Title: Initiatives newsletter
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00091750/00003
 Material Information
Title: Initiatives newsletter
Series Title: Initiatives newsletter
Physical Description: Serial
Language: English
Creator: Addictive & Health Behaviors Research Institute, University of Florida
Publisher: Addictive & Health Behaviors Research Institute, University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: Fall 2008
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00091750
Volume ID: VID00003
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.


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The University of Florida's Addictive & Health Behaviors (AHB) Research Institute


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Lnid iiiiniIer

when "Just Say No" is not enough

By Susan Brandenburg

Reprinted with permission from H magazine and The Florida-Times Union

There's something positive stirring in
the minds and bodies of students in
area high schools these days, and
according to Chad Werch, PhD,
director and principle investigator of
the University of Florida's Addictive
and Health Behaviors (AHB) Research
Institute, it's all the rage.
What is it? A simple list of lifestyle and
behavioral questions concerning
alcohol and drug abuse posed
annually to a random group of teens
who have agreed to participate in a
short-term, highly successful, research
project that encourages a positive
approach to reducing negative
"Our studies have had extremely
positive results," said Werch, who has
directed the program since its creation
in 2004. Werch described how his
team's innovative research projects
are significantly reducing adolescent

alcohol, tobacco and drug use while
increasing positive factors such as
physical activity, nutritional eating,
better sleep habits, stress
management, self-control, perceived
health status and personal goal
"With the project, "Planned Success,"
we're providing young people individu-
ally tailored feedback based on their
answers to our brief screening survey,"
Werch said. "The one-on-one consult
with our health interventionist is
powerful and effective, and because
the program is related to feeling fit,
looking good, and setting positive
goals for the future, it's well-received."
The image-based messages of the
project combine positive messages
about personal development with
health risk behaviors such as alcohol,
cigarette smoking or illegal drug use.
By correlating youthful, attractive,

active imagery with healthy behaviors,
the reinforcement is motivational and
"This is a very different approach to
the traditional dire health risk warnings
used in the past to prevent drug and
alcohol abuse," said Werch.
The research project begins with a
recruitment phase, in which AHB
researchers visit local high school. A
$10 stipend is paid to students each
time they complete a data collection,
such as the initial screening survey
and later, a follow-up.
Materials are sent home and parental
consent is required for student partici-
pation. The questionnaires focus on
nutrition, exercise, substance use and
goal setting. Information is sent home
to parents following the consult, en-
couraging parent-youth communica-
tion regarding fitness promotion and
alcohol avoidance.
According to Werch, the total amount
of time for student interaction with
researchers is approximately one
hour. "Over the years, we've heard
positive remarks from teachers and
counselors that solid improvement was
noted", he said.
Werch said the research projects
address multiple health concerns. "Not
everybody is using substances,"
Werch said. "But there are some who
might be thinking about trying alcohol.
For one kid it might be prevention; for
others who are in perfect health, it
serves as a nice little reminder to keep
heading in the right direction."
He said some public health messages
in the media can have a negative
impact on the type of work he and
others with AHB are trying to promote.
Continued on pg. 2

Addictive & Health Behaviors Research Institute

"Just Say No" continued from Page 1

This type of marketing over-inflates the norm," said
Werch, who has observed that many students are
under the impression that their peers are using drugs
when, in fact, most kids don't drink regularly or use
drugs. "Kids who are fit, active and popular don't drink -
- that's the marketing message we want to promote,"
he said. "Marketers already know how to motivate
young people to purchase cereal, clothing, music, cell
phones. Why not use these same visually pleasing im-
ages to promote good health? It's the packaging with
the emphasis on public health information rather than
on risks that is actually quite different in a subtle way."

As one of the AHB interventionists, Sue Kreichelt, RN,
said the one-on-one consult with students is an
invaluable component of the program. While she
follows a specific script and the goal is to consistently
present the same consultation for research purposes,
she says each student is an individual with different
perceptions and needs. "Part of the consult is about
preparing for and succeeding in life," said Kreichelt.

