News Archive - 2010

No easy fix found for bullying
The Boston Globe recently published a series of articles highlighting bullying and its impact on children, adults, and institutions.  The article, which cites a recent study by Cambridge University, discusses how research indicates that "despite good intentions and feverish competition to pinpoint a solution, anti-bullying programs have shown, at best, mixed results, and what has worked in one school has not always worked in another.">

Department of Education Highlights successful State Anti-Bullying Policies
On December 16, 2010, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan released a letter to Governors and Chief State School Officers regarding bullying prevention that outlines key components of bullying laws and policies in 29 states.  The memo also describes ongoing work by the U.S. Department of Education and partners to prevent bullying in schools.  Information may be used as a reference for states and communities currently developing anti-bullying legislation.

DOJ's Civil Rights Division Releases Anti-Bullying Video
On December 9, 2010, The Department of Justice (DOJ) Civil Rights Division released a video featuring DOJ employees that focuses on stopping bullying and harassment of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) youth, as well as other youth who do not conform to traditional expectations about gender roles or appearance.  The video is part of the Division's "It Gets Better" project, in which LGBT adults and straight allies share experiences to show youth that life gets better after high school.

OJJDP Bulletin Describes Link Between Substance Use and Serious Offending
The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) has published "Substance Use and Delinquent Behavior Among Serious Adolescent Offenders", a bulletin presenting results from the Pathway to Desistance Study, which interviewed more than 1,300 juvenile offenders fore the 7 years after their conviction to determine what leads them to persist in or desist from serious offending.  It focuses on understanding the connection between substance use and serious offending, including how these behaviors affect one another in adolescence and how they change in early adulthood, particularly when one behavior ceases.

Improving the Effectiveness of Juvenile Justice Programs: A New Perspective on Evidence-Based Practice
On December 3, 2010, Georgetown Public Policy Institute Center for Juvenile Justice Reform released a paper titled "Improving the Effectiveness of Juvenile Justice Programs: A new Perspective on Evidence-Based Practice".  The paper provides an overview of a tool that can help measure the effectiveness of existing juvenile justice programs and determine how they can be improved.

Webinars by the National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare
The National Council provides free webinars on their website as well as recordings and PDF's of previous webinars.  Topics include Research to Practice: Bringing Evidence-Based Practices to Your Organization and Making Evidence-Based Practices Stick: Strategies to Prepare Your Organization for Change.

Webcast of the Harrisburg area NPR station discussing results from the 2009 PAYS
On November 10, the Harrisburg area NPR station discussed results from the 2009 Pennsylvania Youth Survey (PAYS) for Manheim Township.  The guests included Robin Rothermel (Director of BDAP) and the head of Drug Free Pennsylvania.

2009 PAYS Statewide Report
The 2009 Pennsylvania Youth Survey (PAYS) statewide report is available via the PAYS 2009 website.  Please click on the link above.

FY2011 Drug Free Communities (DFC) Support Program
If you are working on your coalition's FY2011 Drug Free Communities (DFC) Support Program's application for funding, there are free online resources providing assistance available by clicking the link above.  Information is being updated daily and includes webinars, live workshops, and online assistance.

The Impact of Student and School Conditions on SEL
CASEL reported findings from a longitudinal study performed by the Conduct Problems Prevention Research Group at Penn State University assessing classroom interventions employing PATHS curriculum.  Findings demonstrated that classes where 39-47% of students received free lunches had more positive outcomes than those where more than 77% of the students received free lunches, suggesting that this multiyear model is valuable for all but the most impoverished settings.

Girls Who are Bullied are at Substance Use Risk Through Depression
According to a recent study published in a report by the Society for Prevention Research, adolescent girls may engage in elevated substance use as a result of depression related to their experience of being bullied.

Ineffectiveness of Fear Appeals in Youth Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drug (ATOD) Prevention (June 2008)
This document was developed to provide a summary of the research regarding the ineffectiveness of the use of fear appeals in the substance abuse prevention field.

