David Foxcroft

As Professor of Community Psychology and Public Health, my programme of work is focused on understanding (and improving) behaviour in context, especially how social structures (e.g. families, schools, communities, employers, regulation, government) can support improved health and wellbeing in communities and populations. A focus is the prevention of risk behaviours in children and young people.

More information can be found on my wiki page

Here's a write-up of my working week


Teaching Responsibilities

MSc Public Health (link )
MSc Children, Young People and Family Wellbeing (link )
MSc Management in Health and Social Care (link )


Selected Papers / Reports

Foxcroft, DR, Callen H, Davies EL, Okulicz-Kozaryn K (2016) Effectiveness of the strengthening families programme 10–14 in Poland: cluster randomized controlled trial. Eur J Public Health (Early Online)  link

Foxcroft DR, Coombes L, Wood S, Allen D, Almeida Santimano NML, Moreira M. (2016) Motivational interviewing for the prevention of alcohol misuse in young adults. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2016, Issue 7. Art. No.: CD007025. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD007025.pub4 link

Foxcroft, D. R. (2016) We cannot ignore bias, especially if effects are small, but we need better methods for evaluating prevention systems. Addiction, 111: 1532–1533.  link

Coombes, L., Chan, G., Allen, D., and Foxcroft, DR. (2016) Mixed-methods Evaluation of the Good Behaviour Game in English Primary Schools. J. Community Appl. Soc. Psychol. 26(5): 369-387   link

Davies E, Martin J, Foxcroft DR (2016) Development of an adolescent alcohol misuse intervention based on the Prototype Willingness Model: A Delphi study. Health Education, Vol. 116 Iss: 3, pp.275 – 291

Enser, B, Appleton, J, Foxcroft, DR (2016) Alcohol-Related Collateral Harm, the unseen dimension? Survey of students aged 16-24 in Southern England. Drugs: Education, Prevention, and Policy (Online First)  link

Davies E, Martin J, Foxcroft DR (2016) Age differences in alcohol prototype perceptions and willingness to drink in UK adolescents. Psychology, Health & Medicine 21(3): 317-29

Almeida Santimano, N, Foxcroft, DR (2016) Poor health knowledge and behaviour is a risk for the spread of antibiotic resistance: survey of higher secondary school students in Goa, India. Perspectives in Public Health (Online First) DOI:10.1177/1757913916650917  link

Midford R, Cahill H, Lester L, Foxcroft DR, Ramsden R, Venning L. (2016) Smoking Prevention for Students: Findings From a Three-Year Program of Integrated Harm Minimization School Drug Education. Subst Use Misuse. 51(3):395-407

Davies EL, Martin J, Foxcroft DR (2015) Development and Acceptability of a Co-Produced Online Intervention to Prevent Alcohol Misuse in Adolescents: A Think Aloud Study. JMIR Hum Factors 2(2):e13.

Midford R, Ramsden R, Lester L, Cahill H, Mitchell J, Foxcroft DR, Venning L. (2015) Alcohol Prevention and School Students: Findings From an Australian 2-Year Trial of Integrated Harm Minimization School Drug Education. J Drug Educ. 2014;44(3-4):71-94.

Midford R, Foxcroft DR, Cahill H, Ramsden R, Lester L. (2015) Rejoinder to Dennis Gorman's critique of: "Preventing alcohol harm: Early results from a cluster randomised, controlled trial in Victoria, Australia of comprehensive harm minimisation school drug education". Int J Drug Policy 26(8):721-2.

Foxcroft D.R. (2015) Environmental, Developmental and Informational Interventions: A Novel Prevention Taxonomy to Better Organise and Understand Substance Misuse Prevention. Addicta: The Turkish Journal on Addictions 1(2): 66-78.

Foxcroft DR, Moreira MT, Almeida Santimano NML, Smith LA. (2015) Social norms information for alcohol misuse in university and college students. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, Issue 12. Art. No.: CD006748. DOI: 10.1002/14651858. CD006748.pub4.

