Life Skills Training

Life Skills Training (LST) is a school-based program that aims to prevent alcohol, tobacco, marijuana use and violence by targeting the major social and psychological factors that promote the initiation of substance use and other risky behaviors. LST is based on both the social influence and competence enhancement models of prevention. Consistent with this theoretical framework, LST addresses multiple risk and protective factors and teaches personal and social skills that build resilience and help youth navigate developmental tasks, including the skills necessary to understand and resist pro-drug influences.

LST is designed to provide information relevant to the important life transitions that adolescents and young teens face, using culturally sensitive and developmentally age-appropriate language and content. Facilitated discussion, structured small group activities, and role-playing scenarios are used to stimulate participation and promote the acquisition of skills. Separate LST programs are offered for elementary school (grades 3-6), middle school (grades 6-9), and high school (grades 9-12); the research studies and outcomes reviewed for this summary involved middle school students.