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 understanding of school, community, state and national policies and environmental factors affecting youth diet, physical activity, obesity, and tobacco, alcohol and drug use, and to evaluate the effectiveness of interventions to prevent youth obesity and tobacco use.This project will continue the work of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Bridging the Gap (BTG) initiative, but with a significant shift in focus. RWJF originally designed BTG to close gaps in our understanding of the most important policy, environmental and programmatic strategies for reducing youth substance use. In recent years, BTG expanded its objectives and activities to include the impact of policy, environmental and programmatic factors on youth healthy eating, physical activity and obesity, and developed partnerships with RWJF obesity-related initiatives (e.g., Healthy Eating Research, Active Living Research). With the shift in the focus, the Foundation will devote the majority of funding to the policy, program and environmental determinants of childhood and adolescent obesity, and a smaller amount for similar analyses for youth tobacco use. Deliverables will include analysis and reporting of national trends in policy, program and other environmental influences on youth behavior at the school, community and state levels. BTG will work closely with the Foundation's Childhood Obesity communications team to co-brand and disseminate research findings to a wide audience.

Grant Details

Amount Awarded $7,676,077.00

Awarded on: 11/5/2008

Time frame: 11/15/2008 - 12/31/2013

Grant Number: 64703


University of Michigan Institute for Social Research

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


Lloyd Douglas Johnston
Project Director


Patrick M. O'Malley
Project Director