The Climate Schools Plus Study: An integrated online intervention for students and parents to prevent alcohol and cannabis-related harms among adolescents

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This study will investigate the first online alcohol and substance use prevention program targeted at both students and their parents. Students will receive the Climate Schools substance use modules during their health classes, while their parents will be asked to view webinars, rank rules and access their own modules/summaries in line with the student program from home. The attitudes and behaviours of students and parents towards alcohol and cannabis will be assessed over three years, to investigate the influence of the Climate Schools Plus program on these outcomes.

The aim of this project is to evaluate the efficacy of Climate Schools Plus (CSP), a novel online program for parents and students to prevent adolescent substance use and related harms. CSP combines an effective student program, the Climate Schools: Alcohol and Alcohol & Cannabis courses, with a new parent program recently developed by our team.

The investigators will determine the effectiveness of the CSP by running a cluster randomised controlled trial in approximately 12 schools. Schools will be randomly allocated to either the ‘Climate Schools Plus’ condition (CSP) or the ‘Control’ condition.

The student component of the CSP condition consists of the Climate Schools: Alcohol and Alcohol & Cannabis courses (i.e., online lessons to be delivered during class time at school).

The parent component of the CSP condition consists of 2 webinars (approximately 5 minutes each, at the beginning of Years 8 and 9), which provide overviews of alcohol and cannabis use and harms in adolescents and highlight the role parents play in preventing substance use. Parents will also have access to six brief online modules over the two years and will be emailed weekly summaries of student lessons for the duration of the student component. Students in the control condition will receive school health education as usual.

This evidence-based intervention has the potential to provide a sustainable and scalable improvement to the well-being of young Australians, and to reduce the substantial costs associated with substance use.

This study has been approved by the University of New South Wales Human Research Ethics Committee (HC17852) and is funded by the Australian Government Department of Health and the Society for Mental Health Research. If you are interested in participating or would like further information, please see the Climate Schools Plus website ( or you can direct your enquiries to Chloe Conroy at

Project Status
Ongoing Projects
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Research Assistant
Ph 02 9385 0191
Funding Body
Australian Government Department of Health
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Program Director
Ph +61 2 9385 0317
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Director of Prevention Research
Ph +61 2 9385 0159
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Post-doctoral Fellow
Ph +612 8936 1010
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Director of Epidemiology Research
Ph +61 2 9385 0267
Ms Dana Leidl
Research Assistant
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Research Assistant
Ph 02 9385 0191

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