach and investigate the factors that may facilitate and/or inhibit effective implementation, delivery and outcomes in order to inform future implementation and replication.