Picture Me Alcohol Free: Engaging Youth in Community-Based Prevention

Period of Performance: 09/18/2009 - 08/31/2010

$47.3K

Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Prevention Strategies, LLC
Greensboro, NC 27410
Principal Investigator

Abstract

DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): (no more than 30 lines of text) This application proposes to test the feasibility of developing an online training program, Picture Me Alcohol Free (PMAF), intended to empower youth to become active participants in community-based efforts to reduce underage alcohol use and related consequences. Underage drinking continues to be serious public health concern in this country. This is reflected in the recent Call to Action by the U.S. Surgeon General's Office (2007) which places an emphasis on youth involvement in community-wide prevention. However, there are few, if any, commercially available tools that can be used by communities to train and support youth in community-based prevention. The proposed project will fill that need by using existing research and instructional technology to develop an innovative online training program that will guide youth, with the help of an adult facilitator, through the photovoice process in attempt to raise community awareness and motivate alcohol-related environmental and policy changes. Photovoice is a process by which participants learn to operate cameras and are invited to take pictures of strengths, weaknesses, and/or specific issues in their communities. Phase I will involve interviews with expert advisory panel members to determine the content and structure of the program, development of one online session, pilot testing of the prototype session with a sample of youth and leaders of youth-serving organizations, refinement of the prototype session, and development of a detailed outline of the final 8-session program. These Phase I tasks will be completed to demonstrate commercial and technical feasibility, as well as lay the ground work for full development and evaluation of the program in Phase II. Given the large number of youth-serving organizations that participate in community-based prevention of underage drinking, the commercial potential of PMAF is good. (1 or 2 sentences - relevance) This project has the potential to contribute to the health and well-being of underage youth, as well as increase the capacity of communities to employ comprehensive strategies and involve youth as stakeholders in the process of reducing underage drinking and associate problems. A contribution to the science of prevention will be made by developing and testing a targeted approach to prevention that has the potential to be applied to preventive interventions with other high-risk behaviors. PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE: This project has the potential to contribute to the health and well being of underage youth, as well as increase the capacity of communities to employ comprehensive strategies and involve youth as stakeholders in the process of reducing underage drinking and associate problems. A contribution to the science of prevention will be made by developing and testing a targeted approach to prevention that has the potential to be applied to preventive interventions with other high-risk behaviors.