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Workplace Sun Safety Training Goes All-Virtual

Workplace Sun Safety Training Goes All-Virtual

People who work outdoors are exposed to high levels of solar ultraviolet radiation (UV) over a lifetime that can substantially increase their risk for developing skin cancer. Workplaces can be an effective channel for UV safety policy and training for employees in order to reduce their UV over-exposure and risk for skin cancer.

Klein Buendel researchers and their collaborators have been developing, evaluating, and refining comprehensive approaches to occupational sun protection for two decades. Now, the experienced research team is launching a new project funded by the National Cancer Institute to develop and evaluate a mechanism for distributing an established sun protection program virtually to diverse workplaces in the United States. The virtual environment will be comprised of a database, content management (interactive toolbox), and media platform (trackable training) to tailor the sun safety program to management’s readiness to innovate on sun safety based on Diffusion of Innovations Theory. In addition, the virtual platform will better integrate sun safety training by improving appropriateness for Hispanic and African American workers and conforming with the latest learning management systems technologies.

The Fast-Track SBIR project (CA257778) will complete a 9-month Phase I feasibility study and a 2-year Phase II effectiveness trial through employers across the country. The primary hypothesis of the study is that compared to employers in a minimal information control group, employers assigned to receive SSW Works will have employees that practice more sun protection at posttest. The research will be led by Mary Klein Buller, Principal Investigator. Co-Investigators include Dr. Barbara Walkosz, Julia Berteletti, and Dr. David Buller from Klein Buendel. The virtual platform will be engineered by Klein Buendel’s Creative Team.

The outdoor workforce in the United States is large and, in many places, at very high risk for skin cancer. Improving sun safety will help reduce health care costs and save lives. Thus, the research will have high impact and potential for commercial adoption, two objectives of SBIR projects.

WayToServe Plus

WayToServe Plus

Among effective interventions to reduce driving while intoxicated (DWI) by alcohol, Responsible Beverage Service (RBS) training of alcohol servers has shown promise. RBS training is currently required or incentivized by 36 states and California will require it starting in 2022.

Klein Buendel and its research collaborators from the University of New Mexico and the Pacific  Institute for Research and Evaluation (PIRE) have shown that an online RBS training, named WayToServe®, was effective in two randomized research trials. WayToServe is currently commercially available in multiple states in English and Spanish.

Now, researchers from Klein Buendel and PIRE are launching a new research project funded by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (AA029364) to develop and test an in-service professional development component for alcohol servers trained by WayToServe to enhance its effectiveness. It is intended to motivate servers to implement the RBS skills in the face of common barriers, provide support for RBS actions from a “community” of alcohol servers, and prevent natural degradation of skills over time. The in-service component – WayToServe Plus – will be delivered through the WayToServe Facebook page that currently is followed by over 20,000 alcohol servers trained by WayToServe.

The Fast-Track SBIR project will complete a 12-month Phase I feasibility study and a 2-year Phase II effectiveness trial in New Mexico and Washington State. The primary outcome will be the effect of WayToServe Plus on refusal of sales to pseudo-intoxicated patrons. The research will be led by Dr. David Buller and Dr. Gill Woodall (Multiple Principal Investigators) from Klein Buendel, and Dr. Robert Saltz from PIRE.

This research is innovative as WayToServe Plus will be the first continuous in-service professional development for RBS training and will increase the WayToServe training’s effectiveness and commercial advantage with alcohol servers and corporate clients.

Curbing College Drinking and Risky Sexual Behavior Using Dynamic Feedback

Curbing College Drinking and Risky Sexual Behavior Using Dynamic Feedback

Two-thirds of college students are current drinkers of alcoholic beverages. One in three college students report past month binge drinking (five or more drinks in a row), and one in ten report high intensity drinking (ten or more drinks in a row). Greater student alcohol consumption and heavy drinking on a given day are linked to increased sexual activity and risky sexual behavior, such as unprotected sex and sex with casual partners. This puts students at risk for negative health outcomes, such as sexually-transmitted infections, and other harmful consequences, such as sexual victimization.