Foxcroft DR, Smith L, Thomas H, Howcutt S (2015) Accuracy of Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT) for detecting problem drinking in 18-35 year-olds in England: method comparison study. Alcohol and Alcoholism. 50(2):244-50.

Foxcroft DR (2014). Can prevention classification be improved by considering the function of prevention? Prevention Science 15(6):818-22 doi:10.1007/s11121-013-0435-1  link1 link2

This article has two invited commentaries and one response:
(a) Burkhart, G. (2014) Is environment really a function? Prevention Science. Advance online publication. doi:10.1007/s11121-013-0452-0.   link
(b) Biglan, A. (2014) Comments on Dr Foxcrofts classification system. Prevention Science. link
(c) Foxcroft, D.R. (2014) Fit for purpose: a form and function based taxonomy for prevention is arguably more refined, accurate and predictive. Prevention Science. link

Foxcroft, D.R. (2014) Form ever follows function. This is the law. A prevention taxonomy based on a functional typology. Adicciones 26(1):10-14 link

Segrott, J., Holliday, J., Rothwell, H., Foxcroft, D., Murphy, S., Scourfield, J., Hood, K., and Moore, L.(2014) Cultural adaptation and intervention integrity: a response to Skärstrand, Sundell and Andréasson. European Journal of Public Health 24 (3). pp. 354-355. ISSN 1101-1262 (doi:10.1093/eurpub/cku039)  link

Segrott J, Gillespie D, Holliday J, Humphreys I, Murphy S, Phillips C, Reed H, Rothwell H, Foxcroft D, Hood K, Roberts Z, Scourfield J, Thomas C, Moore L. (2014) Preventing substance misuse: study protocol for a randomised controlled trial of the Strengthening Families Programme 10-14 UK (SFP 10-14 UK). BMC Public Health 14(1):49. doi: 10.1186/1471-2458-14-49.   link

Midford R., Mitchell J., Lester L., Cahill H., Foxcroft D., Ramsden R., Venning L., Pose M. (2014) Preventing alcohol harm: early results from a cluster randomised, controlled trial in Victoria, Australia of comprehensive harm minimisation school drug education. International Journal of Drug Policy 25(1):142-50 link

Sanhueza C., Ryan L. & Foxcroft DR (2013) Diet and the risk of unipolar depression in adults: systematic review of cohort studies. J. Hum. Nutr. Diet. 26: 56–70  doi:10.1111/j.1365-277X.2012.01283.x link

Davies,  E.L, Martin, J. & Foxcroft, D.R. (2012) Young people talking about alcohol: Focus groups exploring constructs in the Prototype Willingness Model. Drugs: Education, Prevention and Policy doi: 10.3109/09687637.2012.726662    link

Moreira MT, Oskrochi R, Foxcroft DR (2012) Personalised Normative Feedback for Preventing Alcohol Misuse in University Students: Solomon Three-Group Randomised Controlled Trial. PLoS ONE 7(9): e44120. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0044120 link

Fernandez-Hermida, J. R., Calafat, A., Becoña, E., Tsertsvadze, A. and Foxcroft, D. R. (2012), Assessment of generalizability, applicability and predictability (GAP) for evaluating external validity in studies of universal family-based prevention of alcohol misuse in young people: systematic methodological review of randomized controlled trials. Addiction. doi: 10.1111/j.1360-0443.2012.03867.x    link

Foxcroft DR, Tsertsvadze A (2012) Universal alcohol misuse prevention programmes for children and adolescents: Cochrane systematic reviews. Perspectives in Public Health 132: 128 doi: 10.1177/1757913912443487   link

Foxcroft DR, Tsertsvadze A (2012) Universal school-based prevention programs for young people (Review). Evidence based Child Health 7:2: 450-575   (NB this is a reprint of the Cochrane review listed below).

