Shaping Programs, Changing Lives

Over the past 19 years, our research has broadly focused on the effects of school, family, community-based and multi-level prevention and promotion programs. We have evaluated two premier community-based programs, PROSPER and CTC, and are now examining the effects of Evidence to Success.  At the school level we have examined preschool and elementary age programs (PATHS & REDI), as well middle school, high school program to reduce early substance use. The Center has pioneered the study of program for new parents (Family Foundations) as well as for parents of teens (SFP: 10-14). We have also led larger-scale trials that test comprehensive multi-component models for children identified as having early aggression (e.g., Fast Track).

With college students and adults we have developed programs to reduce risky drinking, substance abuse, skin cancer and health related behaviors (PRO-Health Lab). A recent emphasis is the PEACE initiative that includes various programs focused on mindfulness, caring, and compassion that have focused on families of teens, teachers and other caregivers, and youth in the transition to adulthood.

A central emphasis of the Center is examining factors that lead school, family, and community programs to be sustained by local funding, long after basic research has been completed.  One of our largest projects, the EPISCenter, is a Pennsylvania-based, wide-scale technical assistance initiative that has served more than 50,000 youth and thousands of families.  This unique effort is funded by the State to disseminate programs and knowledge, improve behavior and attitudes, reduce risk for poor outcomes such as violence and recidivism, and overall enhance community health.

To see what we currently are working on or any of our past research, visit our Projects page.