Enhancing Life Skills and Building Community Capacity through a Multilevel Youth Substance Use Prevention Program

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Community and social norms in the southeast Missouri region have historically supported youth participation in risky health behaviors including substance use, unsafe sexual practices, and lack of educational development. Identified risk factors for area youth include parental and social acceptance of substance use, parental and social acceptance of early pregnancy, availability of alcohol and other drugs, lack of recreational opportunities, and myopic views of career and future plans. Based on a community-wide needs assessment, a social ecological framework was utilized in the development of the One Life: Choose to Live Free program. The mission of the program is to reduce substance use among youth in the target area and to create positive cultural change through community empowerment dealing with substance abuse issues. This session will explore the development of the program including the assessment, planning, and implementation phases. By attending this session, the participant will: understand the process of logic model development; comprehend the design of micro-level program activities for individual growth; and understand the procedures used to enhance community awareness and capacity in efforts to reduce risky health behaviors.


Keywords: Substance Use, Risky Health Behaviors
Stream: Psychology, Cognitive Science and Behavioural Sciences
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: Development of an Ecological Life Skills-Based Youth Substance Use Prevention Program


Dr. Edward Leoni

Professor, Department of Health, Human Performance, and Recreation, Southeast Missouri State University
Cape Girardeau, MO, USA

Dr. Edward Leoni earned a Doctoral Degree from Indiana University at Bloomington in 1985 and completed a bachelor’s degree and two master’s degrees in counseling from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. He began his career with the Illinois Department of Mental Health in 1978 where he received the Director’s Award before leaving to become a professor at nearby Southeast Missouri State University in 1980. He has instructed lifestyle enhancement courses and outdoor adventure activities for over 28 years. The Lifestyle Enhancement class he teaches is the most sought after class on campus. Dr. Leoni has merged his insatiable desire for personal growth through innovative life coaching with the benefits inherent in an outdoor environment, with unquestionable success. Dr. Leoni has instructed over 40 expeditions throughout the United States and Canada. He is an expert in whitewater travel and skiing. Dr. Leoni is a highly sought after key note speaker and lifestyle trainer. He has presented over 30 Professional Presentations at Conferences, 31 Workshops, 52 Trainings and Seminars, 20 Keynotes, and 23 Presentations and Speeches. Dr. Leoni has received over three million dollars in grants and published 20 manuscripts in professional journals. He recently received the Faculty Merit Award (2005).

Dr. Ronald D. Williams, Jr.

Assistant Professor, Department of Health, Human Performance, and Recreation, Southeast Missouri State University
Cape Girardeau, MO, USA

Dr. Ronald D. Williams, Jr. is an Assistant Professor of Health Promotion at Southeast Missouri State University in Cape Girardeau, MO. Dr. Williams is an experienced researcher who has published and presented in the area of substance use prevention while serving as both consultant and evaluator for multiple substance abuse prevention programs and grants. Dr. Williams has maintained the Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) certification from the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing. He currently serves on the Campus and Community Coalition for Change and Southeast Missouri Youth Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition. He also serves as a Faculty Advisor for the university groups Peers Advocating Smoke-Free Solutions and the Health and Wellness Association. His professional memberships include the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, & Dance; American Association for Health Education; National Association for Sport and Physical Education; National Strength and Conditioning Association; Eta Sigma Gamma Health Education Honorary; and American School Health Association. Dr. Williams is also a member of the Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drugs Council of the American School Health Association.

Dr. Jeremy Barnes

Professor, Department of Health, Human Performance, and Recreation, Southeast Missouri State University
Cape Girardeau, MO, USA

Dr. Jeremy Barnes is a professor and health management unit coordinator in the Department of Health, Human Performance and Recreation at Southeast Missouri State University. He teaches courses in the Health Promotion option of the Health Management BS degree program and the MS Nutrition and Exercise Science program. These include Introduction to Health Management, Health Perspectives, Lifestyle Disease Risk Reduction, Health Promotion Programs, and Health Promotion Program Planning and Evaluation. Dr. Barnes is a National Commission for Health Education Credentialing Inc. (NCHEC) Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES), American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) Health/Fitness Instructor (HFI), and a National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS). He has directed health promotion programs in corporate, public and university settings. His research interests include health behavior change, substance abuse prevention, body composition assessment, obesity and weight management programs, and worksite health promotion. He is the Director of a grant titled Campus/Community Alliances for a Smoke-Free Missouri and the co-faculty advisor to the Southeast Missouri State University Health and Wellness Association.

Ref: I08P0183