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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 140140 Find in a Library
Title: Methodological Issues in Drug Use Prevention Research: Theoretical Foundations (From Drug Abuse Prevention Intervention Research: Methodological Issues, P 81-109, 1991, Carl G. Leukefeld and William J. Bukoski, eds. - see NCJ 140135)
Author(s): B R Flay; J Petraitis
Corporate Author: US Dept of Health and Human Services
Alcohol, Drug Abuse, and Mental Health Admin
United States of America
Date Published: 1991
Page Count: 29
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
National Institute on Drug Abuse
Bethesda, MD 20892-9561
NCJRS Photocopy Services
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
Superintendent of Documents, GPO
Washington, DC 20402
US Dept of Health and Human Services
Bethesda, MD 20205
US Dept of Health and Human Services
Rockville, MD 20857
Grant Number: DA-03468; CA-44907
Sale Source: Superintendent of Documents, GPO
Washington, DC 20402
United States of America

National Institute of Justice/
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United States of America

NCJRS Photocopy Services
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Document: PDF
Type: Survey
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The theoretical foundations of drug use prevention program development and research are discussed in terms of the nature of theories in the social sciences, the actual theories of drug use onset and behavior change, and the functions these theories can play in methodology.
Abstract: In social sciences, theories are abstractions that aim to represent part of the world by a simpler structure. Theories simplify decisionmaking; predict the future; and allow generalizations from one instance, location, or group to another. Among the accepted theories used to analyze drug use onset are predictors of drug use; knowledge, attitude, and behavior (KAB) change; social learning theory; social environment; social bonding; and intrapsychic variables. These authors delineate 12 functions or roles of theory in the development and testing of drug use prevention programs. In terms of program development, theories can link theoretical elements and program components, reach consensus regarding the magnitude of program effects, and suggest the need for comprehensive programs. In prevention program evaluation, theories can link program components and intervening variables, inform program implementation and dissemination, inform external validity, target audience characteristics, inform social environment characteristics, inform construct validity, clarify cause-effect relationships and intervening variables, suggest short-term versus long-term effects, suggest unintended effects, inform measurement, and help explain effects of nontheoretically derived programs. More generally, theories of behavior allow researchers to discriminate between program and theory failure, contribute to social science knowledge, and contribute to research efficiency. 1 table, 4 figures, 4 notes, and 83 references
Main Term(s): Drug prevention programs; Research methods
Index Term(s): Program design; Program evaluation; Theory
Note: NIDA Research Monograph 107
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