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Top-Rated Prevention Program Cuts Violent Behavior by up to 50%


New York, NY, November 28, 2007 Results of a study conducted with 41 middle schools participating in a scientifically rigorous study, showed that a classroom-based drug abuse prevention program that teaches personal self-management skills and general social skills is also effective in preventing violence.

In this recent study, the prevention program known as LifeSkills Training (LST) was implemented to teach drug resistance skills, norms against substance abuse, personal management skills, and general social skills to a sample of over 2,300 urban minority youth attending 6th grade in 20 New York City middle schools. The skills were taught using a combination of interactive teaching techniques.

Findings demonstrate that students who received LST reported on average a 48% reduction in violent and delinquent behavior than those not receiving the program. The strongest prevention effects were found for students who received at least half of the program. These effects included less verbal and physical aggression, fighting, and delinquency. 

"School-based prevention programs for alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs have an impressive track record of reducing substance use among youth.  There is considerable evidence that some of the same factors that lead to drug and alcohol use also lead to violence and delinquency. It would stand to reason that an effective drug abuse prevention program would also prevent violence and delinquency. LifeSkills Training is the first to demonstrate such an effect," said the study's lead investigator, Dr. Gilbert J. Botvin, an internationally known expert on drug abuse prevention. Dr. Botvin is a professor of public health and psychiatry at Cornell University's Weill Medical College, director of Cornell's Institute for Prevention Research, and president of National Health Promotion Associates, Inc.

The study proves that some of the risk factors common to drug abuse and violence include positive attitudes about engaging in deviant behavior, poor coping skills, and inadequate problem-solving or decision-making skills.  Students receiving the LST program are taught to improve these critical skills. 

LifeSkills Training is widely regarded as one of the most effective and rigorously tested research-validated, prevention programs used in schools and communities today. LifeSkills Training is supported by over 25 years of scientific research and more than two dozen published scientific studies documenting the effectiveness of the LST approach.  LifeSkills Training is recognized as an Exemplary Program by the U.S. Department of Education, and a Model program by the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention, and the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.    

For additional information on the LifeSkills Training program or this study, please call 914-421-2525 or visit

Click here to download a copy of this study.

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