Program

Sep 04, 2012

OVERVIEW

This
computer-based intervention aims to reduce the risk of alcohol use by urban
young adolescents. Through an interactive CD-ROM-delivered program, the program
teaches skills for avoiding alcohol use and supplements that training with a
parent-involvement component. A longitudinal experimental evaluation found that
the CD-ROM training plus the parent-involvement intervention significantly
lowered the rate of substance use among participating adolescents’ when compared
with controls. It also lowered susceptibility to peer influences and increased
parental involvement when compared with controls. The combined intervention was
associated with more consistently positive outcomes than was the CD-ROM
intervention alone.

DESCRIPTION OF PROGRAM


Target Population:
Young
adolescents (ages 10-12) in urban environments

The
program components are drawn from several theoretical perspectives. The
intervention includes character modeling, norms correction, refusal skills, and
self-efficacy strategies, based on social- learning theory. Drawing from
problem-behavior theory, the program also includes components that help youth
set and achieve goals, manage time, and deal with disappointment. Lastly,
drawing from family interaction theory, the program includes a parent
intervention designed to increase attachment between adolescents and parents,
and to enhance parents’ support of the program’s strategies and goals.

The
intervention delivered via an interactive CD-ROM is a program called “Thinking
Not Drinking: A SODAS City Adventure.” Adolescents initially complete ten
45-minute sessions in which they learn and practice skills related to
problem-solving and avoiding alcohol. Adolescents also receive two booster
sessions that occur yearly for two years after the initial intervention, which
serve to reinforce the material from the previous sessions and introduce new,
developmentally appropriate information. The family intervention consists of an
initial 30-minute video for parents, a parenting workshop as the first booster
session, and, as the second booster session, parents’ completing an interactive
CD-ROM program with their adolescent .

EVALUATION
OF PROGRAM

Study 1:
Schinke, S. P., Schwinn, T. M, Di Noia, J, & Cole, K. C. (2004). Reducing the
risks of alcohol use among urban youth: Three-year effects of a computer-based
intervention with and without parent involvement. Journal of Studies on
Alcohol and Drugs, 65,
443-449.

Evaluated
Population:

The sample
consisted of 514 adolescents, ages 10 -12 years, recruited from community
agencies in New Jersey, New York, and Delaware. The average age was 11.5 years,
and the sample was 51 percent female. Adolescents were 54 percent black, 30
percent Hispanic, 11 percent white, and 5 percent Asian or other ethnic-racial
group.

Approach:The
participating community agencies were stratified by their geographic location
and by the ethnic-racial background of the population they primarily served, and
then randomly assigned to one of three study conditions: CD-ROM intervention
plus family involvement, CD-ROM intervention alone, and control. Participants
in the two intervention groups received ten 45-minute CD-ROM sessions, which
focused on norm correcting, refusal skills, goal-setting and decision-making.
They also completed two booster sessions, delivered, respectively, one and two
years after the initial intervention. The family involvement portion of the
intervention consisted of parents receiving a video and newsletter (initial
intervention), participating in a workshop (first booster session), and
completing interactive exercises on a CD-ROM (second booster session). Family
involvement, susceptibility to peer influences, and substance use in the past
month were assessed via adolescents’ self-report, at pretest, posttest, and
annually for the 3 years following the intervention. At pretest, the groups
did not differ significantly on any of the outcome measures.

Results:Family Involvement.Family involvement included parents’ discussions
with youth, parental monitoring and rule-setting around adolescents’ alcohol
use, and youths’ access to alcohol in their households. Adolescents in the
CD-ROM-plus-family-intervention group had significantly higher scores than the
control group at posttest and 2 year follow-up. At the 1 year follow-up, both
intervention groups scored significantly higher than the control group. By the
3 year follow-up, family involvement in the CD-ROM plus family group was
significantly higher than in the CD-ROM-only group, where, in turn, scores were
significantly higher than in the control group.

Peer
Influence.
Adolescents in the both intervention groups scored significantly lower than
controls at posttest, 1-year, and 3-year follow-ups, indicating less
susceptibility to peer influence. At the 2-year follow-up, the
CD-ROM-plus-family-intervention group scored significantly lower than the
CD-ROM-only group, which in turn was significantly lower than the control group.

Alcohol,
Tobacco, and Marijuana Use.

Adolescents in both intervention groups reported lower use across the three
follow-up assessments, with the following exceptions: on marijuana use at
posttest, youth in the CD-ROM only group did not significantly differ from
either of the other groups. At the 3-year follow-up, youth in the
CD-ROM-plus-family-intervention group reported less alcohol use than those in
the CD-ROM-only group, who reported less than those in the control group.

Study 2:
Schinke, S., Schwinn, T., & Cole, K. (2006). Preventing alcohol abuse among
early adolescents through family and computer-based interventions: Four-year
outcomes and mediating variables. Journal of Developmental and Physical
Disabilities, 18,
149-161.

Evaluated
Population:

Same as
Study 1 (above).

Approach: See
Study 1 for randomization procedures. Outcomes measured were the same as Study1,
but this study reported the findings from follow-up assessments conducted 4
years after the initial intervention.

Results:
On peer
influence, adolescents in the CD-ROM-plus-family-intervention group reported
significantly lower susceptibility to peer influence than those in the control
group, while the CD-ROM-only group was not significantly different from either
of the other two groups. Family involvement at the 4-year follow-up was higher
in the CD-ROM-plus-family-intervention group than in the other groups.
Significance tests for the substance abuse outcomes were not reported, and thus
are not reviewed here.

SOURCES
FOR MORE INFORMATION
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References

Schinke,
S. P., Schwinn, T. M,, Di Noia, J, & Cole, K. C. (2004). Reducing the risks of
alcohol use among urban youth: Three-year effects of a computer-based
intervention with and without parent involvement. Journal of Studies on
Alcohol and Drugs, 65,
443-449.

Schinke,
S., Schwinn, T., & Cole, K. (2006). Preventing alcohol abuse among early
adolescents through family and computer-based interventions: Four-year outcomes
and mediating variables. Journal of Developmental and Physical Disabilities,
18,
149-161.

Contact
Information

Steven
Schinke, Ph.D.

School of
Social Work

Columbia
University

1255
Amsterdam Ave.

New York,
NY 10027

Email:
schinke@columbia.edu

KEYWORDS: Children
(3-11), Adolescents (12-17), Males and Females (Co-ed), Black/African American,
Hispanic/Latino, Parent or Family Component, Parent Training/Education,
Computer-based, Skills Training, Social Skills/Life Skills, Tobacco Use,
Marijuana/Illicit/Prescription Drugs, Alcohol Use, Parent-Child Relationship

Program
information last updated on 9/4/12.