Klein Buendel is collaborating with Dr. Anne Ray at the University of Kentucky on a new research project designed to curb drinking and risky sexual behavior by first-year college students. The new study will assess the impact of a brief, personalized intervention utilizing an innovative, cross-tailored, dynamic feedback component. The intervention will purposefully integrate content on the relationship between alcohol use and risky sexual behavior. The intervention will leverage technology to incorporate daily assessments of student behavior and deliver weekly dynamic feedback. Participating students will be asked to complete four diary entries each week for three months.

A hybrid effectiveness-implementation design will allow the investigators to evaluate the effectiveness of the integrated personalized feedback intervention with 600 first-year college students at two college sites in a randomized controlled trial. In addition, formative evaluation with local and national stakeholders (students and student affairs staff) will help to better understand factors that influence implementation and ensure its success and sustained use.   

This research project is funded by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism at the National Institutes of Health (Dr. Anne Ray, Principal Investigator). Collaborators include Dr. David Buller from Klein Buendel. KB’s Creative Team will develop the web-based program for college students.

Way to Serve Sells 100,000 Trainings

Way to Serve Sells 100,000 Trainings

WayToServe®, an evidence-based online responsible alcohol server training program, has sold its 100,000th training!

WayToServe was created by scientists and developers from the University of New Mexico, the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation, and Klein Buendel. The engaging, media-rich program was initially evaluated in a controlled randomized trial that resulted in high trainee satisfaction and increased refusal of sales to intoxicated patrons. WayToServe was licensed to Wedge Communications, LLC and launched into the online marketplace in 2012. To date, WayToServe has been tailored and approved for sale and certification of trainers in California, Texas, Washington, and New Mexico.

To meet the needs of Spanish-speakers, Klein Buendel is currently testing a companion program, WayToServe Español. “WayToServe Español es muy importante! It could help saves lives,” said Dr. W. Gill Woodall, the project’s director. The unique Spanish-language training program will be on the market in 2021.

The original WayToServe program was funded by two grants from National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism to the University of New Mexico (AA014982 and AA016606; Dr. W. Gill Woodall, Principal Investigator). The WayToServe Español program is funded by a grant from the National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities (MD010405; Dr. W. Gill Woodall, KB Senior Scientist, Principal Investigator).

Dr. Robert Dellavalle Honored by Melanoma Research Foundation

Dr. Robert Dellavalle Honored by Melanoma Research Foundation

Robert P. Dellavalle, MD, PhD, MSPH, is being honored with the first Excellence in Prevention Award from the Melanoma Research Foundation at the 2020 Denver Virtual Gala on August 6, 2020. Dr. Dellavalle, a longtime Klein Buendel research collaborator, is a Professor of Dermatology and Public Health at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, and chief of the Dermatology Service at the Rocky Mountain Regional Veterans Administration Hospital in Aurora, Colorado.

Dr. Dellavalle is a lifelong melanoma awareness advocate and leads a prominent research laboratory focused on skin disease prevention and evidence-based dermatology. His laboratory has investigated skin cancer chemoprevention both in vitro and in clinical practice. Their key discoveries include ranking the most disabling skin diseases in the world and in the United States. The laboratory was also the first to summarize global indoor UV tanning age restriction laws, measure compliance with tanning age restrictions, and call for a tax on UV tanning. The research showed that UV tanning salons target minors using advertisements in high school newspapers and that tanning salon operators do not adequately inform customers of the health risks. These discoveries were featured on national television network nightly news and in the U.S. Surgeon General’s recent Call to Action to Prevent Skin Cancer.

