Bridging the Gap: Research Informing Practice and Policy for Healthy Youth Behavior

The Foundation's Program, Bridging the Gap: Research Informing Practice for Healthy Youth Behavior, was designed to improve the understanding of the role of policy and environmental factors in both youth alcohol, illicit drug, and tobacco use, as well as diet and physical activity to evaluate their effectiveness in reducing substance use and obesity among youth. The purpose of this project is to enhance the Monitoring the Future Survey (MTFS) by adding new measures of alcohol, tobacco, and other drug (ATOD) related environmental and policy influences, and employing it as a tool for evaluating prospectively "natural" policy impacts. School administrator surveys will be developed to collect data about ATOD-related school policies, services, and educational programs in MTFS schools, and community-based data will capture information on key aspects of the community environment related to ATOD use. These surveys will be administered throughout the country for strategic "rapid response" studies that take advantage of important natural policy experiments occurring at the state and local levels. The major activities to be conducted include: (1) expansion of the MTFS to measure ATOD-related environmental and policy influences; (2) development of a new survey for school administrators to determine what policies, programs, and practices exist in the schools and in the surrounding communities relative to use of ATOD; (3) administration of these newly developed questionnaires for strategic "rapid response" studies that evaluate ATOD-related policies implemented at state or local levels; and (4) analysis of both past and future data from the ongoing MTFS to examine the impact of existing policies, programs, and practices on the nationally representative samples of students that the study contains.

Grant Details

Amount Awarded $7,000,000.00

Awarded on: 10/16/1997

Time frame: 11/1/1997 - 10/31/2007

Grant Number: 32769


University of Michigan Institute for Social Research

426 Thompson Street
P.O. Box 1248
Ann Arbor, 48106-1248


Lloyd Douglas Johnston
Project Director