The IMPACT (IMproving Prevention through ACTion) Research lab is led by Drs. Laura Hill, Brittany Cooper, and Louise Parker, and includes undergraduate and graduate students interested in the prevention of social, emotional and behavioral health problems for youth, families and communities. Our research is aimed at closing the gap between the science and real-world practice of prevention, and therefore strong collaborations with prevention practitioners and policymakers are central to our approach. Specifically, our goal is to better understand what it takes to get effective, culturally relevant prevention programs and policies widely disseminated, implemented with high quality, and sustained across time in diverse community settings. To this aim, we engage in action-oriented, mixed-methods research on quality implementation, and sustainability, and conduct evaluations (including non-experimental evaluation in real-world settings) of evidence-based prevention interventions.
Current translational research projects include:
- Community Prevention and Wellness Initiative (CPWI) Evaluation: We are collaborating with The Washington State Division of Behavioral Health and Recovery to conduct a statewide evaluation examining the effectiveness of community coalitions in reducing and preventing youth substance use.
- Sustaining Prevention of Youth Substance Use Prevention: In this mixed method study, we explore the community, organizational, and program factors associated with the sustainment of the Strengthening Families Program for Parents and Adolescents 10-14 in a sample of communities across Washington State.
- Strengthening Families Program for Parents and Adolescents 10-14 Evaluation: Our lab conducts state-wide evaluation activities to: (1) identify which communities in Washington State are regularly implementing the Strengthening Families Program for Parents and Youth 10-14, (2) determine the number of parent and youth participants, and (3) assess program implementation and effectiveness. In addition to studying the natural dissemination, implementation and sustainability of the program, we also develop local evaluation reports for our community partners to use for quality improvement and promotion of their program to local stakeholders.
- Creating Connection to Values and Purpose: Over the next several years, we will train WSU faculty to implement experiential teaching pedagogies and brief evidence-based behavioral interventions that have been shown to increase student success. Using implementation and dissemination research approaches from prevention science, the goals of the project are to increase student resilience, retention and academic success by increasing their sense of purpose, their belief that they can succeed, their connection to the university and to important adults, and their academic and life skills.
Opportunities for students include:
- Develop data collection tools (e.g., surveys, interview protocols)
- Collect and analyze quantitative and qualitative data
- Gain experience in managing large data sets and applying advanced statistical methods
- Create content and visuals for reports and presentations to communicate research findings to multiple stakeholder groups (e.g., prevention providers, community members)
- Present posters and papers at regional and national conferences
- Co-author research publications
- Participate in trainings and workshops related to prevention science
- Provide technical assistance to prevention program providers
- Foster collaborations with program providers and practitioners as part of the research and evaluation projects
- Collaborate on projects that directly affect local and state policies
- Cultivate a professional network with leading prevention researchers and practitioners