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Projects focusing on Delaware Youth

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Project DelAWARE

  • Eileen Sparling, Principal Investigator
  • Sharon Merriman-Nai, Senior Consultant
  • Rochelle Brittingham, Project Manager
  • Meisje Scales, Evaluation Coordinator
  • Sofia Gonzalez, Survey Coordinator
  • James Highberger, Lead Data Analyst
  • Judith Buchanan, Interviewer

The Center for Drug and Health Studies serves as evaluators of Project DelAWARE, a 5-year initiative awarded to the Delaware Department of Education (DOE) by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, US Department of Health and Human Services. In collaboration with the Delaware Department of Services for Children, Youth and their Families, DOE is developing and providing a Multi-tiered Systems of Support framework in partnering school districts. The goals of the project are to: raise awareness of mental health needs among students; educate teachers, administrators, and other school personnel to identify and refer students in need to evidence-based mental health programs; and to provide services to students in school and community-based settings. 

Delaware Youth Risk Behavior Surveys (YRBS)

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  • Rochelle Brittingham, Principal Investigator
  • Sharon Merriman-Nai, Senior Consultant
  • Roberta Gealt, Senior Consultant
  • Steven S. Martin, Senior Consultant
  • Sofia Gonzalez, Project Manager
  • Jim Highberger, Data Manager
  • David Borton, Data Analyst
  • Wenjin Wang, Graduate Research Assistant
  • Lin Liu, Graduate Research Assistant
  • Rachel Ryding, Graduate Research Assistant
  • Initiation date: 1999; Funding Source: High School Survey--Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Division of Adolescent and School Health through the Delaware Department; Middle School Survey—Nemours Health Prevention Services

This project supports the public school administration of the Delaware Youth Risk Behavior Survey of high school students, based on the CDC survey administered in 39 states in 2007. This survey has been administered every other year in odd-numbered years to a random and representative sample. The Center develops the Delaware version of the survey with input from state and community agencies and approval of the Delaware Safe and Drug Free Schools Committee and a review committee conducted by the Delaware Department of Education. The study reports data comparable to other Center studies on substance abuse, but also provides the only statewide youth data on health, diet, and sexual activity, as well as some comparability to other states findings published by the CDC in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.​

More information is available on past YRBS Reports and Surveys. 

Delaware Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drug Abuse Survey (Delaware School Survey)
  • Jim Highberger, Principal Investigator
  • Sharon Merriman-Nai, Senior Consultant
  • ​Roberta Gealt, Senior Consultant
  • Steven S. Martin, Senior Consultant
  • Sofia Gonzalez, Project Manager
  • Rochelle Brittingham, Associate Scientist
  • David Borton, Data Analyst
  • Wenjin Wang, Graduate Research Assistant
  • Lin Liu, Graduate Research Assistant
  • Rachel Ryding, Graduate Research Assistant
  • Initiation date: 1995; Funding Source: Delaware Health Fund, Delaware Department of Health and Social Services Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services through the federal SAPT Block Grant

This annual survey of substance use, delinquency and risk and protective factors is administered to public school 5th, 8th, and 11th graders. It began in 1989 as a survey conducted by the Delaware Department of Education and has been conducted by the Center since 1995, first with support from the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention under support from CSAP evaluation contracts. The survey is developed by CDHS with input from State and community agencies, scanned, analyzed, tabulated and disseminated. The data provide a sample adequate to provide for analyses at the levels of Statewide Planning Area, School District, School (for large schools) and zip code.

More information is available on the past DSS Reports and Surveys.​

Delaware Youth Tobacco Survey Administration and Analysis (YTS)
  • Rochelle Brittingham, Principal Investigator 
  • Jim Highberger, Co-Principal Investigator
  • Sharon Merriman-Nai, Senior Consultant
  • Sofia Gonzalez, Project Manager
  • David Borton, Data Analyst
  • Initiation date: 2000; Funding Source: Delaware Department of Health and Social Services Department of Public Health

This project is the Delaware public school administration of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Youth Tobacco Survey of middle and high school students. This survey has been administered every other year in even numbered years to a random and representative sample of both middle and high school students in most states. The study reports data comparable to other Center studies on tobacco use and abuse, but it also provides the only statewide youth data on attitudes toward tobacco, tobacco marketing, and access to tobacco by youth.

More information is available on past YTS Reports and Surveys. 

Including Youth with Disabilities in the Youth Tobacco Survey
  • Steven S. Martin, Principal Investigator
  • Eileen Sparling, Co-Principal Investigator
  • Elizabeth Dubravcic, Co-Investigator
  • Roberta Gealt, Senior Consultant
  • Mia Papas, Project Mentor
  • Initiation date: 2014; Funding Source: ACCEL-ACE

Statewide surveys routinely monitor the prevalence of health risk behaviors and inform prevention interventions.  Current youth sampling protocols include public middle and high school students in regular, graded classrooms with fewer than 50% students with special educational needs.  This project seeks to develop an accommodation protocol that will allow school health surveys to be conducted among students in special education classrooms and schools.  The project is guided by an Advisory Panel representing communities of students with disabilities, parents, teachers, school administrators, health professionals and staff from federal and state partner agencies.  Key informant interviews, classroom observation and focus groups will be used to identify potential barriers and accommodations.  New disability screening questions will be added to Delaware’s YTS and field-tested along with the new protocol.  This project involves the University of Delaware’s Center for Disabilities Studies, Center for Drug and Health Studies and the State of Delaware’s Division of Public Health. ​

College Risk Behaviors Study (CRBS)
  • Laura Rapp, Principal Investigator 
  • Steven S. Martin, Senior Consultant
  • Jim Highberger, Data Manager
  • David Borton, Data Analyst
  • Initiated: 2008; Funding Source: Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT) of Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and the Delaware Gambling Council 
  • 2017 Report: CRBS 2017 Report.pdf
  • 2018 Report: CRBS 2018 Report.pdf

This is a study of full-time undergraduate students at the University of Delaware Newark campus. The online survey instrument used in the study asked students about alcohol, tobacco, and other drug use, as well as sexual behaviors and risky behaviors. It also asked about related antecedents and consequences, such as depression and suicidal thoughts and actions. Additional topics on the survey included gambling, deviance/crimes, digital piracy, and victimization. As such, this project has provided valuable information about the UD student population and their attitudes and behaviors.

More information available on past CRBS Reports and Surveys. ​​


 

 

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Projects focusing on Delaware Youth
substance use, Delaware, substance, substance abuse, drug, alcohol, data, marijuana, opioid, tobacco, cigarette, pain killers, illicit drugs, youth
  • Center for Drug & Health Studies
  • 257 E. Main Street Suite 110
  • University of Delaware
  • Newark, DE 19716, USA
  • Phone: 302-831-6107
  • cdhs-research@udel.edu