Assistant Professor
Department of Medicine

Project Title: Examining the effect of collaborative learning on adolescent social networks and substance use

Mitchell Wong, MD, PhD – UCLA
Ronald Hays, PhD – UCLA & RAND Corporation
Ziva Cooper, PhD – UCLA
Joan Tucker, PhD – RAND Corporation
Rebecca Dudovitz, MD – UCLA

Multidisciplinary Expertise:
General Internal Medicine and Pediatrics, Social Network Analysis, Substance Use Prevention, School-based Interventions, Social Determinants of Health

Project Description:
This project examines how collaborative learning – a group-based pedagogical technique promoting interdependence and prosocial interactions between students – may promote salubrious social networks and prevent adolescent substance use. From ongoing qualitative interviews, we will develop a novel multidimensional measure of collaborative learning.  We will then survey 600 9th-12th grade students, half enrolled in a collaborative learning intervention and half enrolled in traditional high school. From this survey, we will test whether the intervention is associated with a reduction in substance use and misuse and healthier social networks. Finally, we will use the novel measure of collaborative learning to identify which construct dimensions are most closely associated with substance use and risky behaviors.