June 7, 2012
At the Society for Prevention Research (SPR) Annual Meeting in 2012, the Penn State team brought home the SPR cup. The Sloboda and Bukoski SPR Cup is a lively competition where graduate students and early-career investigators form teams, and each team receives the same data set. The teams have a few weeks to develop research questions and analyze the data, and then all teams present their ideas and findings at the SPR Annual Meeting. Senior prevention scientists and the audience judge the quality of the presentations.
Penn State's team comprised (from left to right) Shu Xu, Kathleen Zadzora, Alexis Harris, Jacqui Cox, and Charlie Beekman, and was mentored by Methodology Center Investigators Donna Coffman and Stephanie Lanza. Their presentation, "Transitions to High School and Substance Use: A Story from the ASAP Study," used latent transition analysis to examine adolescent substance use behavior patterns during middle and high school. This work both reinforced and expanded the knowledge base about substance use patterns in high school. Specifically, the team found that prescription drug use follows patterns similar to other substances. Team members will work on preparing their findings for publication in the society's journal, Prevention Science, while continuing their normal academic or professional responsibilities.