Prevention Buffet: An Internet Prevention Resource for Middle Schools

Period of Performance: 02/01/2009 - 01/31/2011


Phase 1 STTR

Recipient Firm

Tanglewood Research, Inc.
Greensboro, NC 27409
Principal Investigator


DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): The goal of this STTR Phase I proposal is to develop a searchable Internet database of prevention lessons called Prevention Buffet. The database will allow middle school teachers to customize prevention efforts in their classrooms to the needs of their students, while providing them with guidance in selecting and implementing prevention lessons. Lessons will be developed based on well-established theories in prevention science, and will target known mediators of adolescent substance use (e.g., risk and protective factors). Prevention Buffet will provide many advantages over existing school-based curricula. Notably, it will provide an inexpensive means for schools to have access to science-based prevention lessons for use in a classroom or guidance class setting. It will also provide flexibility for teachers to select lessons that meet the needs and characteristics of their students based on easily accessible needs assessment data. During this Phase I STTR project we will employ a three-step process for creating and testing Prevention Buffet. First, we will (1) provide a brief online orientation designed to educate teachers about effective mediators of substance use prevention, (2) develop an classroom needs assessment to assist teachers in determining needs most salient for their youth, (3) develop the infrastructure of the Prevention Buffet website (e.g., search engine capability, database for lesson plans), and (4) recruit prevention specialists to serve as activity developers and create an initial set of 20 activities. Second, we will assess activity quality by submitting the developed activities to prevention scientists for review. We will revise activities based on the feedback from scientists. Third, we will conduct a usability test with 12 health education teachers with the purpose of demonstrating feasibility. Prevention Buffet has the potential to be a commercially viable resource that may be readily used by teachers in middle schools throughout the nation. During Phase II we will improve, expand, and conduct a randomized controlled effectiveness trial to demonstrate the effectiveness of Prevention Buffet as a prevention strategy. PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE: Substance use among adolescents continues to be a major public health concern. The proposed program, Prevention Buffet, has the potential to provide middle school teachers with instructional tools that may effectively and efficiently prevention or deter the onset of substance use among this population.