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

The Foundation's Program, Bridging the Gap (BTG): Research Informing Practice and Policy for Health 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.Further, BTG was designed to close gaps in understanding of 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 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, BTG 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). BTG 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.These grants reflect a significant shift in BTG's focus with the majority of funding to be devoted to data collection, reporting, and analysis on the policy, program, and environmental determinants of childhood and adolescent obesity. Additional funding is provided for ATOD-related data collection, reporting, and analysis on issues of highest priority for the Foundation.

Grant Details

Amount Awarded $2,032,895.00

Awarded on: 11/3/2005

Time frame: 11/1/2005 - 10/31/2008

Grant Number: 55731


University of Michigan Institute for Social Research

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


Lloyd Douglas Johnston
Project Director