Does measurement dependence explain the effects of the Life Skills Training program on smoking outcomes?
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BACKGROUND: The Life Skills Training (LST) program is the most prominent school-based smoking prevention program in terms of its consistency in being named on lists of best practices. This study assessed whether the results pertaining to cigarette smoking reported in evaluations of the LST program are measurement dependent. METHODS: Seventeen reports published between 1980 and 2003 that included at least one outcome measure pertaining to cigarette smoking were identified. Data pertaining to the cigarette smoking measures used in the analysis and whether the results showed a statistically significant difference between experimental and control groups at follow-up were extracted from the reports. RESULTS: Fourteen different outcome measures were used across 17 reports. Only three pairs of reports presented the same set of outcomes. Recent reports showed the most consistent set of findings in support of the LST program, but there was little consistency in the outcome measures used in these analyses. CONCLUSIONS: The use of so many smoking outcomes in the LST program evaluations raises concern as to whether the positive program effects reported are measurement dependent.
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