Youth Empowerment Solutions for Drug Use Prevention
Youth Empowerment Solutions for Drug Use Prevention (YES-DU) is an adaption of Youth Empowerment Solutions, a positive youth development after-school program for youth violence prevention based on youth empowerment and community engagement. YES-DU retained the core components and interactive processes of the original YES afterschool program but is tailor it to address the unique needs of youth at risk for school dropout and associated alcohol and drug misuse. YES-DU also addresses barriers to school-based interventions by delivering the intervention in an intensive, internship-style summer school enrichment program in collaboration with our school partners’ pre-existing summer enrichment programs.
Community-based Substance Use Prevention
As a member of the Ferndale Coalition Data Workgroup and an Evaluator for the Hazel Park Coalition, Dr. Stoddard is a frequent collaborator on the Ferndale and Hazel Park substance use prevention community coalitions. Through this collaboration, Dr. Stoddard provides grant writing support on projects related to Drug-Free Communities which are currently working to get funded.
Pathway to Purpose
Pathways to Purpose is a school-based intervention that aims to help students develop a sense of purpose. Positive purpose during adolescence can lead to pro-social behavior, moral commitment, high self-esteem, achievement, and physical and psychological well-being. Adolescents with a positive sense of purpose have less negative outcomes and an increased likelihood to thrive. Youth who report a strong sense of purpose have increased preparation for failure and obstacles, and flexible plans for how to deal with these failures. We expect that a positive purpose will prevent/reduce participation in health risk behaviors (alcohol and other drug use and violent behavior).
The intervention was developed in partnership with a Midwestern high school and is delivered by high school teachers. Lesson topics include: strengths, passions, values, goal setting, planning for the future, navigating obstacles, and community involvement.
The Role of Place on the Co-occurence of Drug Use and Violence among Youth
Drug use and violent behavior can place youth at risk for not completing the developmental tasks of adolescence and limits their transition into healthy productive adults. From a developmental-ecological perspective, we will examine the relationship between neighborhood and individual-level risk and protective factors and the co-occurrence of alcohol/drug use and violent behavior. The research findings will inform the development of an intervention to prevent alcohol/drug use and violent behavior. This study is funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
Youth in Place
Place, locations where adolescents live and spend time, may play a critical role in alcohol/drug use and violence among youth. In this study, we will develop an activity space assessment tool that will inform our understanding of place (where adolescents spend time, characteristics and perceptions of those spaces) and enrich our understanding of how place-based contextual factors contribute to youth alcohol/drug use and violence.
Protecting Youth from Harm
Youth violence and aggression is a significant public health problem that affects the health and well-being of not only the individual adolescent but also their families and communities. Research on youth violence includes the identification of factors that increase or decrease the likelihood that an adolescent will engage in violent and aggressive behaviors. This study examined hope, purpose and meaning as protective factors against youth violence and aggression in a sample of 7th grade urban youth. Study findings will contribute to the development an intervention to promote the development of hope, purpose, and meaning in youth to reduce aggression and other risk behaviors. This study was funded by The University of Michigan Injury Center.