"In our studies, we've found that it [the research and
prevention promotion] does in fact, motivate students,"
said Werch. "This is an overall, visual self-improvement
program that they [the students] respond to because

the core of the message relates to their physical image
of themselves."

In addition to research projects led by the AHB
Research Institute, a number of other studies have
been directed by Mayo Clinic Jacksonville in collabora-
tion with the Institute, primarily examining smoking
cessation and tobacco use among young adults.

Last September, UF's AHB Institute, the Mayo Clinic
along with the American Academy of Health Behavior,
hosted a symposium of information of both scientific
and application knowledge for health behavior

The ultimate goal of the research and the annual
symposium, according to Werch, is that these positive
programs being researched here and across the
country will eventually be identified as national models.

"We are still in the early stages," he said, "but these
programs are something that might eventually be used
by health teachers, counselors, nurses, and health
educators, in written form and on DVDs. It is a unique
approach that could have a very important impact on
the future of our youth." N

hard at work: current research news

The AHB Institute produces many
scientific and professional journal
articles each year. Below is a
sampling of some of the most
recent published papers.

Moore, Michele J., & Werch,
Chudley. (2008). Relationship
between vigorous exercise
frequency and substance use
among first-year drinking college
students. Journal of American
College Health, 56(6), 686-690.

Objective: The authors explored the
relationship between self-reported
vigorous exercise frequency and
alcohol, tobacco, and other drug
(ATOD) use behaviors among first-
year college students who self-
identified as drinkers. Participants:
The authors recruited 391 freshman
college students in Northeast Florida
to participate in an alcohol abuse
prevention study. Methods: The

authors conducted a multivariate
analysis of variance to assess the
relationship between vigorous
exercise frequency and 6 measures
of ATOD use at baseline. Results:
Frequent exercisers drank signifi-
cantly more often and a significantly
greater quantity than did infrequent
exercisers. However, frequent
exercisers smoked cigarettes
significantly less often than did
infrequent exercisers. Conclusions:
These findings suggest that vigorous
exercise frequency is differentially

associated with alcohol and cigarette
consumption among college
students. Researchers should
further examine the reasons for
these differences.

Matthews, Anna E., Werch, Chud-
ley E., & Bian, Hui. (2007). An
impact evaluation of two versions
of a brief intervention targeting
alcohol use and physical activity
among adolescents. Journal of
Drug Education, 37(4), 401-416.

The purpose of the study was to
evaluate the immediate impact of
two new versions of the Project
SPORT program, a brief one-on-one
tailored consult addressing alcohol
use and physical activity for adoles-
cents. One new version was a brief
interactive CD-ROM (Study one) and
a second was a brief small group
consultation (Study two). In study
one, high school students were


Initiatives Fall 2008

exposed to either an interactive
CD-ROM consultation or a non-
interactive computer program. In
study two, students either partici-
pated in a small group consultation
or health booklet control. These
studies suggest both interventions
were highly acceptable to partici-
pants, however, the new CD-ROM
version of Project SPORT had a
greater positive effect on females
than males. Suggestions to make
the CD-ROM more acceptable and
effective for males are presented.
The small group version of Project
SPORT was largely acceptable and
potentially efficacious for both male
and female adolescents, with the
largest impact seen on participants'
images, beliefs, and commitment
related to physical activity.

Werch, Chudley, Bian, Hui, Moore,
Michele J., Ames, Steve,
DiClemente, Carlo C., & Weiler,
Robert M. (2007). Brief multiple
behavior interventions in a college
student health care clinic. Journal
of Adolescent Health, 41, 577-585.

