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J Prim Prev. 2012 Dec;33(5-6):249-58. doi: 10.1007/s10935-012-0280-1.

Predictive validity of established cut points for risk and protective factor scales from the communities that care youth survey.

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  • 1Social Development Research Group, School of Social Work, University of Washington, 9725 Third Ave. NE, Suite #401, Seattle, WA 98115, USA.


Community coalitions are a popular strategy to coordinate activities and resources to prevent adolescent substance use and delinquent behavior. Despite early evidence of their lack of effectiveness, a new generation of community coalitions has shown positive results in preventing youth substance use and delinquency. This success can be attributed to coalition decision making focused on reducing local risk factors and increasing local protective factors through the use of evidence-based prevention programs. A previous study using cross-sectional data established cut point values for scales measuring risk and protective factors on the Communities That Care Youth Survey (CTCYS) to identify high levels of risk and low levels of protection in communities on each scale. The current study extended this previous research by using longitudinal data to assess the validity of risk and protective factor cut point values in predicting substance use and delinquent behavior 1 year after risk and protection were measured. The findings demonstrate the predictive validity of cut points for risk and protective factor scales measured by the CTCYS and suggest their utility in guiding prevention efforts.

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