Coombes, L., Allen, D. & Foxcroft, DR. (2012) An exploratory pilot study of the strengthening families programme10–14 (UK). Drugs: education, prevention and policy 19;5:387-396  DOI: 10.3109/09687637.2012.658889   link

Midford R, Cahill H, Foxcroft DR, Lester L, Venning L, Ramsden R, Pose M (2012) Drug Education in Victorian Schools (DEVS): study  protocol for a harm reduction focused school drug education trial. BMC Public Health 12:112 doi:10.1186/1471-2458-12-112   link

Chan GG, Foxcroft DR, Smurthwaite B, Coombes L, Allen D (2012) Improving child behaviour management: evaluation of the Good Behaviour Game in UK Schools. (unpublished report).   link full report link exec. summary

Strang J, Babor T, Caulkins J, Fischer B, Foxcroft D, Humphreys K (2012) Drug policy and the public good: evidence for effective interventions. Lancet 379(9810): 71-83.   link

Foxcroft DR, Tsertsvadze A. Universal family-based prevention programs for alcohol misuse in young people. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2011, Issue 9. Art. No.: CD009308. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD009308    link

Foxcroft DR, Tsertsvadze A. Universal multi-component prevention programs for alcohol misuse in young people. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2011, Issue 9. Art. No.: CD009307. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD009307   link

Foxcroft DR, Tsertsvadze A. Universal school-based prevention programs for alcohol misuse in young people. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2011, Issue 5. Art. No.: CD009113. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD009113.   link

Babor TF, Caulkins JP, Edwards G, Fischer B, Foxcroft DR, Humphreys K, Obot IS, Rehm J, Reuter P, Room R, Rossow I, Strang J (2010) Drug Policy and the Public Good. Oxford University Press: Oxford. slides link

Amato L, Davoli M, Vecchi S, Ali R, Farrell M, Faggiano F, Foxcroft D, Ling W, Minozzi S, Chengzheng Z (2010) Cochrane  systematic reviews in the field of addiction: What's there and what should be. Drug and Alcohol Dependence 113(2-3):96-103   link

Hawkes C, Foxcroft DR, Yerrell P (2010). Clinical guideline for nurse-led early extubation after coronary artery bypass: an evaluation.  Journal of Advanced Nursing 66(9): 2038-2049.   link

Joint CA, Fletcher C, Foxcroft D, Aziz TZ (2010). The Relationship Between Self-Perception of Ability and Actual Ability in Parkinsonian Patients Performing Motor Tasks: A Prospective Study. Journal of Neuroscience Nursing 42(2): E1-E7 10.1097/JNN.0b013e3181ce5b57.   link

Moreira T, Smith LA, Foxcroft DR (2009) Social norms interventions to reduce alcohol misuse in University or College students. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2009, Issue 3. Art. No.:CD006748. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD006748.pub2   link

Foxcroft DR, Kypri K, Simonite V (2009) Bayes Theorem to estimate population prevalence from Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT) scores. Addiction 104(7): 1132–1137 DOI: 10.1111/j.1360-0443.2009.02574.x   link

Smith LA, Foxcroft DR (2009) Drinking in the UK: an exploration of trends. Joseph Rowntree Foundation: York, UK    link

Smith LA, Foxcroft DR (2009) The effect of alcohol advertising, marketing and portrayal on drinking behaviour in young people: systematic review of prospective cohort studies. BMC Public Health 9:51  link

Coombes L, Allen D, Marsh M, Foxcroft DR (2009) The Strengthening Families Programme (SFP) 10-14 and substance misuse in Barnsley: the perspective of facilitators and families. Child Abuse Review 18: 41-59   link

Moreira TM, Foxcroft DR (2008) The effectiveness of brief personalized normative feedback in reducing alcohol-related problems amongst University students: protocol for a randomized controlled trial. BMC Public Health 2008, 8:113 (10 Apr 2008) link

Smith L, Watson M, Gates S, Ball D, Foxcroft DR (2008) Meta-analysis of the association of the Taq1A polymorphism with the risk of alcohol dependency: A HuGE gene-disease association review. American Journal of Epidemiology 167(2):125-38. link


