Recommended Programs

Botvin Life Skills Training program

Developers

National Health Promotion Associates.

Format

This curriculum-based program is designed to be administered by teachers within classrooms. Program materials incorporate Teacher’s manual, Student workbooks, accompanied by interactive resources (Online/CD Rom). Age appropriate materials are available for the following levels:

*Spanish language version also available
  • Year 3-4: 8 class sessions
  • Year 4-5: 8 class sessions
  • Year 5-6: 8 class sessions.
  • Year 6-7: 15 × 40-minute class sessions
  • Year 7-8: 10 × 40-minute booster sessions
  • Year 8-9: 5 × 40-minute booster sessions.
  • Year 9-10: 10 × 40-minute class sessions.
  • Year 11-12: 6 × 40-minute class sessions.
*Spanish language version also available
  • 7 facilitated workshop sessions, or
  • Program can be completed individually by parents at home.

Summary

Botvin LifeSkills Training (LST) targets the primary psychosocial factors that facilitate substance use and other risky or antisocial behaviours. Rather than focusing merely on the dangers of alcohol and other drugs, LifeSkills Training provides young people with the requisite skills to navigate challenging situations that expose teens to substances and other health risks.

 The learning objectives are:
  • Teach students the necessary skills to resist social (peer) pressures to smoke, drink, and use drugs.
  • Help students to develop greater self-esteem and self-confidence.
  • Build capacity to effectively cope with anxiety.
  • Educate students about the immediate consequences of substance abuse.
  • Enhance cognitive and behavioral competency to reduce and prevent a variety of health risk behaviors.

Training & Costs

Teacher training provided in manual. There are costs associated with the Botvin LifeSkills Training materials. See Price List for details. 

For some age groups, companion online resources can be accessed at no cost:

Benefits

  • Increased knowledge of smoking risk and prevalence
  • Reduced alcohol initiation
  • Reduced illegal drug use
  • Reduced poly-substance use
  • Reduced prescription drug abuse (opiods)
  • Reduced student aggression and deliquency
  • Parenting program associated with improved family communication and parental monitoring.

Evidence

The Botvin LifeSkills Training program is supported by over 20 published studies. The five most relevant studies are listed below; for a full list see Botvin Evaluation studies. Benefits of the program have not yet been evaluated in an Australian sample.

Botvin, G. J., Griffin, K. W., & Williams, C. (2015). Preventing Daily Substance Use among High School Students Using a Cognitive-Behavioral Competence Enhancement Approach. World Journal of Preventive Medicine3(3), 48-53.

Crowley, D., Jones, D. E., Coffman, D. L., Greenberg, M.T. (2014). Can We Build an Efficient Response to the Prescription Drug Abuse Epidemic? Assessing the Cost Effectiveness of Universal Prevention in the PROSPER Trial. Preventive Medicine, 62, 71-77. 

Spoth, R., Trudeau, L., Redmond, C., & Shin, C. (2014). Replication RCT of early universal prevention effects on young adult substance misuse. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 82(6), 949-63.

Griffin, K. W., Samuolis, J., & Williams, C. (2011). Efficacy of a self-administered home-based parent intervention on parenting behaviors for preventing adolescent substance use. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 20, 319-325. 

Spoth, R. L., Randall, G., Trudeau, L., Shin, C., Redmond, C. (2008). Substance use outcomes 5 1/2 years past baseline for partnership-based, family school preventive interventions. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 96, 57-68. 

Evidence-base Cautions: 

An independent review of trials by Gorman (2011) found little evidence to support the effectiveness of the Life Skills Training program in reducing cannabis use. See the paper referenced below for full details.

Gorman, D. (2011). Does the Life Skills Training program reduce use of marijuana? Addiction Research & Theory, 19(5), 470-481. 

Botvin LifeSkills Training received a two-star rating from the National Centre for Education and Training on Addiction (NCETA) following their comprehensive systematic review of alcohol education programs

 

Botvin LifeSkills Training is included in SAMSHA's National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices (USA).