Phone: (269) 471-3558
Fax: (269) 471-6611
Institute for Prevention of Addictions
8338 W. Campus Circle Dr.,
Andrews University
Berrien Springs, MI

2012 At a Glance

The fall of 2012 was a big time for those of us at the Institiute for Prevention of Addictions. Here is a summary of everything that we did.

Presentations -- The IPA defines its audience as three-fold; the Seventh-day Adventist Church, the academic/scientific community and the wider Christian Community.

  1.  Presentation at the American Association of Christian Counselors Conference in Branson, Missouri September 27-29 -- Alina Baltazar did a poster presentation on the role of parental bonding, monitoring and conflict and religiosity as they relate to alcohol use and premarital sexual behavior with data from the Andrews University risk survey. 
  2. Presentation at the General Conference Fall Council October 15 – Duane McBride and Gary Hopkins made a brief presentation at the General Conference Fall Council. The presentation focused on the mission and work of the IPA and the handout pamphlet we provided is attached. The presentation to our first audience was well received.
  3. Presentation at the First General Conference Human Subjects Conference at Andrews University Organized by Dr. David Trim, November 12 & 13 – Alina, Duane and Curt made a presentation on risk and protective factors that related to health risk behaviors from our AU risk survey.
  4. Presentation at the American Society of Criminology November 16 – The IPA had its own roundtable at this conference focusing on the role of family dinners in preventing suicidality and victimization. This was from data obtained by Gary from the Centers for Disease Control on family dinners and related pro-social as well as health risk behavior and victimization. Gary Hopkins and Lionel Matthews (from the Behavioral Sciences Department) organized the session with presentations from them and from Duane, Alina, Romulus Chelbegean (Behavioral Science Department), and two students.   This presentation meets the goal of reaching our second audience.
  5. Hope Channel Presentations – Duane was on the Hope Channel earlier this month talking about the role of family dinners in making a functional family. Alina Baltazar will be filming a Hope Channel program on the same topic as well as her recent publication on family bonding/conflict and inhalant use on November 27.
  6. Prevention Education in Germany – Gary Hopkins asked one of our IPA Board Member, Dr. Kiti Freier-Randal to present on risk behavior prevention at a youth conference for the Euro-African Division in Germany this Christmas season.

In summary, during the fall of 2012, IPA faculty presented research/education information to our three primary target audiences; the Seventh-day Adventist Church, the Scientific Community and the wider Christian Community.



  1.  Inhalant Article in the Journal of Child and Adolescent Substance Abuse – This article is from a project led by Gary Hopkins that focused on youth risk and protective variables in a school system in Idaho. This article is led by Alina Baltazar and focused on inhalant use. The analyses showed that family bonding and monitoring related to significantly lower risks of inherent use and that family dysfunction predicted higher use rates. Inhalant use if a gateway drug and the data remind us that family bonding is crucial to prevention and that family anger and verbal abuse puts children at risk for substance abuse.
  2. The Role of Clergy in Referral to Needed Services published in the Journal of Social Work and Christianity -- The second article was led by Curt VanderWaal and focused on the role of clergy from over 50 denominations in providing education, support and referral to services for church members with substance abuse (SA) and mental health (MH) problems.  Findings showed that more than half of all clergy encountered persons with MH or SA problems in their churches monthly or more often. Almost two-thirds believed church members usually felt more comfortable receiving pastoral counseling than going to a professional helper. Most clergy stated they would be likely to refer church members to a professional (preferably Christian) counselor if they had a MH or SA disorder. However, important differences were found by education and race/ethnicity. These results indicate that clergy can provide vital education, support, and referrals for parishioners with MH or SA disorders.
  3. Dr. Landless’s book update – This is a book for young people regarding drugs and other risk behaviors that Gary is writing.  To date, six chapters are written in draft form and an editor has been assigned to work with Gary on the chapters. It is expected that this book will be widely distributed by the Department of Health Ministries and the ICPA.
  4. Positive Choices Blog -- Gary continues to provide information for the Positive Choices blog.
  5. In Press -- Family Bonding and Family Dinners: Implication for Pastors – Duane led an article that included Gary and Alina that reviewed our own data and the research literature and drew out implication for Pastors families. This article will be published in Ministry Magazine in March of 2013.
    In summary, our publications reached all three of our major target audiences.