Funded Projects

David Foxcroft’s current programme of research on the prevention of risk behaviours in young people stems initially from a Cochrane systematic review which identified the Strengthening Families 10-14 Programme (SFP10-14) as warranting further investigation. This led to further international collaborations: (i) a £750,000 European Commission Public Health Programme project led by Oxford Brookes with collaborating centres in Italy, Greece and France. The collaboration produced nine systematic reviews that are now published on the Cochrane database, providing evidence for drug and alcohol policy across Europe; and (ii) a £650,000 project to evaluate the SFP10-14 in the UK, Spain, Poland and Greece. Several grants to Oxford Brookes colleagues from the Big Lottery, DfES and the National Academy of Parenting Practitioners, totalling over £3 million, have been awarded to train community workers to deliver the SFP10-14, and a large-scale RCT of the SFP10-14 has been funded (£2.1 million) by the Medical Research Council with support from the Welsh Assembly and led from the Centre for the Development and Evaluation of Complex Interventions for Public Health Improvement, DECIPHer. Work is also beginning on the adaptation and testing of the U.S. developed Good Behaviour Game for use in U.K. schools, funded initially by the Economic and Social Research Council , the Technology Strategy Board , and Oxfordshire County Council as a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP ) project. Here's a brief video of the GBG being used in UK schools. From 2011 to 2015 David is co-I on a large RCT of a school-based alcohol misuse prevention programme (the STAMPP trial) with a grant of over £1 million from the NIHR Public Health Programme.

David also collaborates with Departmental colleagues: with Dr Lesley Smith on a systematic review of the genetic epidemiology of alcohol misuse as part of the United States Centre for Disease Control Human Genome Epidemiology Network (HuGENet); and with Dr Smith on a Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) grant to conduct a systematic review of UK trends in alcohol consumption and an AERC funded project to examine the diagnostic accuracy of alcohol misuse screening tests.


Research Students

Parvati Perman-Howe: Alcohol strength and taste preference

Briony Enser: Assessing alcohol-related harm to others: collateral harms to young people

Kimberley Hill: Can Gibson's affordances provide a useful theoretical basis for prevention of alcohol misuse? (completed 2014)

Emma Davies: Designing and testing an intervention to prevent alcohol misuse in adolescents based on the Prototype Willingness Model of health risk behaviour (completed 2013)

Di Lamb: How does fatigue, experienced during extended duty periods, affect the cognitive performance of aeromedical personnel? (completed 2011)

Teresa Moreira: Is brief personalized feedback effective in reducing alcohol-related problems amongst University students in different European countries? (completed 2010)

Carole Joint: Correlation between the patient’s ability to perform motor tasks and their perception of their ‘off’ state and their ability, their mood and affect, and the relationship of theses with Levedopa in Parkinson’s Disease (completed 2007)

Claire Hawkes: Development and Implementation of a clinical protocol for nurse-led extubation in cardiac recovery (completed 2006)


Research development and other  interests

A major focus is the development of prevention research as a field of study, policy and practice, and one important initiative is the establishment of the European Society for Prevention Research (EUSPR); initially as a founding member and currently as a Board Member and President. Funding (£520k) from the European Commission will lead to the establishment of a European Science for Prevention Academic Network (SPAN).

David's other interests include: Editor, International Cochrane Collaboration Drug and Alcohol Group (CDAG); Editorial Board, Drugs: Education, Prevention and Policy (DEPP). Previously he has been a specialist advisor to the World Health Organisation (WHO) Substance Misuse Office (2001-2); was a member of the Home Office Blueprint drug prevention programme steering group (2002-2005); and the Health Development Agency national drug misuse prevention advisory group (2002-2004); provided a commissioned technical report to WHO Expert Committee on Problems Related to Alcohol Consumption (2006); briefed the Cabinet Office for the development of the National Alcohol Strategy (2003) and has similarly advised the National Assembly for Wales (2007-2008); and was a member of the Working Group of the Science Group of the European Commission's Alcohol and Health Forum, looking at links between alcohol marketing and youth alcohol consumption.

David Foxcroft was awarded the 2007 Tobler prize by the U.S. Society for Prevention Research for his work identifying and summarising the evidence for alcohol misuse prevention in young people, and he is a co-author of the prizewinning 2010 book Drug Policy and the Public Good (Oxford University Press).

David Foxcroft


+44 (0)1865 485283