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J Alcohol Drug Educ. 2008 Aug;52(2):73-92.

Long-term Outcomes of the ATHENA (Athletes Targeting Healthy Exercise & Nutrition Alternatives) Program for Female High School Athletes.

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Division of Health Promotion and Sports Medicine; Department of Medicine; Oregon Health & Science University; Portland, Oregon.


Adolescence and emerging adulthood are critical windows for establishing life-long behaviors. We assessed long-term outcomes of a prospective randomized harm reduction/health promotion program for female high school athletes. The intervention's immediate beneficial effects on diet pill use and unhealthy eating behaviors have been reported; however, tobacco, alcohol and marijuana use were not immediately altered (Elliot et al, 2004). One to three years following graduation, positive benefits in those domains became evident, and intervention students reported significantly less lifetime use of cigarettes, marijuana, and alcohol. Sport teams may be effective vehicles for gender-specific interventions to promote competency skills and deter harmful actions, and those benefits may manifest when acquired abilities are applied in new environments following high school graduation.


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