||5R44CA081957-03 Interpret this number
||Tobacco and Alcohol Use Prevention for Children
This Phase II application proposes the development of an interactive, multimedia program called Gopp's Galaxy, a tobacco and alcohol use prevention tool for K-2 children. The need for this product arises from the continuing trends toward increased tobacco and alcohol use in adolescents, despite the availability of prevention programming in the later elementary grades. Prevention experts suggest that prevention programs need to begin as early as kindergarten. To address this need, the current application combines state-of-the-art tobacco and alcohol use prevention guidelines, developmental research, and advances in multimedia technology to develop a practical tool for improving substance use prevention and social competence skills in young children. The program will be delivered through an engaging animation format for children between the ages of 6-8, and will include child printouts, class activities, and take-home activities. In Phase I, we received input from teachers, prevention experts, parents, and children. This resulted in a technical plan for the CD-ROM, an annotated script, a design of the teacher manual, and creation and acceptance testing of a Gopp's Galaxy demo. Phase II will address development and usability testing of a prototype CD-ROM, a field study with K-2 students, and parent and teacher acceptance and satisfaction. PROPOSED COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS: The commercial impact of this project is very promising. Schools have a critical place in fostering alcohol and smoking prevention, but relatively little effort is targeted at young children. As a result, there are few empirically demonstrated programs available. An interactive, multimedia program which can educate children about alcohol and tobacco use risks, as well as build social competence skills that prevent such usage, will provide needed programming without requiring extensive teacher training. A reliable and cost-effective program that appeals to children should be extraordinarily marketable, especially given the rapid growth of educational technology in American elementary schools.