Prevention Talk # 3: Providing Family-Based Prevention during COVID-19: Challenges and Opportunities for Prevention
Wed, Dec 09 | Zoom Meetings

Prevention Talk # 3: Providing Family-Based Prevention during COVID-19: Challenges and Opportunities for Prevention

Registration is Closed

Time & Location

Dec 09, 2020, 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM EST
Zoom Meetings

About the Event

Family life all over the world has dramatically changed over the past several months as we all have faced the COVID-19 pandemic.  As families are the most important proximal influence on the health and well-being of children and youth, the stress of changing family structures and interactions has the potential of profoundly influencing the behavioral choices that youth make, specifically, as to  whether to use substances or engage in risky behaviors. Parents are struggling to work from home while caring for and homeschooling children; and many are facing job loss or job insecurity or food insecurity. At the same time, children and youth face their own struggles as they are missing out being in school with their peers and experiencing those transitions or “rites of passage” that are very important to their social and emotional development.

Family-based prevention interventions have demonstrated effectiveness with a strong level of evidence to address substance use in the family by providing and building parenting skills to raise and nurture children so that they are resilient and display prosocial behavior. But, in the midst of the pandemic and with these new added stresses, how can these programs reach parents with COVID-19 protective approaches—e.g., through virtual platforms? What can prevention professionals do to reach out to parents, acknowledge and address these new circumstances, and provide these very necessary parenting skills? What new skills and practices can help them face the challenges wrought by the global pandemic?

Please join us for this Prevention Talk, where Douglas Coatsworth, PhD (Betsey R. Bush Endowed Professor in Behavioral Health and Associate Dean for Research in the College of Social Work at the University of Tennessee), Cathy Hockaday, PhD (Human Sciences Specialist/SFP 10-14 Program Manager) and Wadih Maalouf, PhD  (Program Manager at the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Vienna - UNODC) will discuss how current research and practice in family prevention interventions can address the challenges that families are experiencing all over the world in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Speaker Bios 

Douglas Coatsworth, PhD

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.

Cathy Hockaday, PhD

Dr. Cathy Hockaday is a Human Sciences Extension and Outreach Specialist and faculty member of Human Development and Family Studies at Iowa State University. Since 2008, she has served as program manager and Master Trainer for the federally and internationally recognized universal prevention program named Strengthening Families Program: For Parents and Youth 10-14 (SFP 10-14).

For the past 30 years, Dr. Hockaday’s focus has been on at-risk youth. Her early work focused on adolescent pregnancy before she moved into the world of substance abuse prevention in 1994. Cathy was the Co-Principal Investigator for several federal grants totaling over $3.7 million funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, U.S. Department of Education, and National Institutes of Food and Agriculture. These grants evaluated prevention intervention programs that focused on school success, drop-out prevention, life skills training, and reducing health related risks such as substance use in children and adolescents.  In 2018, Cathy spent a month in Malaysia as a Fulbright Specialist working with their National Anti-Drug Agency evaluating their national approach to substance abuse prevention and intervention.

In recent years, Dr. Hockaday has served as a research consultant to USA Boxing in Colorado Springs and DEVIDA, Peru’s national anti-drug agency. Cathy has served on the Pennsylvania Opioid Abuse Prevention Work Group and the North Central Regional Center for Rural Development national opioid workgroup. Additionally she served as adolescent health expert for the World Health Organization’s Technical Meeting on Adolescent and Youth Health in the Americas.

Wadih Maalouf PhD

Wadih is originally from Lebanon, he holds a PhD in Mental Health and Drug Addiction form Johns Hopkins School of Public Health. He joined UNODC in 2005, where he was first based in the Regional Office for Middle East and North Africa (MENA) as a regional epidemiologist and a drug demand reduction advisor. He build technical assistance on availing evidence-based prevention of drug use and treatment of substance use disorders. Since 2010, he assumed the post of a coordinator of a global programme on prevention in the Drug Prevention and Health Branch, Prevention Treatment Rehabilitation Section in UNODC HQ in Vienna. The global programme he manages is the main operational arm used by UNODC in promoting evidence based prevention intervention and policies. Its main objective is to improve the culture of prevention. In this context, his main role is to develop, pilot and assess the impact of family skills responses in preventing drug use, crime and violence (including against children) as well as life skills education responses in schools and sport settings, namely in low and middle income countries. The family skills programmes that Wadih was piloting has been tested in a large diversity of settings including for families living in stressful and humanitarian/refugee situations. With the advent of COVID19 that stretched this stressed the stressful parenting to almost all families, his global programme adapted new tools on parenting under this new phenomenon. Many of these tools are common to different interagency platforms such as the INSPIRE initiative to end violence against children as well as the WHO UNICEF Helping Adolescent Thrive (HAT) initiative on mental health promotion and prevention in adolescents.

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