Currently, Dr. Dellavalle is a Multiple Principal Investigator on Sun Safety Ink!: A Skin Cancer Prevention Program for the Tattoo Community (CA206569) and he is a consultant on Using Technology to Scale-up an Occupational Sun Protection Policy Program (Sun Safe Workplaces Technology) (CA134705). Both are Klein Buendel research projects funded by the National Cancer Institute. Sun Safety Ink! is a skin cancer prevention program for tattoo artists and their clients and Sun Safe Workplaces Technology is a scale-up of an occupational sun protection program for State Department of Transportation employees, who work outdoors. Dr. Dellavalle works closely with Dr. Barbara Walkosz and Dr. David Buller from Klein Buendel on these projects.

Dr. Dellavalle has multiple publications in the highest impact scientific journals including Science, Journal of the American Medical Association, and Nature. He is an affiliate of the American Academy of Dermatology, the Society of Investigative Dermatology, and the Colorado Dermatologic Society. He is also the coordinating editor of the Cochrane Skin Review, that aims to accept for review any aspect of skin disease management which it feels will be of value to professionals or to lay people with an interest in skin disease. Since 2010 he has co-chaired the Colorado Skin Cancer Task Force promoting sun safety and increasing awareness for skin cancer prevention across Colorado at public community events, employee conferences, and school meetings.

Congratulations, Dr. Dellavalle on a well deserved award!

Investigation of Indoor Tanning Policy Enactment

Investigation of Indoor Tanning Policy Enactment

Klein Buendel is collaborating with Dr. Carolyn Heckman and her team from Rutgers University on a new research project to study the process of translating indoor tanning policy efforts into stringent legislation and compliance, and the effects of the legislation on reduced indoor tanning by minors in the United States.

Indoor tanning is a well-established cause of skin cancer (1-8,10). Most tanners begin indoor tanning as teens or young adults (22). In order to reduce indoor tanning and protect this at-risk population, indoor tanning is currently being regulated in two ways. First, some states restrict access by minors or require parental consent or accompaniment (11). Second, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) attempts to minimize harm from indoor tanning devices with precautions like protective eyewear and session duration limits (12).  Recent evidence suggests that more stringent indoor tanning laws such as age bans (vs. parent consent laws or no law) are associated with less youth indoor tanning (15,16). Unfortunately, enforcement and compliance with laws are variable and inadequate (9,17-21). Although underutilized (13), legislation such as age restrictions and taxation has been quite successful in decreasing engagement in other risky behaviors such as smoking (14).

The goals of this five-year research project are to (1) clarify the indoor tanning legislation adoption process, (2) employ a pseudo-patron assessment, national survey, and archival data to investigate legislation implementation, and (3) integrate data from the first two aims and external data to assess economic effects relevant to policy sustainability of indoor tanning stringency, enforcement, and compliance.

Health-related policy adoption and promotion is an effective, yet underutilized, strategy for health promotion. To protect the public from melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancer, government bodies have begun to enact legislation to restrict minor access to indoor tanning and minimize harm from indoor tanning devices. In order to contribute to the currently limited evidence base for future policy decision making and sustainability and to accelerate reductions in indoor tanning and sunburn, this project will address policy characteristics associated with regulation compliance, cost-benefits of these policies, and barriers and facilitators of policy adoption.

This research project is funded by the National Cancer Institute (CA244370; Dr. Carolyn Heckman, Rutgers University, and Dr. David Buller, Klein Buendel, Multiple Principal Investigators). Collaborators include Dr. Rich Meenan from the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research; Dr. Jared Stapleton from the University of Kentucky; Dr. Shawna Hudson, Dr. Cristine Delnevo, and Dr. Kevin Schroth from Rutgers University; and Julia Berteletti from Klein Buendel.


