|Youth Issues Subject
of Recent SSRC Studies
Studies to provide evaluation and research
support in Mono and Ventura counties' drive to reduce underage
and binge drinking.
November 10, 2005
By Laurie McLaughlin
The kids in Northern California’s
Mono County have a euphemism for attending outdoor-drinking
parties: they tell their parents they’re “going
camping.” Fifty or 60 kids will drive out into the forests
that blanket that region and “build a huge bonfire,
and many of them drink to the point of stupefaction and simply
drop where they stand,” says Gregory Robinson, director
of CSUF’s Social Science Research Center.
Two contracts totaling $125,948 to provide
evaluation and research support in Mono and Ventura counties
were recently awarded to the SSRC. The two counties are working
under State Incentive Grants (SIG) from the California State
Department of Drugs and Alcohol to reduce underage and binge
drinking among persons 15 to 25 years of age.
“In Ventura County, we learned that an
overwhelming majority of 18-, 19- and 20-year-olds take their
last drink before arrest in a private residence,” says
Robinson, who analyzed survey data provided by DUI arrestees
attending a court-mandated drinking driver program.
“These monies are not for educational
programs, individual counseling or efforts that seek to sway
decision-making about whether to drink or not. We identify
the high-risk settings for binge drinking in the target population,”
says Robinson. “SIG funds are to alter these high-risk
settings in which binge drinking occurs.”
Armed with this data, counties may implement
ordinances restricting house parties, bonfires and “problem
alcohol outlets,” such as bars that serve minors —
or in one instance, as Robinson mentions, serve 84-ounce Long
Island iced teas. These environmental prevention strategies
also may include social-host ordinances that hold a homeowner
liable for the cost of police services and perhaps levy a
fine for sponsoring an event in which underage drinking occurred.
Among other projects of the SSRC is the Safe
and Bright Futures Evaluation, a $35,000 contract awarded
by the Superior Court of California, Orange County.
Under the contract, SSRC staff studied children’s exposure
to family violence and developed interventions to “mitigate
the effects once such violence has occurred,” says Robinson.
The evaluation is part of the Safe and Bright Futures for
Children Initiative, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health
and Human Services’ Office of Public Health and Science,
which encourages communities to create a coordinated system
to serve children exposed to domestic violence.
“As our just-completed report indicates,
children in households in which domestic violence occurs tend
to be regarded as incidental by law enforcement personnel
that are appropriately oriented to stopping the dispute between
the parents,” says the researcher. “But those
children experience long-term effects from that kind of exposure,
especially when it’s chronic, and until recently that
has been ignored. Safe and Bright Futures is addressing that
Another project is the Vocational Education
Student Placement Survey, in which Robinson will be looking
at the efficacy of high school career, technical education
and adult ROP (Regional Occupational Programs) courses. “We
are ascertaining the students’ current employment status,
documenting the number of students who went on to higher education
or were able to obtain higher-skill or higher-wage jobs as
a result of their ROP training,” Robinson says of the
$14,944 Santa Ana Unified School District grant. “This
data is of interest to school district administrators.”
The SSRC, under a $69,600 award from Nightlight
Christian Adoptions, is developing and implementing a public
awareness campaign to educate couples of the option to adopt
frozen embryos resulting from in-vitro fertilization procedures.
In an SSRC telephone survey, 10 percent of respondents expressed
a personal preference for the destruction of frozen embryos
not utilized by a couple, more than 31 percent preferred donating
unused embryos for research, and 57 percent preferred placing
unused frozen embryos with families that want to have children,
according to Robinson.
The SSRC’s goal is to serve the public
with quality research services and provide Cal State Fullerton
students with applied research experience in data collection
and analysis. In addition to its off-campus clients, the center
also conducts research and surveys for the university, including
a recent poll of alumni for the Career Center.
back to News Front