Smoking prevalence increased among adolescents during the 1990’s. Nearly 1.5 million 12-17 year olds smoked their first cigarette in 1995, 30% more than in 1988. Effective prevention programs are critical for reversing this trend. This study evaluated the effectiveness of ‘Leadership Decision Institute’ (LDI) training, a skill-building decision enhancement intervention for youth, in reducing tobacco use and promoting anti-tobacco attitudes and skills among pre-teens in Maine. It also provides one of the first tests of the Life Skills Training (LST) curriculum in a rural population. Sixth grade classes (N=1,144) are being followed over a three-year period. One group of classes will be exposed to both LDI and LST in the 6th -8th grade. A second group will only receive LDI in each grade, a third group will only receive LST and a fourth group will not receive either program. At the beginning of the 6th grade school year, all students completed standardized questions about tobacco use and related knowledge, attitudes and skills. Students in each study group will complete follow-up assessments at the end of the 6th, 7th and 8th grades. Data from the first follow-up showed that one-time exposure to either LDI, LST, or both programs had little impact on the incidence of tobacco use. LST exposure was associated with greatest gains in smoking-related knowledge. However, LDI exposure was associated with smaller increases in pro-smoking attitudes and intentions to smoke as students aged. Reasons for these differences are discussed. Findings from the 7th grade assessment are presented.
Learning Objectives: a. Compare and contrast the Leadership Decision and Life Skills Training curriculums for the prevention of tobacco use among pre-adolescents. b. Describe the methodology used to evaluate the effectiveness of each program in preventing tobacco use and promoting tobacco-related knowledge, attitudes and skills among pre-adolescents in Maine. c. Describe evaluation findings from the first and second follow-up assessments
Keywords: Smoking, Adolescent Health
Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Organization/institution whose products or services will be discussed: None
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.
The 128th Annual Meeting of APHA