Purpose: This study examined the
effects of brief image-based
interventions, including a multiple
behavior health contract, a one-on-
one tailored consultation, and a
combined consultation plus contract
intervention, for impacting multiple
health behaviors of students in a
university health clinic. Methods: A
total of 155 college students attend-
ing a major Southern university were
recruited to participate in a study
evaluating a health promotion
program titled Project Fitness during
the Fall 2005 and Spring 2006.
Participants were randomly assigned
to one of three treatments as they
presented at the clinic: 1) a multiple
behavior health contract, 2) a one-
on-one tailored consultation, or 3) a
combined consultation plus contract
intervention. Baseline and one-
month post-intervention data were
collected using computer-assisted
questionnaires in a quiet office within
the student health clinic. Results:
Omnibus repeated measures
MANOVAs were significant for
drinking driving behaviors, F(2,136)

=4.43, p=.01, exercise behaviors, F
(5,140)=6.12, p=.00), nutrition hab-
its, F(3,143)=5.37, p=.00, sleep hab-
its, F(2,144)=5.03, p=.01, and health
quality of life, F(5,140)=3.09, p=.01,
with improvements on each behavior
across time. Group by time interac-
tion effects showed an increase in
the use of techniques to manage
stress, F(2,144)=5.48, p=.01, and
the number of health behavior goals
set in the last 30 days, F(2,143)
=5.35, p=.01, but only among
adolescents receiving the consulta-
tion, or consultation plus contract.
Effect sizes were consistently larger
across health behaviors, and
medium in size, when both consult
and contract were employed
together. Conclusions: Brief
interventions using a positive goal
image of fitness, and addressing a
number of health habits using a
contract and consultation strategy
alone, or in combination, have the
potential to influence positive
changes in multiple health behaviors
of college students attending a
university primary health care clinic.

Glassman, Tavis J., Werch, Chud-
ley E., & Jobli, Edessa
(2007). Alcohol self-control
behaviors of adolescents.
Addictive Behaviors, 32(3), 590-

Purpose: The aims of the present
study were to: (1) factor analyze a
13-item adolescent alcohol self-
control behavior scale, (2) examine
associations between frequency of
self-control behavior use and alcohol
consumption, and (3) to determine
which self-control behaviors best
predict alcohol use and conse-
quences. Methods: A confidential
standardized survey was used to
collect data on participant's 30-day
frequency, quantity, and heavy use
of alcohol; alcohol-related conse-
quences; and alcohol self-control
behaviors. Results: A principal
component factor analysis produced
the following three components:
Healthy Alternatives (* = .81), Self-
regulation (* = .72), and Assertive
Communication (* = .73). MANO-
VAs indicated strong associations

between frequency of use of the
three types of self-control behaviors
and alcohol consumption (p val-
ues 5 .001). Logistic regression
analysis revealed that self-regulation
behaviors were the best predictor for
all alcohol use measures and
consequences (p values 5 .001).
Conclusion: Self-control behaviors
differ in their ability to predict alcohol
use and consequences. Self-
regulation strategies emerged as the
most consistent predictor of alcohol
use patterns and consequences
among adolescents, followed by
healthy alternatives.

Werch, Chudley (2007). The
Behavior-Image Model: A para-
digm for integrating prevention
and health promotion in brief
interventions. Health Education
Research, 22(5), 677-690.

This paper describes the Behavior-
Image Model (BIM), an emerging
and innovative paradigm for planning
brief interventions for adolescents
that fuse the prevention of harmful
behaviors with the promotion of
healthy habits. We discuss the
components of the BIM as a new
paradigm for creating multiple
behavior health interventions, as well
as the empirical and conceptual
underpinnings of the model, and
present Project Sport as an illustra-
tion of how the BIM may be applied
to construct a brief multi-behavior
intervention. The BIM posits that
selected salient images of others
and ourselves may be used to cast
gain- and loss-framed messages
coupling and motivating health-
promoting and healthrisk behaviors
within single interventions. This
content, in turn, activates prototypes
and future self-images through the
processes of social and self-
comparison, leading to improve-
ments in risk and protective factors
and subsequent change in targeted
health-promoting and health-risk
behaviors. Recommendations are
offered for conducting future
research integrating health-risk and
health-promoting behaviors in both
brief and non-brief interventions for
adolescents and adults.m

Addictive & Health Behaviors Research Institute

$3.2 million grant funds alcohol, fitness interventions

for adolescents

Written by/reprinted with permission from Michele Dye

The AHB Research Institute, part of the University of
Florida College of Health and Human Performance,
received a $3.2 million grant from the National Institutes of
Health, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcohol-
ism (NIAAA) to continue research on alcohol interventions
for adolescents. NIAAA will fund the research for the next
five years.