Other Articles under Development

  1. Religion and community Service -- Gary is leading an article on religions of the world and their focus on community service for the Journal of Religious Students.  This article will likely be completed in manuscript form and ready for submission in January.
  2. Family Dinners and Youth Behavior -- A series of articles on family meals are being developed by all IPA faculty that examine the relationship between family meals and community service, grades, health risk behaviors, vulnerability, victimization and suicide. For all of these articles, we are moving toward data analysis for manuscript development. This is from data obtained by Gary from the Centers for Disease Control and various state agencies.
  3. Computer Use and Mental Health -- A manuscript is under preparation led by Gary describing the association between excessive computer use and mental health variables such as suicidal thoughts, depression, self-harm, etc.  This manuscript is currently at the level of data analysis.
  4. Girls’ self-esteem and physical activity – An article being led by Curt and based on analysis of the Girls on the Run program, a national program that attempts to positively influence elementary school girls’ perceptions of their body image and attitude towards physical activity.
  5.  Special Issue of the Journal of Adventist Education – The IPA is working closely with Dr. Peter Landless on a special addictions issue of the Journal of Adventist Education. We are working on the overall issues and authoring a number of specific articles from policy to etiology and prevention programing.


Projects Completed
Andrews University Risk Behavior Survey – The IPA conducted a health risk survey focusing on associated risk and protective factors for Andrews University in the spring of 2012. This is the fifth such survey we have conducted over the past 20 or so years. Data was cleaned in the summer of 2012 with basic reports provided this fall to Andrews Administration. Duane was the Principal Investigator with Gary and Curt as the Co-P.I.’s and Alina as Project Director.

On-going Research Projects

  1. United Way Community Impact – Curt and Alina continue to work closely with the United Way of Southwestern Michigan on six community impact projects that relate to reducing high risk behaviors, including avoidance of alcohol and drugs and enhancing positive health choices such as exercise and healthy diet for both children and adults.
  2. Hope Channel Evaluation – Duane, Curt and Desrene Vernon from the Andrews Communication Department are examining how Andrews students evaluate the impact of the Hope Channel programs from their spiritual to their health and family programs
  3. Christian Record Evaluation – Duane and Curt are conducting an evaluation of Christian Record Services.
  4. Qualitative Study on Why Students do not or do Engage in Health Risk Behaviors -- Alina and Curt received funding from the General Conference and Andrews University to investigate Adventist students’ perceptions of drug use, sexual activity, and other factors that are associated with health risk behaviors in order to gain a better understanding of why their use rates are so much lower than the general college student population. These qualitative narrative data will supplement and enhance our survey data.
  5. North American Division Pastor’s Family Study – Duane, Gary and Alina are working with Dr. David Sedlacek (and others) in the Seminary to examine the stressors that pastors, their spouses, and children perceived in their respective roles, the sources of those stressors and the consequences (including substances, over-eating, pornography and other health risk behaviors). We will focus on strategies to reduce those stressors. This is funded by the North American Division.


Projects under Development

  1. United States Navy – Gary has been asked to provide information to the US Navy on dealing with high rates of alcohol use.  This information has been provided and we are waiting to see if more involvement on the part of the IPA is requested by the Navy. Substance abuse remains a major problem for U.S. Service Personnel.
  2. NIH Grant on Health Care Needs of Street Drug Users and Point of Access – Duane worked in partnership with the Medical School of the University of Miami and submitted a grant to the National Institute on Drug Abuse to examine the health risk behaviors of street drug users, how they access the health care system and the possible impact of the Affordable Care Act on access for this population.
  3.  Youth Risk Behavior Reduction in Fiji – Gary, Duane and Curt are working with Jonathan Duffy of ADRA on developing an intervention program to reduce youth risk behaviors in developing countries. We are focusing on community service and beginning with Fiji.

For copies of research, pamphlets, or more information please contact us at

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