School-based prevention: A study into the benefits for young Australians of two drug prevention programs: $465,967

March 2017

Associate Professor Nicola Newton, Professor Maree Teesson, Dr Lexine Stapinski

Associate Professor Tim Slade, Dr Emma Barrett, Dr Cath Chapman, Dr Katrina Champion

Ms Anna Smout, Mr Marius Mather, Ms Siobhan Lawler

Other Collaborators: 

Professor Patricia Conrod, Assistant Professor Natalie Castellanous-Ryan

Project description: 

The Climate and Preventure (CAP) long-term follow up is an opportunistic extension of the landmark CAP study, whereby follow up of this cohort will extend beyond the completion of secondary school and into the critical transition period of early adulthood. This $465,967 NHMRC funded long-term follow up project will be the first in the world to examine whether combining universal and selective drug prevention strategies enhances durability of effects in the longer-term, over a 7-year period from adolescence to early adulthood.

The Climate and Preventure (CAP) study was initiated in 2011 by Nicola Newton, Maree Teesson, Tim Slade and Patricia Conrod as a school-based prevention initiative targeting alcohol and drug use. The CAP study was the first ever randomised control trial of a comprehensive prevention approach combining both universal (Climate; delivered to all students) and selective (Preventure; delivered to high-risk students) intervention techniques. Twenty-six schools and 2,190 year 8 participants were recruited to the CAP trial in 2012, and randomised to one of four conditions: (1) Control (health education as usual), (2) Climate (universal prevention for all), (3) Preventure (selective prevention delivered only to 43% of students with high-risk personality profiles), or (4) Climate and Preventure (both universal and selective approaches). All students were followed up for 3 years post baseline. Results at 3 years have shown the effectiveness of universal and selective approaches in preventing harmful alcohol use among low- and high-risk adolescents.

The investigators will extend longitudinal follow-up for a further 3 years, inviting the participants to take part in an online survey assessing demographic information, drinking and drug use habits, and behavioural and personality inventories. The findings will inform policy nationally and internationally, as economic modelling suggests substantial societal benefit can be gained from even modest reductions in drug and alcohol use.

Start date: January 2017

Completion: December 2019