A study to assist administrators of public, four-year colleges and universities in establishing alcohol and other drug abuse prevention and education programs
Woods, Brenda Ann
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The major problem addressed in this study was the lack of knowledge regarding the bases upon which alcohol and other drug abuse prevention and education programs are developed at colleges and universities in the United States. The purposes were to: (1) describe the basis upon which programs are established, (2) identify program differences, and (3) develop recommendations to assist in the establishment of effective programs. This study was primarily designed to answer research questions which asked: (1) What are the components of alcohol and other drug abuse programs? (2) Do the components of programs differ at small, medium, and large institutions? (3) What are the basic premises upon which programs were established? (4) What is the degree of perceived effectiveness of programs in "reducing" abuse? (5) What is the degree of perceived effectiveness of programs in "preventing" incidents? and (6) What program variables are predictors of effectiveness? The population included 457 four-year, public institutions. A questionnaire was developed and mailed to the presidents of these institutions In the Spring of 1993. Three hundred and six respondents returned the questionnaire for a response rate of 67%. The data showed that "campus-wide programs/activities" was the most frequently reported local component, 91.2% of the respondents reported having this component. The most frequently reported national component was "national collegiate alcohol awareness week," 86.3% of the respondents reported having this component. Most respondents reported that "other programs" was the "primary basic premise" for establishing local and national programs and not "theory" or "research." None of the 20 program components were rated above 3.0 on a five-point scale and few of the ratings were judged to be reliable due to the large standard deviations associated with the ratings. Two hundred and fortynine (81.4%) of the respondents reported that they had never conducted an evaluation of their program. The major recommendations in this study centered on the need for directors to evaluate their programs. The author concluded that programs may not improve until such evaluation occurs on a regular basis.