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Same Prevention, Different Effects? Effect Modification in an Alcohol Misuse Prevention Project Among High-School Juniors

NCJ Number
Drugs: Education, Prevention and Policy Volume: 10 Issue: 2 Dated: May 2003 Pages: 185-193
Filip Smit; Pim Cuijpers; Lex Lemmers; Ruud Jonkers; Inge De Weerdt
Date Published
May 2003
This study examined factors that modify the effectiveness of alcohol intervention programs among Netherlands youth.
The Healthy School and Drugs (HSD) program is the most widely disseminated drug abuse prevention program for youths in the Netherlands. The goal of the program is to reduce the prevalence of tobacco, alcohol, and cannabis use among high school youths aged 12 through 15. While the program does seem to be effective at reducing alcohol use among this population, it is unknown whether the HSD program differentially affects various segments of the student population. In this study, six schools participated in the HSD program and four schools did not. Over the course of 4 consecutive years, the authors collected self-reported survey data from 1,720 students about their current substance use. Results of multivariate logistic regression analysis revealed that the effectiveness of the HSD program was decreased in students who reported not liking school. The HSD program had positive effects on students who reportedly considered alcohol unhealthy. Another interesting finding revealed that as girls grew older, the effectiveness of the program declined. The implications of the study suggest that appropriate and targeted interventions will work if researchers are able to identify factors that modify program effectiveness and address them. References