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

The Foundation's Program, Bridging the Gap: Research Informing Practice and Policy for Healthy Youth Behavior, was designed to improve the understanding of the role of policy and environmental factors in 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 Program was intended to close gaps in understanding the most important policy, environmental, and programmatic strategies for reducing youth substance use by: (1) collecting missing data on key policies, programs, and environmental factors affecting youth substance use at the school, community, and state levels; (2) linking these data with outcome data from the nation's premier youth survey, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)-funded Monitoring the Future (MTF) survey to identify factors with the greatest impact on youth alcohol, tobacco, or drug (ATOD) use; and (3) disseminating results to help program developers, policy makers, and funders design more effective interventions. In recent years, the Program has expanded its objectives and activities to include the impact of policy, environmental, and programmatic factors on youth healthy eating, physical activity, and obesity and has developed partnerships with key Foundation obesity-related initiatives (e.g., Healthy Eating Research, Active Living Research). Bridging the Gap has successfully met and exceeded the goals set in previous funding authorizations and has provided critical guidance for evidence-based efforts to curb youth substance use. Emerging findings are beginning to do the same for efforts to reduce the growing epidemic of childhood obesity.This continuation grant reflects a significant shift in BTG's focus with the majority of funding devoted to data collection, reporting and analysis on the policy, program and environmental determinants of childhood and adolescent obesity, with additional funding for ATOD-related data collection, reporting and analysis on issues of highest priority for the Foundation's program teams.

Grant Details

Amount Awarded $3,087,105.00

Awarded on: 11/3/2005

Time frame: 11/1/2005 - 10/31/2009

Grant Number: 52913


University of Illinois at Chicago Institute for Health Research and Policy

Westside Research Office Building, 5th Floor M/C 275
1747 West Roosevelt Road
Chicago, 60608-1264


Frank Joseph Chaloupka
Project Director