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Sustainable, Ecological, Community-based Model for Adolescent Substance Abuse Prevention Incorporating the Promotion of Developmental Assets by the Faith-based Community: Presented by: Beth Bascom (November 8, 2004).

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Sustainable, Ecological, Community-based Model for Adolescent Substance Abuse Prevention Incorporating the Promotion of Developmental Assets by the Faith-based Community:Presented by: Beth Bascom (November 8, 2004)

adolescent substance abuse is a serious health issue
“Most destructive health and social problem facing our Nation today” (Donna Shalala)

Despite spending $250 billion/year on substance abuse prevention, our youth continue to use at unacceptable rates.

A Abbott (2002)

Health & Social Work

Adolescent substance abuseis a serious health issue

Monitoring the Future National Survey Results on AdolescentDrug Use: Overview of Key Findings, 2001. NIH, 2001


Current Best Practice:

Ecological, Community-based Model

The current ecological model includes a multi-faceted, community-based approach that targets not only people’s individual behavior, but the social/political/physical systems that surround and impact them.

Grzywacz & Fuqua (2000), Behavioral Medicine

Merzel & D'Afflitti (2003), AJPH

current best practice protective factors
Current Best Practice: Protective Factors

“Influences that modify, ameliorate, or alter a person’s response to some environmental hazard that predisposes to a maladaptive outcome”

Rutter (1985), British J of Psychiatry

protective factors research finding
Protective Factors Research Finding
  • More risk factors an individual has, the greater the impact of protective factors.

Scales,et al (2002) J of Early Adolescence

Regnerus (2003), J of Scientific Study of Religion

Oman (2004), AJPH

protective factor model
Protective Factor Model

“Views youth as resources instead of potential problems,

focusing on providing them with an environment that encourages positive growth and development,

despite potential adversity.”

Oman (2004), AJPH

powerful protective factor 40 developmental assets



Boundaries & Expectations

Constructive Use of Time


Commitment to Learning

Positive Values

Social Competencies

Positive Identity

Powerful Protective Factor: 40 Developmental Assets (2000)

9 developmental assets
Peer role models

Use of time (religion)

Responsible choices (females)


Non-parental adult role models

Use of time (groups/sports)

Community involvement

Aspirations for the future

Good health practices

9 Developmental Assets

Oman (2004) AJPH

key finding of recent study

Key Finding of RecentStudy

“The combination of assets may be more effective than any single asset for preventing risk behavior.”

Oman (2004) AJPH

protective factor religion
Protective Factor: Religion

Religion has consistently been demonstrated to be a protective factor for a number of adolescent health-related outcomes.

Cochran (1992) J of Drug Issues

Cook (Nov 2001) Mental Health, Religion & Culture

Nonnemaker, et al. (Dec 2003) Soc Science & Medicine


Despite the robust research connecting religious faith and lower incident of substance abuse, there is a lack of ecological, community-based intervention models that effectively incorporate the faith-based community.

key components of community based interventions
Key Components of Community-based Interventions
  • Mobilizing the Community
  • Implementing Interventions in Multiple Settings
  • Using Multiple Individual-level Intervention Strategies
  • Developing Environmental Interventions

Merzel & D'Afflitti (2003) AJPH

mobilizing the community challenge
Mobilizing the Community:Challenge
  • Coalitions are complex organizations that require considerable effort to create and operate successfully.

Wandersman & Florin (2003) American Psychologist

challenges of including faith congregations in coalitions
Challenges of Including Faith Congregations in Coalitions
  • Nature of faith-based organization
    • Firmly held ideologies define who they are
  • Perceptions
    • Interpretation of the 1st Amendment
    • Compromise convictions/ideologies (faith congregation)
    • Force convictions on others (other members of coalition)
  • Youth leaders are very busy
  • Focused on own activities
mobilizing the community
Mobilizing the Community
  • Are community-wide coalitions the only way to mobilize all elements of a community?
  • Must all the elements of the community be involved in a coalition in order to successfully mobilize the community?

Mobilizing the Community through Shared Focus










DA = Developmental Assets


Implementing Interventions in Multiple Settingsthrough Shared Focus








DA = Developmental Assets

is the promotion of developmental assets appealing to faith organizations
Is the Promotion of Developmental Assets Appealing to Faith Organizations?
  • Consistent with tenets/beliefs of most faith communities.
  • Helps young people make healthy choices and grow in their faith.
  • Fosters a congregational-wide commitment to young people.
  • Provides opportunities to link with the broader community.
is the promotion of developmental assets legal
Is the Promotion of Developmental Assets Legal?
  • Each organization, including various faith congregations, can promote the Developmental Assets (DA’s) within the context of their ideology (freedom of expression).
  • If governmental funding is involved, the program promoting the DA’s can be designed within legal parameters (non-establishment).
  • All programs, regardless of ideology, can be promoted as Asset Building (equal excess).
example of faith based program unintentionally promoting developmental assets hoops and homework
Example of Faith-based Program Unintentionally promoting Developmental Assets:Hoops and Homework*
  • Positive Adult Relationships
  • Constructive Use of Time –Sports
  • Commitment to Learning

*After school program where students work on homework

and then play basketball.

example of intentional promotion of developmental assets hoops and homework
Positive Adult Relationship

Engage more adults

Train them in Asset Building

Constructive Use of Time –Sports

Train using “Hey Coach” (Search Inst)

Commitment to Learning


All actions are framed within context of personal choice and consequences.

Peaceful Conflict Resolution

Consistent steps for conflict resolution.

Consistent consequences for non-peaceful resolution.

Example of Intentional Promotion of Developmental Assets: Hoops and Homework

Coalition Driven Promotion of Developmental Assets

  • Possible Goals of Coalition
    • Engage all organizations in the community in the promotion of Developmental Assets.
    • Promote Asset Building Programs.
    • Provide community-wide Asset Building training.








DA = Developmental Assets