The 130th Annual Meeting of APHA

4234.0: Tuesday, November 12, 2002 - 5:30 PM

Abstract #46447

Qualitative findings about the adoption and implementation of substance use prevention curricula in middle schools

Amy Vincus, MPH1, Dana L Wenter, MPH2, Chris Ringwalt, DrPH3, Susan T. Ennett, PhD4, and Ashley Simons-Rudolph, BA1. (1) Health, Social, and Economic Research, Research Triangle Institute, 3040 Cornwallis Rd, PO Box 12194, Research Triangle Park, NC 27709-2194, (919) 541-7267,, (2) Center for Research in Education, Research Triangle Institute, 3040 Cornwallis Road, Research Triangle Park, NC 27709-2194, (3) Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation, 1229 E Franklin St., Chapel Hill, NC 27514, (4) Health Behavior and Health Education, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, CB#7440 Rosenau Hall, School of Public Health-UNC CH, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7440

Previous research has investigated various aspects of substance use prevention curricula. Little is known, however, about the processes by which schools consider, adopt, implement, and institutionalize their curricula. The purpose of this study was to gain a better understanding about the adoption and implementation of substance use prevention curricula in middle schools. To that end, this study examines efforts undertaken by 12 of the schools that were purposively selected from among those participating in the national study (SSUPPS). Although we examine schools°¦ entire substance use prevention program, we chose to focus on those schools that used at least some part of the Project ALERT curriculum. This paper discusses how schools learn about and adopt various curricula and whether those curricula are implemented with fidelity.

As a part of these findings, we identify the reasons schools adopt substance use prevention curricula instead of, or in conjunction with, other substance use prevention curricula. More specifically, we examine how school personnel who teach Project ALERT adapt or modify the curriculum.

Preliminary findings suggest that: „h decision-making rests with a small cadre of individuals „h schools and school districts vary in the formality of their adoption process „h schools are implementing Project ALERT with 6th or 7th grade students, as recommended, and using other substance use prevention curricula with other students „h although schools are adapting Project ALERT to meet their specific needs (i.e., personnel staffing, budget, class schedule), most are not making wholesale changes to the curriculum material.

Learning Objectives: At the close of this presentation, attendees will be able to

Keywords: Substance Abuse Prevention, School-Based Programs

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
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.

School-Based Substance Use Prevention Programs Study: Findings about Fidelity of Implementation

The 130th Annual Meeting of APHA