Program

Jan 05, 2010

OVERVIEW

The Social Influences Curriculum is
a school-based smoking prevention program. It focuses on the normative beliefs,
negative short-term social and physiological risks, and social pressure
regarding smoking as a way to reduce adolescent smoking after. Among baseline
non-smokers, students participating in the social influence model had a lower
incidence of ever smoking. Among baseline smokers, students participating in
the social influence model had a lower incidence of daily and weekly smoking.

DESCRIPTION OF PROGRAM

Target population: Middle
school students

The social-influences model uses a
focus on the negative short-term social and physiological consequences of
smoking to prevent tobacco use among middle school students. Because middle
school students commonly overestimate peer smoking rates, attention is paid to
correcting students’ normative expectations. Over the course of five classroom
sessions conducted from October to April, students learn social pressure
resistance skills and make a public commitment to avoid becoming a regular
smoker. Students are also taught ways to deal with parents and siblings who
smoke as well as smoking advertisements.

Teachers act as the directors of
activities and participate in a one-day training workshop prior to program
initiation.

EVALUATION(S) OF PROGRAM

Murray, D. M., Richards, P. S.,
Luepker, R. V., & Johnson, C. A. (1987). The prevention of cigarette smoking in
children: Two- and three-year follow-up comparisons of four prevention
strategies. Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 10(6), 595-611.

Evaluated
Population: 
3,154 seventh grade students from eight
junior high schools in Minnesota participated in Study I. The schools were
almost all white and served mostly suburban families. The average age of the
students was 12 years, and males and females were approximately evenly split.
Two similar schools were added to the sample during Study II, making the
population 3,820 students.

Approach: All conditions employed the
social-influences model detailed above; but three of the four conditions
employed additional components as described here. Specifically, schools were
randomly assigned to one of four conditions: an adult-led class with activities
addressing long-term health consequences of smoking, supplemented by videotapes
(AH); an adult-led social-influences model using classroom activities and
videotapes as supplements (ASV); a peer-led social-influences model using
classroom activities and videotapes as supplements (PSV); and a peer-led
social-influences model using classroom activities with no videotapes (PS). The
long-term health consequences model used several lectures and classroom
activities to focus on the long-term health risks of smoking. While this
intervention was similar to common traditional smoking education programs, no
fear-arousal techniques were used in the AH group. All students received one of
the intervention treatments; thus, there is not a no-treatment control group.

During Study I, project staff supervised all classroom activities. During Study
II, teachers supervised all classroom activities after a one-day training
session.

Students were assessed at 1- and 2-year follow-ups on smoking frequency through
surveys on smoking habits; saliva and breath tests for signs of smoking were
used to improve self-reported smoking reports

Results: In Study I, at 2- and 3-year follow-ups,
there were no significant impacts on smoking frequency for any of the four
treatment groups.

In
Study II, among baseline non-smokers, at 1-year, the four treatments were
similar (though statistical tests are not reported). At the two-year follow-up,
the peer led treatments were more effective than the adult-led treatments,
especially the peer-led condition without video. Similarly, there were no
significant differences for smoking frequency among any of the four treatment
groups at the 1-year follow-up among baseline light or experimental smokers. At
the 2-year follow-up, the AH group had significantly higher incidence of ever
smoking among baseline non-smokers and a significantly higher incidence of
weekly and daily smoking and cigarettes per week among baseline light or
experimental smokers when compared with the three other groups.

Attrition analyses found higher levels of attrition among baseline smokers than
among baseline light or experimental smokers. Analyses do not adjust for the
fact that schools were randomly assigned while analyses were conducted for
students.

SOURCES FOR MORE INFORMATION

References:

Murray, D. M., Richards, P. S., Luepker, R. V., & Johnson, C. A. (1987). The
prevention of cigarette smoking in children: Two- and three-year follow-up
comparisons of four prevention strategies. Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 10(6),
595-611.

KEYWORDS:
Adolescents, Middle School, Co-ed, White, Suburban, School-Based, Any Substance
Use, Tobacco Use, Peer Pressure

Program
information last updated on 1/5/10.