Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Dissertation




College of Arts and Sciences

First Advisor

Abraham Wandersman


The Strategic Prevention Framework (SPF) is a planning and implementation model that mobilizes communities to collaborate on developing and implementing an evidence-based prevention system. This model follows a structured five-step process with two cross-cutting elements (cultural competence and sustainability) that emphasizes building capacity of coalitions to strategically plan, implement, and sustain evidence-based prevention services to reduce adolescent substance use. This study utilized a repeated cross-sectional design. Participating youth were in grades 6, 8, 10, and 12 and lived in one of 27 counties in a Southeastern state that was funded through the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention’s SPF State Incentive Grant program. Stakeholders in participating county coalitions demonstrated increased capacity in their awareness, commitment, and skills for advancing through the SPF. After the SIG had concluded, middle and high school students reported using less alcohol and tobacco. High school students also reported less use of other drugs such as cocaine, inhalants, and methamphetamines. Due to limitations in the research design (e.g., lack of a comparison group, only one year of implementing prevention services in these counties, lack of valid implementation data), these reductions in adolescent substance use are best explained by secular trends. Recommendations are made for enhancing the research design to allow for a more thorough analysis of the effects of the SPF SIG and investigation into the link between capacity built through this approach and adolescent substance use at the county-level.