Reducing Youth Problems and Promoting Positive Youth Development:  Choosing the best program for your community (Brian K. Bumbarger 2009)
This resource is designed to guide a community in selecting a program that best meets the community's needs, considering issues of fit, feasibility, and evidence of effectiveness (CSAP 2009).  The exercise was developed to accompany the presentation "Promoting the Use of Evidence-based Prevention: Application in the Real World" presented via webinar to Pennsylvania Cooperative Extension educators in September, 2009 (Bumbarger, 2009).  This report is a resource developed as a followup to the webinar/presentation previously posted and is available online at

Monitoring the Future Press Release (December 2010)
The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) held a press conference on Tuesday, December 14, 2010, to announce the results of its 2010 Monitoring the Future survey.

PA Child and Adolescent Services System Program (PA CASSP) Newsletter (December 2010)
This edition of the PA CASSP newsletter includes an article titled Preventing Mental Health Problems in Children and Youth by Brian K. Bumbarger, the Director of the Penn State EPISCenter.

SRDG Research Brief (2010)
Results from the Seattle Social Development Project show that good family management -- having guidelines, monitoring whether behavior meets guidelines, and moderate consequences when misbehavior occurs -- can protect impulsive, risk-taking children from developing adult disorders.

Carolyn Webster-Stratton's Journey to the incredible Years (September 2010)
Carolyn Webster-Stratton describes the journey that took her from work as a clinical psychologist to the developer of the Incredible Years program.

The International Reach of Family Functional Therapy (September 2010)
Family Functional Therapy (FFT) is currently being delivered to over 30,000 children a year across 44 US states.  By the end of 2009, FFT will have been rolled out in six other countries including UK, the Netherlands and New Zealand.

Research Findings for Communities That Care (September 2010)
Communities That Care (CTC) is one of the best-known models for developing community partnerships to promote the adoption of EBP's, and then support them once they are up and running.  Developed by David Hawkins and Richard Catalano from the University of Washington, Seattle, nearly 20 years ago, it has been found in a recent randomized controlled trial to reduce risk factors and enhance protective factors for adolescent behavior problems.

The Study of Mentoring in the Learning Environment (SMILE) (August 2010)
A randomized control trial of the SMILE project finds that pairing adult mentors with students taking part in special education enrichment activities has some modest positive impacts on students' self-esteem, but not on academic grades.  The strongest effects were found for elementary school age boys and high school age girls.

The other side of the school report card  (July 2010)
Results of over 200 rigorous experimental studies of social-emotional competence promotion programs show that these interventions not only improve social-emotional skills, but also have the potential to improve their academic achievement as much as 11 percentile points.

You want to know how well your prevention program is working? (July, 2010)
Prevention Action reports that evidence-based programs need to be careful about cutting corners in how they deliver their services when they are expanded in the community.  If they don't stay true to their original model, they may not be able to deliver the benefits either for the people they serve, or the public purse.  The key is to be honest about progress, which means being rigorous about monitoring the program.

Recruitment of At-Risk Families  (June 2010)
The families most in need of services are often the hardest to reach.  Prevention Action reports on some strategies one community is using to recruit high-risk families into the Incredible Years BASIC parenting program.

Casey Foundation hopes three heads are better than one  (May 2010)
Prevention Action reports on one initiative in New York that is using the three Blueprints programs, Multisystemic Therapy, Functional Family Therapy, and Multidimensional Treatment Foster Care, with the hopes of reducing adolescent placements in the juvenile system.

Family therapy may offer young sex offenders rescue  (May 2010)
Prevention Action reports that Multisystemic Therapy can provide effective treatment for the neglected problem of juvenile sex offending.

Bullying: What Parents, Teachers Can Do to Stop It (April 2010)
Bullying expert Dr. Susan Sweater answers questions about how parents and teachers can address the increasing problem of bullying in schools.

Presentations from the recent 2010 International Blueprints Conference, including several highlighting Pennsylvania programs and initiatives, are now available online (April, 2010).

Child Trends released a Research Brief describing how one New York County has seen dramatic improvements from a continuum of evidence-based programs (April 2010).

OJJDP bulletin examines causes and correlates of girls' delinquency (March 2010).

Strengthening Families with Mindfulness (March 2010).

PA Sentencing Commission study shows ineffectiveness of mandatory minimum sentencing policy (March 2010).

Presentations from the 2010 Children's Mental Health Conference are now available online (March 2010).