Life Skills Training Outcomes and Potential Mechanisms in a Community Implementation: A Preliminary Investigation
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Within the context of a science-based dissemination initiative, this study sought to evaluate whether a community implementation of Life Skills Training (LST) would yield outcomes similar to previous clinical trials, to examine potential mechanisms of LST's effectiveness, and to explore potential gender-by-intervention effects. Life Skills Training was implemented with a high degree of fidelity to 263 (54% Male; 84% Caucasian) early adolescents in two Upstate New York school districts during the 2002-2003 academic year. Performance on the Life Skills Training Questionnaire yielded outcomes that were highly similar to those reported by the program's development team. Significant reductions in alcohol tension-reduction expectancies were detected on the Alcohol Expectancies Questionnaire--Adolescent Version, providing preliminary evidence that expectancies may mediate/moderate LST's influence. Exploratory gender analyses revealed that female participants exhibited greater improvements in terms of drug knowledge and anxiety reduction skills than male participants in one school district. Unexpected results, design limitations and implications for dissemination initiatives as a platform for research are discussed.
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