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Lifeskills Training


Botvin LifeSkills Training (LST) is a program proven to reduce the risks of alcohol, tobacco, drug misuse, and violence by targeting the major social and psychological factors that promote the initiation of substance use and other risky behaviors.

Target Problem

  • Alcohol
  • Drugs
  • Tobacco


  • Various settings including school classrooms, after-school programs, summer camps, and community- and faith-based organizations

Target Participants

  • Students grades 3 to 12 (or equivalent age-groups in non-school settings)
  • Gender: male and female

Assumptions and Outcomes

Main intermediate factor(s) assumed to influence substance misuse

  • Personal and social skills

Underlying assumptions

Rather than merely teaching information about drugs, the Botvin LifeSkills Training program consists of three major skills critical to drug-use problem:

  • Personal self-management skills
  • General social skills
  • Drug resistance skills

Non-substance misuse outcomes

  • Crime/delinquency
  • Violence

Program Structure


For elementary-school students

  • 8 class sessions per year, for three years.
  • Each session is 30-45 minutes.

For middle-school students: Sessions vary according to their level

  • Each session is 30-45 minutes.
  • 15 class session for Level 1 (Grade 6/7)
  • 10 class session for Level 2 (Grade 7/8)
  • 5 class session for Level 3 (Grade 8/9)

For high school students

  • 10 class session. Each session is 30-45 minutes


  • Providers/facilitators: Lifeskills Training providers could be classroom teachers, school counselors, prevention specialists, health professionals, mental-health professionals, social workers, community youth educators, law-enforcement officers, or even older peer leaders.
  • Tranining needed: In order to implement Lifeskills Training effectively, training is needed. Lifeskills Training offers online, in-site, and open-training workshops to prepare providers with better skills.

Previous Implementations


  • Life Skills Training has been implemented in 50 states and more than 30 countries
  • It has been adapted to various cultures and locales

Previous participants

  • White middle-class students
  • Ethnic minority students (primarily African-American and Hispanic)
  • Inner-city urban populations
  • Suburban populations
  • Rural populations

Cultural relevance for Hawai‘i

No contextual relevance
Place-based or ethno-culture
Place-based and ethno-culture
Place-based or ethno-culture pertaining to Hawai‘i
Hawai‘i-oriented contextual relevance

Note: This framework was based on a study which examined several nationally recognized prevention programs to determine whether any may have cultural relevance to the context of Hawai‘i (Rehurer, Hiramatsu & Helm, 2008 ). We borrowed this framework and applied it to a more current list of EBPs. This approach looks at whether or not a program’s curriculum content was originated and developed with a certain place or culture in mind. A score of 0 (zero) indicates no specific reference to a place or an ethno-culture was included in the program’s development (no contextual cultural relevance) and a score of 4 (four) indicates that the program was developed either specifically for Hawai‘i or was developed somewhere else but was then also adapted for "local" and/or Native Hawaiian cultures. Placement of a program on the continuum was based on the sample population listed in their study reports and included considerations of 1) whether the program was ever implemented with populations similar to the racial/ethnic composition of Hawai‘is population and 2) whether the program was ever adapted to meet the needs of a specified local or ethnic culture (for instance, was the curriculum has successfully implemented in Spanish or languages other than English?).

Ever implemented in Hawai‘i?

  • Yes

Previous implementation in Hawai‘i

Time Period
Hawai‘i County
Salvation Army Family Intervention Services
Big Island Substance Abuse Council
Hawai‘i Academy of the Arts and Science
People's Advocacy for Trails Hawai‘i
Honolulu County
City and County of Honolulu, Dept. of Community Services, Youth Services Center
Maui County
Coalition for a Drug-Free Lana‘i
Kaua‘i County
Kaua‘i Economic Opportunity
Life Choices Kaua‘i

Is there any published study with Hawai‘i participants?

  • No


Contact Information


  • Center on the Family, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. (2016). Prevention Programs Online Survey, 2014–2016 (Tool C2 & D5)
  • Center on the Family, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. (2013). Substance Abuse Prevention Resource Mapping Project
  • Rehuher, D., Hiramatsu, T., & Helm, S. (2008). Evidence-based youth drug prevention: a critique with implications for practice-based contextually relevant prevention in Hawai‘i. Hawaii Journal of Public Health. 1(1): 52-61. Retrieved from
  • Staff reports (2012, May 20). Youth Program: Botvin LifeSkills Training Available on Kauai. Retrieved from
  • Yuan, S., Sabino, S., & Wongkaren, T. (2013). Final evaluation report: Strategic Prevention Framework State Incentive Grant, State of Hawaii, 2006-2012. Honolulu, HI: Center on the Family, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa.