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NCJ Number: 141978 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Reducing the Risk of Drug Involvement Among Early Adolescents: An Evaluation of Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE)
Journal: Evaluation Review  Volume:17  Issue:2  Dated:(April 1993)  Pages:221-239
Author(s): M A Harmon
Date Published: 1993
Page Count: 19
Sponsoring Agency: Gang Intelligence Strategy Committee

Johns Hopkins University
Baltimore, MD 21218
Type: Program/Project Evaluation
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The effectiveness of the DARE (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) program in Charleston County (S.C.) was examined by comparing 341 fifth-grade DARE students to 367 non-DARE students.
Abstract: DARE is a drug abuse prevention program that focuses on teaching students skills for recognizing and resisting social pressures to use drugs. Taught by a uniformed police officer, the program consists of 17 lessons offered once a week for 45 to 50 minutes. Some previous DARE evaluations have shown positive results, others have shown negative results, and most have serious methodological flaws. The present study used a nonequivalent control group quasi- experimental design to study a program that took place during the 1989-90 school year. Pretests and posttests were administered approximately 20 weeks apart. Results revealed significant differences in the predicted direction for alcohol use in the last year, belief in prosocial norms, association with drug-using peers, positive peer association, attitudes against drug use, and assertiveness. No differences were found on cigarette, tobacco or marijuana use in the last year; the frequency of any drug use in the past month; attitudes about police; coping strategies; attachment and commitment to school; rebellious behavior; and self-esteem. Although replication studies would be desirable, finding a control group for a long-term evaluation will probably be impossible due to the use of drug prevention programs in nearly every school in the United States. Nevertheless, future research could compare specific programs with the kinds of low-level intervention that have consistently been shown to have no positive effects. If evaluations of DARE continue, a national survey instrument should be developed and used for all outcome evaluations. In addition, the use of peer leaders instead of police officers should be studied, both to save money and to make more officers available to respond to citizen calls. Tables, note, and 40 references
Main Term(s): Drug prevention programs; Project DARE
Index Term(s): Drug abuse education; School delinquency programs; Services effectiveness; South Carolina
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