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Pediatrics review of underage drinking prevention programs led by Iowa State researcher
Date:6/25/2008

three from the Midwest -- the Midwestern Prevention Project/Project STAR, which involved 42 public middle and junior high schools and 3,412 students from Kansas City and Indianapolis; Project Northland, which involved 24 school districts in northeastern Minnesota; and ISU Extension's Strengthening Families Program: For Parents and Youth 10-14, which involved 36 public schools and 1,650 students in rural Iowa.

In addition to the "most promising" intervention programs, Spoth and his research colleagues also identified 29 that met criteria for "mixed or emerging" evidence.

"This review indicated that a number of preventive interventions significantly reduced the rate of alcohol use in studied underage populations, as well as bolstered protective factors among children that reduce risks for alcohol use," the authors wrote. "The review also underscores a number of advances in preventive interventions to address underage drinking over the past 15 years."

The program review responds to the surgeon general's 2007 Call to Action. It was also written as a companion piece to a review by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism Underage Drinking Initiative Steering Committee on the causes and consequences of underage drinking for three developmental periods -- less than 10 years of age, 10 to 15 years of age, and 16 to greater than or equal to 20 years of age.

"The Pediatrics supplement clarifies how important it is to view underage drinking in its developmental context, carefully considering the substantial changes that occur in biology and environment as children mature, and to factor those changes into the design of interventions," said Spoth, who received a letter of commendation from the director of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism for his work in the institute's underage drinking initiative, including this review.

In their report, Spoth and his research colleagues recommend improved coverage
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Contact: Mike Ferlazzo
ferlazzo@iastate.edu
515-294-8986
Iowa State University
Source:Eurekalert

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