  1. Lergenmuller S, Ghiasvand R, Robsahm TE, et al. Association of Lifetime Indoor Tanning and Subsequent Risk of Cutaneous Squamous Cell Carcinoma. JAMA dermatology. 2019:1-9.
  2. O’Sullivan DE, Brenner DR, Villeneuve PJ, et al. Estimates of the current and future burden of melanoma attributable to ultraviolet radiation in Canada. Preventive medicine. 2019;122:81-90.
  3. Gandini S, Dore JF, Autier P, Greinert R, Boniol M. Epidemiological evidence of carcinogenicity of sunbed use and of efficacy of preventive measures. Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology : JEADV. 2019;33 Suppl 2:57-62.
  4. Suppa M, Gandini S. Sunbeds and melanoma risk: time to close the debate. Current opinion in oncology. 2019;31(2):65-71.
  5. O’Sullivan DE, Brenner DR, Demers PA, Villeneuve PJ, Friedenreich CM, King WD. Indoor tanning and skin cancer in Canada: A meta-analysis and attributable burden estimation. Cancer epidemiology. 2019;59:1-7.
  6. Boniol M, Autier P, Boyle P, Gandini S. Cutaneous melanoma attributable to sunbed use: systematic review and meta-analysis. BMJ : British Medical Journal. 2012;345:e4757.
  7. Colantonio S, Bracken MB, Beecker J. The association of indoor tanning and melanoma in adults: Systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. 2014;70(5):847-857.e818.
  8. El Ghissassi F, Baan R, Straif K, et al. A review of human carcinogens–part D: radiation. The Lancet Oncology. 2009;10(8):751-752.
  9. Reimann J, McWhirter JE, Papadopoulos A, Dewey C. A systematic review of compliance with indoor tanning legislation. BMC public health. 2018;18(1):1096.
  10. Burgard B, Schoepe J, Holzschuh I, et al. Solarium use and risk for malignant melanoma: meta-analysis and evidence-based medicine systematic review. Anticancer research. 2018;38(2):1187-1199.
  11. National Council of State Legislatures. Indoor Tanning Restrictions for Minors: A State by State Comparison. Published 2018. Updated 11/2/2018. Accessed.
  12. Food and Drug Administration. Sunlamp products and ultraviolet lamps intended for use in sunlamp products. In. Vol 8. Silver Spring, MD: Food and Drug Administration; 2018.
  13. Abrams DB, Graham AL, Levy DT, Mabry PL, Orleans CT. Boosting population quits through evidence-based cessation treatment and policy. American journal of preventive medicine. 2010;38(3 Suppl):S351-363. PMCID: PMC4515751.
  14. Brownson RC, Haire-Joshu D, Luke DA. SHAPING THE CONTEXT OF HEALTH: A Review of Environmental and Policy Approaches in the Prevention of Chronic Diseases. Annual Review of Public Health. 2006;27(1):341-370.
  15. Guy GP, Berkowitz Z, Jones SE, Holman DM, Garnett E, Watson M. Trends in indoor tanning among US high school students, 2009-2013. JAMA dermatology. 2015;151(4):448-450.
  16. Qin J, Holman DM, Jones SE, Berkowitz Z, Guy Jr GP. State Indoor Tanning Laws and Prevalence of Indoor Tanning Among US High School Students, 2009–2015. American journal of public health. 2018;108(7):951-956.
  17. Driscoll DW, Darcy J. Indoor Tanning Legislation: Shaping Policy and Nursing Practice. Pediatric nursing. 2015;41(2).
  18. Gosis B, Sampson BP, Seidenberg AB, Balk SJ, Gottlieb M, Geller AC. Comprehensive evaluation of indoor tanning regulations: a 50-state analysis, 2012. Journal of Investigative Dermatology. 2014;134(3):620-627.
  19. Mayer JA, Hoerster KD, Pichon LC, Rubio DA, Woodruff SI, Forster JL. Peer Reviewed: Enforcement of State Indoor Tanning Laws in the United States. Preventing chronic disease. 2008;5(4).
  20. Williams MS, Buhalog B, Blumenthal L, Stratman EJ. Tanning salon compliance rates in states with legislation to protect youth access to UV tanning. JAMA dermatology. 2018;154(1):67-72.
  21. Woodruff SI, Pichon LC, Hoerster KD, Forster JL, Gilmer T, Mayer JA. Measuring the stringency of states’ indoor tanning regulations: instrument development and outcomes. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. 2007;56(5):774-780.
  22. Tripp MK, Watson M, Balk SJ, Swetter SM, Gershenwald JE. State of the science on prevention and screening to reduce melanoma incidence and mortality: the time is now. CA: a cancer journal for clinicians. 2016;66(6):460-480.

