Prevention service system transformation using Communities That Care


  • This research was supported by a grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (R01 DA015183-03), with co-funding from the National Institute of Mental Health, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, the National Cancer Institute, and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration/Center for Substance Abuse Prevention. The content of this paper is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the funding agencies.Portions of this study were presented in May 2008 at the 16th Annual Meeting of the Society for Prevention Research in San Francisco, California.

  • We gratefully acknowledge helpful comments made by Mary Ann Pentz and Mark T. Greenberg to earlier versions of this paper and the participation by members of the CYDS participating communities. Richard F. Catalano is a board member of Channing Bete Company, distributor of Supporting School Success and Guiding Good Choices. These programs were used in some communities in the study that produced the dataset used in this paper.


This study examines prevention system transformation as part of a community-randomized controlled trial of Communities That Care (CTC). Using data from surveys of community leaders, we examine differences between CTC and control communities 4.5 years after CTC implementation. Significantly higher levels of adopting a science-based approach to prevention observed in CTC communities compared with controls in 2004 were maintained in 2007. Leaders in CTC communities expressed a willingness to contribute significantly more funds to prevention than did leaders in control communities in 2007. Significant differences in levels of community collaboration observed in 2004 were not maintained in 2007. Leaders in CTC communities with high poverty rates and large minority student populations reported higher levels of community norms against drug use and greater use of the social development strategy, respectively, than did leaders in control communities with similar characteristics. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.