Alcohol Education Guide
to Reducing Harmful Drinking

Communities That Care (CTC)



Developer: The University of Washington, School of Social Work

Partners: Social Development Research Group

Program Overview: Communities that Care (CTC) is a systems based approach that aims to prevent risky or harmful behaviors among young people, and also to strengthen protective factors and behaviors.

Program Design: Specific program components depend heavily on the community in which the program is implemented. However, regardless of the specific actions and resources needed, the program follows 5 main phases (see the CTC website for more information): 

  • Getting started
  • Organizing, introducing, and involving
  • Developing a community profile
  • Creating a community action plan
  • Implementing and evaluating the community action plan

Evaluation: The Community Youth Development Study is a community-randomized trial to evaluate the effectiveness of CTC. Colorado, Illinois, Kansas, Maine, Oregon, Utah, Washington 12 paired communities (paired on demographic variables) one from each pair was randomly assigned to the intervention. data was collected annually, beginning with a pre-test and then continuing annually for 3 years following the initial data collection. Data were collected through administration of the Youth Development Survey used in schools. Items in the survey aimed to measure self-reported consumption of alcohol and use of cigarettes, smokeless tobacco, marijuana and inhalants as well as self-reported delinquent behavior.

Key findings: The analysis of program effects found statistically significant results in intervention communities:

  • CTC communities reported lower rates of initiation for alcohol, cigarettes, and smokeless tobacco
  • Students in non-intervention communities were 60% more likely to consume alcohol
  • Students in CTC communities also were less likely to begin use of marijuana or alcohol

Program Website: www.communitiesthatcare.net


1. Hawkins, J. D. (2009). Results of a type 2 translational research trial to prevent adolescent drug use and delinquency: A test of Communities That CareArchives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, Vol. 163(9), 789789-798.

2. Catalano, R. F., Haggerty, K. P., & Hawkins, J. D. (2009). A test of Communities that Care: Community coalitions can prevent youth substance use and delinquencyResearch Brief of the Social Development Research Group, No. 3. 

3. Feinberg, M. E., Jones, D., Greenberg, M. T., Osgood, D. W., & Bontempo, D. (2010). Effects of the communities that care model in Pennsylvania on change in adolescent risk and problem behaviorsPreventive Science, Vol. 11, 163-171.

Target Audience: High school (15-18 years old), Middle school (10-14 years)
Issues: Underage Drinking
Setting: School clubs or community organizations, Schools
Approach: Community or Environmental
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