Life Skills Training
Life Skills Training (LST) is a school-based substance abuse and violence prevention program for elementary, middle, and high school students. LST programs promote healthy alternatives to risky behaviors by teaching students skills to resist pressures to use tobacco, alcohol, and drugs; helping students develop greater self-esteem and confidence; enabling students to better cope with difficult emotions, such as anxiety; and enhancing students’ cognitive and behavioral competencies to reduce and prevent a number of health risk behaviors. Skills taught in LST programs cover three main areas: (1) self-management, (2) social interactions, and (3) substance use resistance.
- Early Adolescence
- Physical environment (Distal Influence)
- Peer influences (Proximal Influence)
- Effective Schools (Proximal Influence)
- Social and emotional competence (Primary Outcome)
- Absence of psychological and problem behaviors (Primary Outcome)
- Physical health (Primary Outcome)
National Health Promotion Associates 711 Westchester Avenue White Plains, NY 10604
Phone: 914-421-2525/ Toll-free: 800-293-4969/ Fax: 914-421-2007
How it Operates
LST is available in three age-appropriate curriculums: the Elementary School Program, the Middle School Program, and the High School Program.
The LST Elementary School Program consists of 24 lessons (30-45 minutes each) designed to be administered over three years, beginning in either the 3rd or 4th grade. Each level of lessons (Level 1 is for Grades 3/4; Level 2 is for Grades 4/5; Level 3 is for Grades 5/6) consists of 8 class sessions. The sessions can be taught in an intensive format – daily or 2-3 times per week – or on a weekly schedule, depending on the availability of time.
The LST Middle School Program consists of 30 classroom lessons (30-45 minutes each) designed to be administered over three years, beginning in either 6th or 7th grade. Level 1 (Grades 6/7) is the Core Level of the LST Middle School Program and includes up to 15 sessions. Levels 2 (Grades 7/8) and 3 (Grades 8/9) are Booster Levels and include up to 10 and 5 sessions, respectively. As with the LST Elementary School Program, sessions can be taught in an intensive format – daily or 2-3 times per week – or on a weekly schedule, depending on the availability of time.
The LST High School Program consists of 10 sessions (approximately 40-45 minutes each) designed to be administered in either the 9th or 10th grade. This program can be used alone or as a maintenance program for the LST Middle School Program. As with the other LST programs, sessions can be taught in an intensive format – daily or 2-3 times per week – or on a weekly schedule, depending on the availability of time.
Training to become an LST provider is available through National Health Promotion Associates Inc. (NHPA). Training is available in three formats: online provider training, on-site training workshops, and open training workshops. On-site Provider Training Workshops for single organizations can be scheduled for up to 20 participants. Open Provider Training Workshops for providers across different organizations are scheduled throughout the year in locations across the U.S. The Open Provider Training Workshop schedule is available online.
Materials needed to deliver the LST Elementary School Program include teachers manuals and student guides. Materials needed for the LST Middle School Program include teachers manuals, student guides, and Stress Management Techniques CDs. Additional materials are also available for the LST Middle School Program. Materials needed to deliver the LST High School Program include teachers manuals, student guides, and access to a companion website.
For more information about LST training, including cost information, contact the NHPA training department at 800-293-4969 or view training information online. For more information about LST program materials, including cost information, contact Botvin LifeSkills Training administrators at 800-293-4969 or view materials information online.
Sampling of Key References Supporting Evidence Base for the Program
Gorman, D. M., Conde, E., & Huber Jr, J. C. (2007). The creation of evidence in ‘evidence-based’ drug prevention: a critique of the Strengthening Families Program Plus Life Skills Training evaluation. Drug and Alcohol Review, 26, 585-593. doi: 10.1080/09595230701613544 ↩
Fagan, A. A., & Mihalic, S. (2003). Strategies for enhancing the adoption of school-based prevention programs: Lessons learned from the Blueprints for Violence Prevention replications of the Life Skills Training Program. Journal of Community Psychology, 31, 235-253. ↩
Botvin, G., & Griffin, K. (2004). Life skills training: Empirical findings and future directions. The Journal of Primary Prevention, 25, 211-232. ↩
Botvin, G. J., Griffin, K. W., Paul, E., & Macaulay, A. P. (2003). Preventing tobacco and alcohol use among elementary school students through Life Skills Training. Journal of Child & Adolescent Substance Abuse, 12, 1-17. ↩
Botvin, G. J., & Griffin, K. W. (2002). Life skills training as a primary prevention approach for adolescent drug abuse and other problem behaviors. International Journal of Emergency Mental Health, 4, 41-48. ↩