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Douglas Coatsworth, Ph.D. 

J. Douglas Coatsworth, Ph.D. is Betsey R. Bush Endowed Professor in Behavioral Health and Associate Dean for Research in the College of Social Work at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, Tennessee. Dr. Coatsworth is trained as a child clinical psychologist and completed a postdoctoral training prevention science. He has been working in the field of substance use treatment and prevention research for the past 30 years. His work has primarily involved the development and evaluation of family-based programs designed to work with families of adolescents using substances and to promote parenting and family skills to prevent adolescents from using substances. Part of his research has involved adapting treatment interventions to be effective as preventive interventions and to modify interventions to be culturally appropriate for non-majority groups in the United States. His research also focuses broadly on aspects of risk and resilience and the development of competence in adolescence and emerging adulthood, so he is particularly interested in how family-focused interventions promote adolescent skills and characteristics that help prevent problem behavior during these age periods. He and his collaborators are currently researching the development and evaluation of an adapted version of the Strengthening Families Program: For Parents and Youth 10-14, which integrates mindfulness activities. The intervention applies mindfulness principles and interventions within a preventive intervention to teach parents and youth how to deal more effectively with daily stressful situations, especially in their relationships.


He is also actively involved in working with community organizations and schools to design, select and evaluate programs to prevent substance use and build health and resilience in youth.  He is working with organizations to build University-Community-State partnerships in Tennessee to promote the use of evidence-based prevention programs throughout the state.

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