Beginning in the 1970s, the United States began investing funds in research to understand the epidemiology, etiology, and develop strategies to prevention the onset of tobacco, alcohol, marijuana, and other forms of drug use among adolescents. Through the 1980s and 1990s, research efforts increased as did grassroots and public policy efforts aimed at prevention. As grassroots efforts failed to yield favorable outcomes, emphasis shifted to the dissemination of evidence-based programs and practices. Research has yielded the development of basic principles of effective prevention intervention design. These include principles such as the law of maximum expected effect, which defines the role that mediating variables play in producing program effects. There is now extensive evidence about what factors play critical roles in achieving successful prevention outcomes. With the increase in dissemination, the field of prevention has turned from examining program design to trying to understand how programs work in real world settings. Among the critical issues now facing the field are how to select programs that can maximize cost benefit and gaining an understanding of how to promote quality of implementation.
Bill Hansen will present a brief U.S. history of substance use prevention research and will discuss basic principles of intervention design with a focus on the role of psychological and sociological mediating variables. Meta-analytic findings for a variety of strategies will be reviewed. Issues of current interest relevant to how to promote effective interventions in a dissemination environment, including a discussion of the role of fidelity and adapting interventions will be presented.
Hansen is a widely recognized expert in alcohol and drug prevention. He has written numerous curricula for school and community-based prevention, including Project SMART, Project STAR, and All Stars. He has authored over 80 articles in scientific journals on research and evaluation methods, prevention theory, and strategies for successful prevention practice. The goal of his research has been to identify and evaluate evidence-based approaches to prevention that can achieve reductions in the onset of use and that can be applied in everyday settings.
Hansen has been president of Tanglewood Research since 1993. He received an honors bachelor of arts degree from the University of Utah in 1974, a master of science degree in 1977, and a Ph.D. in 1978 in social psychology, both from the University of Houston. He has served on the faculty at UCLA (1978-1984), the University of Southern California (1980-1989) and Bowman Gray School of Medicine (1989-1996).