Inmates Care

Inmates Care

Whether one reaches the end of his or her life in a private home, a nursing home, or a correctional facility, the need for quality, compassionate palliative care is universal.

The demographics of the American prison population are shifting at a dramatic rate requiring new approaches to prison healthcare. Current estimates suggest that there are 2.3 million incarcerated persons in the United States (1). Similar to the free world, the aging of the Baby Boom generation is occurring in prisons. Notably, inmates 50 and older constitute over 20% of prisoners in state or federal facilities (2). Many sentenced offenders are living through middle and older adulthood within the confines of prisons (3,4). These trends profoundly impact prison systems that are legally responsible for providing needed care to prisoners along with ensuring their custody and control (5). The health status of aging inmates does not mirror the free world population. Prisoners typically present with health issues common to free citizens who are 10 to 15 years their senior. Collectively, these trends have had a profound impact on prison systems and prisons are facing sharply increased demands in caring for aged and dying inmates.

Dr. Susan Loeb of Penn State University and Dr. Valerie Myers of Klein Buendel (Multiple Principal Investigators) are leading a new research project being awarded to Klein Buendel entitled, E-training of Inmate Peer Caregivers for Enhancing Geriatric and End-of-Life Care in Prisons – the Inmates Care Project. Inmates Care is a computer-based interactive training system designed to provide inmate peer caregivers with training in geriatric and end-of-life (EOL) care. Broadly defined, EOL care is the care provided to persons in their final stages of life; also referred to as hospice care, comfort care, supportive care, palliative care or symptom management (6). The Inmates Care system will provide rigorous, evidence-based best practices through media-rich and highly interactive computer-based learning modules for providing EOL and geriatric care to prison peers. It will function within institutions’ technology and connectivity limitations and be much more engaging and interactive than the educational programs commonly available to those living in prison.

Prisons are facing sharply increased demands in caring for aged and dying inmates (7). Inmates offer an abundant human resource that is poised to contribute in important ways to augment corrections staff in meeting a growing care need in U.S. prisons. This new study will refine and expand the modules that were usability-tested in a previous study and evaluate the full program for its fit with inmate peer caregivers within the restrictive constraints of prison systems. Expanded testing of Inmates Care will establish its effectiveness as a program and will provide critical insights relevant to its dissemination and implementation with correctional facilities.

This Phase II research project is funded by a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant to Klein Buendel from the National Institute on Aging at the National Institutes of Health (AG057239). Dr. Erin Kitt-Lewis from the Penn State University College of Nursing is a Co-Investigator. The CBL modules will be programmed by the Creative Team at Klein Buendel.


1. Sawyer W, Wagner P. Mass incarceration: the whole pie 2019. Prison Policy Initiative. Available at: Published 2019 March 19. Accessed August 30, 2019.

2. Bronson J, Carson EA. Prisoners in 2017. Available at: Published 2019 April 25. Accessed August 30, 2019.

3. Palazzolo J. U.S. Prisons Grapple With Aging Population. The Wall Street Journal.

4. Carson EA, Sabol WJ. Aging of the state prison population, 1993-2013. U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Statistics. Special report NCJ 248766. Available at: Published May, 2016. Accessed August 30, 2019.

5. Rold WJ. Thirty years after Estelle v. Gamble: A legal retrospective. Journal of Correctional Health Care. 2008;14(1):11-20.

