Prevention Central –a division of innovation Research & Training—is committed to sharing its groundbreaking research and development work with the prevention field through conducting monthly webinars led by leading scientists in the field. In the first of these webinars, held in February of 2019, Senior Research Scientist Dr. Tracy Scull presented “Analyzing Media:  A Creative Approach to Combating Youth Substance Abuse.” Over the hour-long presentation, Dr. Scull discussed results from the leading research on how media exposure can affect decisions to use alcohol, tobacco, and other substances, as well as how media literacy education can help youth to become more critical thinkers, thereby combating the insidious influence of the media on substance use behaviors. She also responded to questions from participants about the other evidence-based Prevention Central programs that use a media literacy education approach to teaching substance abuse prevention.

“I’m so happy I was able to speak directly to other people interested in youth substance abuse prevention and share this compelling research with them,” said Dr. Scull. “By providing webinars to the field, it helps us build personal connections with people on the front lines across the country who can spread the benefits of media literacy education to their own communities.”

In the coming months, additional iRT scientists will be discussing other prevention approaches and sharing research findings in the Prevention Central webinar series. In the next webinar on March 27, 2019, at 1 p.m., Dr. Alison Parker will speak about the many benefits of mindfulness education for children and adolescents. Dr. Parker has received Federally-funded awards to develop and evaluate the effectiveness of school-based and online mindfulness education programs for youth. Her cutting-edge prevention programs integrate mindfulness practices in creative and developmentally appropriate educational approaches designed to assist young people address the many stressors they experience in modern society in healthy and productive ways.

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