After-school program can reduce alcohol use among middle school students, study finds
A voluntary substance prevention program held after school and presented by trained facilitators can help reduce alcohol use among young adolescents, according to a new RAND Corporation study.
Results suggest that if prevention researchers build programs with developmentally relevant content, and provide this content in an engaging, confidential and non-judgmental way, it can help middle school-aged children avoid alcohol. The article is published online in the journal Prevention Science.
"There are many mandatory school-based programs aimed at preventing youth alcohol and drug use, but voluntary after-school models are less common," said Elizabeth D'Amico, the study's lead author and a psychologist at RAND, a nonprofit research organization. "Such programs may become more important as school resources and teachers' time are spread thinner. In addition, they offer parents and students a familiar environment that may be less stigmatizing than being referred to off-site services."
Research shows that alcohol drinking is widespread among American adolescents, with nearly half of eighth graders reporting they have drunk alcohol at some point in their lives.
This RAND study evaluated the CHOICE program, which is presented during five 30-minute sessions in a non-confrontational and non-judgmental manner. The program dispels myths about the prevalence of alcohol use, challenges unrealistic beliefs about substance use, presents ideas on resisting pressure to use substances and stresses the benefits of reducing or ceasing substance use.
To date, only three voluntary after-school programs focusing specifically on substance use have been evaluated, and CHOICE is the only program for middle school youth. The Prevention Science article presents results from the evaluation of CHOICE through a cluster-randomized controlled trial in 16 middle schools in Southern California. The study focused on alcohol use, which is the most frequently used substance in this age group.
The study found that African American and multi-ethnic students, as well as alcohol and marijuana users, were more likely to attend CHOICE. Most students surveyed after completing the program said they liked the style of the program and found the facilitators helpful.
Researchers found a school-wide effect on alcohol use for all students at the intervention schools, regardless of whether they attended CHOICE. Students at the eight schools that offered the CHOICE program were less likely to initiate alcohol use during the academic year compared to students at the eight control schools where the program was not offered.
"Our data showed that in schools where CHOICE was offered, one adolescent out of 15 was prevented from initiating alcohol use during this time period," D'Amico said. "In other words, only 15 people would have to be exposed to this brief, voluntary program to significantly benefit one individual."
"Overall, results of the study were modest and additional research in this area is definitely needed," D'Amico said. "But our findings suggest that adolescents will voluntarily attend an after-school program that specifically provides information on alcohol and drugs, and that this type of program can reduce alcohol use at the school level. This study is the next step in understanding how voluntary after-school programs can help younger adolescents make healthier choices."
D'Amico has been conducting research in this area for over 15 years. She has a large body of work that is specifically focused on developing and implementing individual and group interventions for adolescents that target alcohol and drug use and risky sexual behavior.
More information: Support for the study was provided by the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. Other authors of the study are Joan S. Tucker, Jeremy N.V. Miles, Annie J. Zhou, Regina A. Shih and Harold D. Green Jr.
Provided by RAND Corporation
- Teen drug education also helps curb risky sexual behavior, study finds Apr 29, 2009 | not rated yet | 0
- Researchers find primary alcohol prevention programs are needed for 'tweens' Feb 27, 2008 | not rated yet | 0
- Underage drinking among close friends high indicator of future alcohol use by black teens Nov 01, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- Learning how to say 'no' to alcohol advertising and peer pressure works for inner-city adolescents Feb 29, 2008 | not rated yet | 0
- Hispanic kids show greater risk of substance use Sep 01, 2010 | not rated yet | 0
- Motion perception revisited: High Phi effect challenges established motion perception assumptions Apr 23, 2013 | 3 / 5 (2) | 2
- Anything you can do I can do better: Neuromolecular foundations of the superiority illusion (Update) Apr 02, 2013 | 4.5 / 5 (11) | 5
- The visual system as economist: Neural resource allocation in visual adaptation Mar 30, 2013 | 5 / 5 (2) | 9
- Separate lives: Neuronal and organismal lifespans decoupled Mar 27, 2013 | 4.9 / 5 (8) | 0
- Sizing things up: The evolutionary neurobiology of scale invariance Feb 28, 2013 | 4.8 / 5 (10) | 14
Classical and Quantum Mechanics via Lie algebras
Apr 15, 2011 I'd like to open a discussion thread for version 2 of the draft of my book ''Classical and Quantum Mechanics via Lie algebras'', available online at http://lanl.arxiv.org/abs/0810.1019 , and for the...
- More from Physics Forums - Independent Research
More news stories
People eating at fast food restaurants largely underestimate the calorie content of meals, especially large ones, according to a paper published today in BMJ.
Health 3 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
Don't doubt it when a woman harried by hot flashes says she's having a hard time remembering things. A new study published online in Menopause, the journal of The North American Menopause Society (NAMS), helps confirm with o ...
Health 4 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
The Senate has overwhelmingly rejected an amendment allowing states to require labeling of genetically modified foods.
Health 4 hours ago | not rated yet | 1
(AP)—McDonald's once again faced criticism that it's a purveyor of junk food that markets to children at its annual shareholder meeting Thursday.
Health 5 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
Can economic incentives such as gift cards, T-shirts, and time off from work motivate members of the public to increase their donations of blood?
Health 7 hours ago | not rated yet | 0 |
(Medical Xpress)—Regulating the distribution of power in neurons is done by a system that makes the national electric grid look simple by comparison. Each neuron has several thousand mitochondria confined ...
4 hours ago | 4.8 / 5 (4) | 0 |
Teams of highly respected Alzheimer's researchers failed to replicate what appeared to be breakthrough results for the treatment of this brain disease when they were published last year in the journal Science.
7 hours ago | 5 / 5 (1) | 2 |
Scientists at the National Institutes of Health report they have discovered in mouse studies that a small molecule released in the spinal cord triggers a process that is later experienced in the brain as ...
7 hours ago | 5 / 5 (2) | 0 |
A brief visual task can predict IQ, according to a new study. This surprisingly simple exercise measures the brain's unconscious ability to filter out visual movement. The study shows that individuals whose ...
9 hours ago | 4.9 / 5 (7) | 0 |
Little is known about why asthma develops, how it constricts the airway or why response to treatments varies between patients. Now, a team of researchers at Weill Cornell Medical College, Columbia University Medical Center ...
8 hours ago | not rated yet | 0 |
(HealthDay)—Type 2 diabetes is more aggressive in children than adults, with signs of serious complications seen just a few years after diagnosis, new research finds.
1 hour ago | not rated yet | 0