Dr. Chad Werch, director of AHB Research Institute and
principal investigator, said this study is unique because
adolescents from diverse high school settings will receive
positive youth development messages along with health
risk messages for substance abuse, thus targeting
multiple health behaviors during a single, short
intervention session.

"This project strives to reduce alcohol abuse and
problems among high-risk older adolescents often ignored
in prevention research and services," Werch said.

Some of the problems the intervention study ACTIVE!
hopes to combat are physical inactivity, alcohol and drug
misuse, poor nutrition and lack of sleep, all of which are
common issues among today's teenagers. According to
research, more than half of American youth are not
physically active on a regular basis. National health data
for high school students also show an alarming 25.5
percent of students have been involved in heavy episodic
drinking in the past month, according to the Youth Risk
Behavior and Surveillance Survey in 2005.

This grant will allow AHB Research Institute to provide a
free, activity-based health promotion program for at-risk
high school students at various Northeast Florida public
schools, Werch said.

Werch said research on an initial intervention titled
SPORT showed an increase in moderate and vigorous
physical activity, and a decrease in alcohol use, heavy

drinking and alcohol problems among participating

"Active! is built on years of previous research funded by
the NIH," Werch said. "It is designed to increase physical
activity, decrease alcohol use and promote better nutrition
and sleep habits."

The first phase of the program will have students evaluate
future intervention strategies for content and design. The
next phase will consist of evaluating a 20-minute screen,
fitness consultation, and goal plan delivered by computer
or a fitness specialist. A third phase will examine a
parent-based program delivered by mail to participating
adolescents' homes.

"Our trained intervention staff will provide brief motiva-
tional programs addressing a variety of health behaviors
including, exercise, eating healthy, resting properly and
avoiding alcohol and other drug use," Werch said.

The project described was supported by Grant Number
R01AA009283 from the National Institute on Alcohol
Abuse and Alcoholism. The content is solely the responsi-
bility of the authors and does not necessarily represent
the official views of the National Institute on Alcohol
Abuse and Alcoholism or the National Institutes of
Health. N

make a gift!

The AHB Research Institute
is a non-profit organization.
If you would like to help us
in our mission, please call
904.281.0726 or email
Melissa Wezniak at
You may also visit
for more information.
Thank you!

Initiatives Fall 2008

good work pays off in great ways

The projects led by the AHB Research Institute have impacted the lives of over 2,500 families in the Northeast
Florida region. These projects have led to a decrease in the consumption of alcohol, cigarette and illegal drug
use, as well as an increase in physical activity, healthy nutrition, sleep, positive self-image and quality of life, for
adolescents and young adults. Below are just a few of the many positive comments from adolescents and their
parents participating in our projects. N

"The topics or information that I liked best
about this program was about academic goals "It helped our family talk about
and the influence of drugs on future goals." *
ways we could all get healthier.

"I liked the information and advice. I think this is

wonderful for kids during this age... very good info!"

"I enjoyed the information on career goals and different
ways in which I can reach my goals in a healthy way." "I liked the program materials because ...
It was good motivation!"

"I liked the fact that they continue to help youth and set us in the right direction.
I appreciate people taking time out to help and make a difference."

our collaborators help make it happen!

