Methods: This case study utilized a quasi-experimental, interrupted time series design to examine the effects of a coalition’s implementation of evidence-based strategies to prevent underage drinking. Strategies implemented by the coalition and its partners included Positive Action, Stay on Track (SOT), and Communities Mobilizing for Change on Alcohol (CMCA). Over 18,000 baseline and exit surveys were administered to Positive Action program participants in grades 5 through 10. Pre-and post outcomes were tracked for a subset (27%) of participants using matched identifiers. Independent variables included measures of implementation fidelity, the number of community changes (new programs, policies, and practices), and the intensity with which these community changes were implemented. Dependent variables included past 30-day alcohol consumption and composite scales from the CTC survey (perceived law enforcement, academic achievement, and prosocial engagement).
Results: Through implementation of the SPF, the coalition facilitated an increase in the frequency of community changes related to underage drinking. Furthermore, the prevalence of underage drinking declined, particularly among youth exposed to the curriculum-based program, Positive Action. The increase in coalition activities highly related to underage drinking suggests that the capacity-building and strategic planning components of the SPF were instrumental in directing the coalition’s efforts toward initiatives (e.g., law enforcement party patrols) that reduced underage drinking within the community.
Conclusion: This study supports the assertion that coalitions utilizing the SPF to implement comprehensive community interventions can effectively address youth substance abuse.