Strategies for Enhancing the Adoption of School-Based Prevention Programs: Lessons Learned From the Life Skills Training Replication Project

Abby Fagan, University of Queensland
Sharon Mihalic, University of Colorado at Boulder

Widespread implementation of effective programs is unlikely to affect the incidence of violent crime unless there is careful attention given to the quality of implementation, including identification of the problems associated with the process of implementation and strategies for overcoming these obstacles. This paper describes the results of a process evaluation focused on discovering common implementation obstacles faced by schools implementing the Life Skills Training (LST) drug prevention program. The evaluation was conducted by the Center for the Study and Prevention of Violence (CSPV), in conjunction with the designer of the LST program, Dr. Gilbert Botvin, and his dissemination agency, National Health Promotion Associates, and was funded by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.

While the seventy sites involved in the project faced many obstacles when implementing this science-based program in the "real" classroom setting, they were nonetheless very successful in delivering the program in its entirety and with a high level of fidelity to the program model. We argue that much of the schools' success may be due to the high level of independent monitoring provided by CSPV, as well as our ongoing efforts to work with schools to identify and overcome problems associated with implementation.

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Updated 05/20/2006