Recently, Dr. Thomas Brandon, Ph.D.,
Director of the Tobacco Research &
Intervention Program of the Moffitt Cancer
Center in Tampa, Florida, visited with the
AHB Research Institute. Dr. Brandon is just
one of the many talented people to
collaborate with the Institute in recent years.
He had great things to say about the
Institute's mission, goals, and future direction.
"I'd like to begin by conveying my very strong,
highly positive impression that I have of
AHBRI. In a relatively short period of time at
UF, you have built an impressive research
Thomas Brandon, PhD, (back row, center left) with the faculty and staff of organization. You have significant,
the AHB Research Institute competitive, extramural research support and
a high rate of publication in peer-reviewed
journals. You are conducting socially meaningful research with notable potential for public health impact. You have
assembled what appears to be a highly dedicated and competent staff of researchers and support personnel. And you
have established a wide range of collaborations with productive researchers in Florida and around the nation. Moreover,
you have established and grown the Addictive & Health Behaviors Research conference, which further extends the
reach and impact of AHBRI, while also providing a genuine service to the field, "says Dr. Brandon.
The AHB Research Institute would like to thank all of its collaborators for their dedication to making our Institute the very
best it can be. m

faculty & staff:

Institute Director
C. E. Chad Werch, PhD

Research Coordinators & Assistants
Hui Bian, PhD Data Manager & Research Director
Joan Carlson, MSW Senior Research Associate
Sue Kreichelt, BSN, MSH Research Associate
Alan Alfaro, BS Senior Research Assistant
Justin Blanton, BA
Steven Dolan, BA
Kristen Otwell, BSH
Cassie Sager, BS

Communication Specialists
Melissa Wezniak, BA Communications Coordinator
Jennifer Hamilton, BA Communications Specialist
Desiree Rhodes Communications Assistant
Steven Dolan, BA IT Coordinator

Collaborating Research Scientists & Partners
Dolores Albarracin, PhD University of Florida
Steven Ames, PhD Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville
Tom ter Bogt, PhD Utrecht University, Netherlands
Thomas Brandon, PhD Moffitt Cancer Center
Britt Brewer, PhD Virtual Brands, LLC
Kelli Brown, PhD University of Florida
William Chen, PhD University of Florida
Carlo C. DiClemente, PhD University of Maryland
Virginia Dodd, PhD University of Florida

David Foxcroft, PhD Oxford Brookes University, UK
Candace Hodgkins, PhD Gateway Community Services
I.C. Huang, PhD University of Florida
Erin Largo-Wright, PhD University of North Florida
Steven Matson, MD University of Florida
Michele Moore, PhD University of North Florida
Christine Neuenfeldt, PhD Gateway Community Services, Inc.
Steven Pokorny, PhD University of Florida
Barbara Rienzo, PhD University of Florida
Sadie Sanders, PhD University of Florida
Jiunn-Jye Sheu, PhD University of Florida
Christine Stopka, PhD University of Florida
Dennis Thombs, PhD University of Florida
Jill Varnes, PhD University of Florida
Alexander Wagenaar, PhD University of Florida
Fern Webb, PhD University of Florida
Robert Weiler, PhD University of Florida

Health Behavior Interventionists
Cecelia Adams, RN
Nancy Archer, RN
Jan Foster, RN
Regina Fountain, RN
Susan Landmark, RN
Kaye Morris, RN
Mary Padzer, RN
Stevie Schoof, RN
Marie Wilkinson, RN

Initiatives Editor
Jennifer Hamilton, BA

community involvement giving back

The AHB Research Institute is no stranger to the community. We recognize that not everyone is fortunate
enough to have a roof over their heads and a hot meal every night.

In an effort to give back to the community, the AHB Research Institute has recently helped several charita-
ble organizations in their causes.

During the 3rd Symposium on Addictive and Health Behaviors, the Institute raised money to help the
Barnabas Center in Fernandina Beach, FL. Over four hundred dollars was donated to this charitable

The Institute also donates food items, dry goods, and cash to selected organizations each Holiday season.
Food and cash donations were made to the Beaches Center and the Mission House recently.

Plans are always under way to give to needy Northeast Florida organizations. We are glad to do our part to
help others! m

For additional information, contact: T College of Health &
AHB Research Institute UF Human Performance
7800 Belfort Parkway, Suite 270
Jacksonville, FL 32256 Department of Health Education & Behavior
Ph: (904) 281-0726 Addictive & Health Behaviors Research Institute
http://hhp.ufl.edulheblahbrilahbri.php UNIVERSITY of FLORIDA

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