6. National Institutes of Health. National institutes of health state-of-the-science conference statement on improving end-of-life care. NIH Consensus Development Program. Available at: Published 2004. Accessed August 30, 2019.

7. Williams BA, Goodwin JS, Baillargeon J, Ahalt C, Walter LC. Addressing the aging crisis in US criminal justice health care. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. 2012;60(6):1150-1156

STAC-T: A Bystander Bullying Intervention for Middle Schools

STAC-T: A Bystander Bullying Intervention for Middle Schools

Nationally, 20.8% of students age 12-18 report being bullied at school and 11.5% report being cyberbullied (1). Bullying peaks in middle school with 26% of students reporting being a target of bullying (1). Among middle schoolers, bullying victimization is associated with a variety of mental health problems including anxiety, depression, and suicide attempts. In addition, negative consequences linked with bullying extend to students who observe bullying (2). Student bystanders are also at increased risk for mental health problems, such as helplessness, isolation, and guilt. With 8 out of 10 students witnessing bullying (2), students need to know how to appropriately intervene.

The goal of Klein Buendel’s new Phase I STTR project is to begin to develop and test the feasibility of a middle school intervention to reduce bullying and its negative consequences. The project is being led by Dr. Aida Midgett (Principal Investigator) and Dr. Diana Doumas (Co-Investigator) of Boise State University, and Dr. Valerie Myers (Co-Investigator) of Klein Buendel.  The project is entitled “Translation of an In-Person Brief, Bystander Bullying Intervention (STAC) into a Technology-Based Program”.

Research has shown that bystanders can stop bullying by intervening (3, 4). Yet, most students do not intervene to defend targets because they do not know what to do (5). Comprehensive, school-wide bullying programs can be effective (6), but time- and labor-intensive resources required for program implementation pose significant barriers for schools, particularly in low-income and rural communities, which can reduce program uptake. To reduce these barriers, Dr. Midgett developed a brief bullying bystander intervention, using four strategies: “Stealing the show,” “Turning it over,” “Accompanying others,” and “Coaching compassion” (STAC) (7). STAC has been shown to be effective in reducing bullying perpetration (8,9) and victimization (8) and negative mental health consequences for bystanders who witness bullying (10-15).

Although brief interventions reduce implementation barriers, in-person programs still require training and delivery by school personnel, placing significant demands on schools. The product developed in this Phase I project is a technology-based, brief bystander bullying intervention (STAC-T) that can impact current bullying prevention approaches by: (a) significantly reducing implementation barriers for middle schools, particularly those in low-income and rural communities that can face educational, social, and health disparities; (b) training bystanders to effectively intervene, reducing bullying while simultaneously improving the mental health of bystanders; and (c) improving the program sustainability potential at the middle school level when bullying behavior typically reaches its peak.

This research project is funded by a grant from the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities at the National Institutes of Health (MD014943; Dr. Aida Midgett, Principal Investigator).


