Bridging the Gap: Research Informing Practice for Healthy Youth Behavior (No. 3)

Also known as

ImpacTeen #3


This research program is designed to improve the understanding of the role of policy and environmental factors in youth alcohol, illicit drug, and tobacco use, as well as diet and physical activity, and to evaluate their effectiveness in reducing substance use and obesity among youth. The research is intended to close gaps in understanding the most important policy, environmental, and programmatic strategies for reducing youth substance use by:

  1. Collecting missing data on key policies, programs, and environmental factors affecting youth substance use at the school, community, and state levels
  2. Linking these data with outcome data from the nation's premier youth survey, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)-funded Monitoring the Future (MTF) survey to identify factors with the greatest impact on youth alcohol, tobacco, or drug use
  3. Disseminating results to help program developers, policy makers, and funders design more effective interventions.

In recent years, the Program has expanded its objectives and activities to include the impact of policy, environmental, and programmatic factors on youth healthy eating, physical activity, and obesity and has developed partnerships with key Robert Wood Johnson Foundation obesity-related initiatives (e.g., Healthy Eating Research, Active Living Research). Bridging the Gap has successfully met and exceeded the goals set in previous funding authorizations and has provided critical guidance for evidence-based efforts to curb youth substance use. Emerging findings are beginning to do the same for efforts to reduce the growing epidemic of childhood obesity. This continuation grant reflects a significant shift in BTG's focus with the majority of funding devoted to data collection, reporting and analysis on the policy, program and environmental determinants of childhood and adolescent obesity, with additional funding for data collection (regarding alcohol, tobacco, or drug use), reporting and analysis on issues of highest priority for the Foundation's program teams.

Affiliated Center/Program

This is a long-term, ongoing study. Learn about the current stage of this research:

Bridging the Gap: Research Informing Policies and Practices for Healthy Youth (No. 6)
Principal investigator
Funding Agency

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (Grant No. 052913)

Start date
End date
Total award
About this grant

This was the third RWJF award for ImpacTeen, which built on previous research. See the latest work by Bridging the Gap.

Related publications

Chaloupka FJ, Johnston LD. Bridging the Gap: research informing practice and policy for healthy youth behavior. Am J Prev Med. 2007 Oct;33(4 Suppl):S147-61.

Chaloupka FJ, Powell LM. Price, availability, and youth obesity: evidence from Bridging the Gap. Prev Chronic Dis. 2009 Jul;6(3):A93. [See abstract.]

Powell LM, Auld MC, Chaloupka FJ, O'Malley PM, Johnston LD. Access to fast food and food prices: relationship with fruit and vegetable consumption and overweight among adolescents. Adv Health Econ Health Serv Res. 2007;17:23-48.

Powell LM, Auld MC, Chaloupka FJ, O'Malley PM, Johnston LD. Associations between access to food stores and adolescent body mass index. Am J Prev Med. 2007 Oct;33(4 Suppl):S301-7.

Powell LM, Chaloupka FJ. Food prices and obesity: evidence and policy implications for taxes and subsidies. Milbank Q. 2009 Mar;87(1):229-57. [See abstract.]

Powell LM, Chaloupka FJ, Bao Y. The availability of fast-food and full-service restaurants in the United States: associations with neighborhood characteristics. Am J Prev Med. 2007 Oct;33(4 Suppl):S240-5.

Powell LM, Chaloupka FJ, Slater SJ, Johnston LD, O'Malley PM. The availability of local-area commercial physical activity-related facilities and physical activity among adolescents. Am J Prev Med. 2007 Oct;33(4 Suppl):S292-300.

Powell LM, Chriqui J, Chaloupka FJ. Associations between state-level soda taxes and adolescent body mass index. J Adolesc Health. 2009 Sep;45(3 Suppl):S57-63. [See abstract.]

Powell LM, Slater S, Chaloupka FJ, Harper D. Availability of physical activity-related facilities and neighborhood demographic and socioeconomic characteristics: a national study. Am J Public Health. 2006 Sep;96(9):1676-80.

Powell LM, Slater S, Mirtcheva D, Bao Y, Chaloupka FJ. Food store availability and neighborhood characteristics in the United States. Prev Med. 2007 Mar;44(3):189-95. Epub 2006 Sep 25.

Powell LM, Szczypka G, Chaloupka FJ. Adolescent exposure to food advertising on television. Am J Prev Med. 2007 Oct;33(4 Suppl):S251-6. [See abstract.]

Powell LM, Szczypka G, Chaloupka FJ. Exposure to food advertising on television among US children. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2007 Jun;161(6):553-60.

Powell LM, Szczypka G, Chaloupka FJ, Braunschweig CL. Nutritional content of television food advertisements seen by children and adolescents in the United States. Pediatrics. 2007 Sep;120(3):576-83.

Slater SJ, Chaloupka FJ, Wakefield M, Johnston LD, O'Malley PM. The impact of retail cigarette marketing practices on youth smoking uptake. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2007 May;161(5):440-5.

Slater SJ, Powell LM, Chaloupka FJ. Missed opportunities: local health departments as providers of obesity prevention programs for adolescents. Am J Prev Med. 2007 Oct;33(4 Suppl):S246-50.

Smith KC, Wakefield MA, Terry-McElrath Y, Chaloupka FJ, Flay B, Johnston L, Saba A, Siebel C. Relation between newspaper coverage of tobacco issues and smoking attitudes and behaviour among American teens. Tob Control. 2008 Feb;17(1):17-24.

Tauras JA, Chaloupka FJ, Farrelly MC, Giovino GA, Wakefield M, Johnston LD, O'malley PM, Kloska DD, Pechacek TF. State tobacco control spending and youth smoking. Am J Public Health. 2005 Feb;95(2):338-44.

Wakefield M, Terry-McElrath Y, Emery S, Saffer H, Chaloupka FJ, Szczypka G, Flay B, O'Malley PM, Johnston LD. Effect of televised, tobacco company-funded smoking prevention advertising on youth smoking-related beliefs, intentions, and behavior. Am J Public Health. 2006 Dec;96(12):2154-60.