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Implementation of tobacco programs in Calif schools

Institution: University of Southern California
Investigator(s): Louise Rohrbach, Ph.D., M.P.H.
Award Cycle: 2000 (Cycle 9) Grant #: 9RT-0107 Award: $765,192
Subject Area: Public Health, Public Policy, and Economics
Award Type: Research Project Awards

Initial Award Abstract
Data from the California Tobacco Surveys show that the prevalence of smoking among youth 12-17 years old has not declined. It did not change from 1990 to 1993, and it increased significantly from 1993 to 1996. These trends suggest that more effective prevention approaches for youth in California are needed.

The proposed study is designed to investigate tobacco use prevention programs in California’s schools. Despite the fact that school-based prevention programs are a key element of the state’s tobacco control approach, we know surprisingly little about the actual programs that schools are implementing, the extent to which these programs have features of effective programs, the factors associated with implementation of effective programs, and the relationships between program outcomes and implementation.

This study proposes to fill this gap by analyzing existing data on school-based tobacco use prevention programs from the Independent Evaluation of the California Tobacco Control Program and collecting new data from a sub-sample of California schools. The data sets to be analyzed include samples of teachers (n=1120), school principals (n=188), school district tobacco coordinators (n=53), and youth in grades 5, 8, and 10 (n=33,000) from 192 schools in 84 school districts in California. These data were collected at two points in time, during the 1996-97 and 1997-98 school years. New data will be collected from telephone surveys of school district staff and site visits to a sample of schools with effective tobacco prevention programs.

The purposes of the study are: 1) to estimate the extent to which effective classroom tobacco use prevention curricula have been adopted and implemented across the state; 2) to determine the extent to which the implementation of effective prevention programs differs across schools by characteristics such as school size and students’ socio-economic status; 3) to investigate the extent to which the implementation of effective prevention programs differs across schools by various organizational, program, and provider characteristics; 4) to investigate associations between implementation of effective classroom curricula and program outcomes; and 5) to examine school and school district decision-making processes that lead to adoption and institutionalization of effective prevention programs.

The results of the study could be helpful in developing strategies for disseminating information about effective school-based tobacco prevention approaches, and encouraging schools to adopt and implement them.

Independent evaluation of the California Tobacco Control Program: relationships between program exposure and outcomes, 1996-1998.
Periodical: American Journal of Public Health Index Medicus:
Authors: Rohrbach LA, Howard-Pitney B, Unger JB, Dent CW, HOward KA, Cruz TB, RIbisl KM, et al ART
Yr: 2002 Vol: 92 Nbr: 6 Abs: Pg: 975-984