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A Multihealth Behavior Intervention Integrating Physical Activity and Substance Use Prevention for Adolescents

The primary purpose of this study was to test the efficacy of a brief, multi-health behavior intervention integrating physical activity and alcohol use prevention messages for high school-aged adolescents. A total of 604 participants, 335 9th and 269 11th grade students from a suburban high school in northeast Florida participated in this study. A randomized control trial was conducted with participants randomly assigned within grade levels to receive either a brief consultation and prescription with a mailed reinforcing follow-up flyer (Project SPORT) or a minimal intervention control consisting of a wellness brochure provided in school and a pamphlet about teen health and fitness mailed to the home. Differences between intervention groups were evaluated with a series of MANCOVA tests. Project SPORT participants demonstrated significant positive effects at 3-months postintervention for alcohol consumption, alcohol initiation behaviors, alcohol use risk and protective factors, drug use behaviors, and exercise habits, and at 12-months for alcohol use risk and protective factors, cigarette use, and cigarette initiation (p's < 0.05). A post hoc analysis examining interactions between past 30-day use of marijuana and/or cigarettes by treatment group indicates significant positive effects for drug using adolescents who received Project SPORT on alcohol consumption, drug use behaviors, and drug use initiation at 3-months, and for drug use behaviors and exercise habits at 12-months (p's < 0.05). A brief, 12-min one-on-one consultation integrating alcohol avoidance messages within those promoting fitness and other positive health behaviors holds promise for influencing adolescent alcohol and cigarette use and other health behaviors at posttreatment and 1 year later. Long-term sustained effects for cigarette and marijuana use, and both vigorous and moderate physical activity, were found among adolescents using marijuana and/or cigarettes prior to intervention.

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ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

This research was supported in part by a grant from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (Grant #AA9283).

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Correspondence to Chudley (Chad) Werch PhD.

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Werch, C., Moore, M.J., DiClemente, C.C. et al. A Multihealth Behavior Intervention Integrating Physical Activity and Substance Use Prevention for Adolescents. Prev Sci 6, 213–226 (2005). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11121-005-0012-3

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KEY WORDS:

  • adolescents
  • prevention
  • alcohol
  • physical activity
  • drug use