  1. National Center for Education Statistics. Student Reports of Bullying: Results from the 2015 School Crime Supplement to the National Crime Victimization Survey. U.S. Department of Education;2016. NCES 2017-015.
  2. Rivers I, Poteat VP, Noret N, Ashurst N. Observing bullying at school: the mental health implications of witness status. Sch Psychol Q. 2009;24(4):211-223.
  3. Salmivalli C, Voeten M, Poskiparta E. Bystanders matter: associations between reinforcing, defending, and the frequency of bullying behavior in classrooms. J Clin Child Adolesc Psychol. 2011;40(5):668-676.
  4. Padgett S, Notar CE. Bystanders are the key to stopping bullying. Universal Journal of Educational Research. 2013;1(2):33-41.
  5. Hutchinson M. Exploring the impact of bullying on young bystanders. Educational Psychology in Practice. 2012;28(4):425-442.
  6. Gaffney H, Ttofi MM, Farrington DP. Evaluating the effectiveness of school-bullying prevention programs: an updated meta-analytical review [published online ahead of print July 20]. Aggr Violent Behav. 2018 doi:
  7. Midgett A, Doumas D, Sears D, Lundquist A, Hausheer R. A bystander bullying psychoeducation program with middle school students: a preliminary report. Professional Counselor. 2015;5(4):486-500.
  8. Midgett A, Doumas DM, Johnston AD. Establishing school counselors as leaders in bullying curriculum delivery:Evaluation of a brief, school-wide bystander intervention. Professional School Counseling. 2017;21(1):1-9.
  9. Midgett A, Doumas DM, Trull R, Johnson J. Training students who occasionally bully to be peer advocates: is a bystander intervention effective in reducing bullying behavior? Journal of Child and Adolescent Counseling. 2017;3(1):1-13.
  10. Moran M, Midgett A, Doumas DM, Porchia S, Moody S. A mixed method evaluation of a culturally adapted, brief, bullying bystander intervention for middle school students. Under review
  11. Doumas DM, Midgett A, Watts AD. The impact of a brief, bullying bystander intervention on internalizing symptoms: Is gender a moderator of intervention effects? [published online ahead of print February 14]. Sch Psychol Int. 2019 doi: 10.1177/0143034319830149
  12. Watts A, Doumas DM, Midgett A. The efficacy of a brief, bystander bullying intervention on alcohol use among high school students. Journal of Addictions and Offender Counseling. In press
  13. Midgett A, Doumas DM. The impact of a brief, bullying bystander intervention on depressive symptoms. Journal of Counseling and Development. In press
  14. Midgett A, Doumas DM, Trull R. Evaluation of a bystander bullying intervention program for elementary school students. Professional School Counselor. 2018;20(1):172-183.
  15. Midgett A, Doumas DM, Trull R, Johnston A. A randomized controlled study evaluating a brief, bystander bullying intervention with junior high school students. Journal of School Counseling. 2017;15
Parenting Now Launch

Parenting Now Launch

Klein Buendel, Inc. is collaborating with Dr. Michael Hecht and his team at REAL Prevention LLC on a new research project to develop and evaluate Parenting Now, a digitized adaptation of Dr. Robert Turrisi’s parent-based teen alcohol prevention program, the Parent Handbook. The Parent Handbook is one of only two family-based interventions recommended in FACING ADDICTION IN AMERICA: The Surgeon General’s Report on Alcohol, Drugs, and Health.

In this new study, the hard copy/pdf-formatted Parent Handbook, which targets parents of college-bound youth, is being adapted for parents of high school-aged children and being programmed for interactive technology-based delivery. “Parenting Now will give parents in the digital age access to content on the go and at convenient intervals through their multiple and mobile devices,” explained Dr. Michael Hecht, the Parenting Now Project’s Principal Investigator.

The Phase II SBIR research team is (1) developing core Parenting Now modules to address essential topics such as improving communication and parent permissiveness toward adolescent drinking, (2) customizing additional topics to parents’ specific interests, and (3) personalizing the program to parents’ communication styles. “Having both core modules and optional content will allow parents to customize or click through the curriculum, a feature of digital information that makes it more engaging,” said Dr. Hecht. “Parenting Now will personalize the skills to match the parent’s existing communication style, a key feature of engaging technology.

The research project will conduct a rigorous randomized controlled trial using a nationally-representative sample through GfK Global and an active control condition. The study is evaluating Parenting Now’s effects on youth alcohol use and other substance use (marijuana use, nicotine use, and their combined use with alcohol). Researchers are examining the process of how Parenting Now influences parents’ behaviors and how these in turn influence students’ behaviors.

The Parenting Now Project is funded by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (AA025293; Dr. Michael Hecht, REAL Prevention, Principal Investigator). Research collaborators include Dr. Anne Ray from Rutgers University and Dr. David Buller from Klein Buendel. Klein Buendel’s Creative Team is building the latest version of Parenting Now, expanding on the prototype they developed for the companion Phase I SBIR project.