Program

Jan 04, 2012

OVERVIEW

The STARS (Start Taking Alcohol Risks
Seriously) for Families Program is a school-based prevention program designed to
prevent alcohol use among adolescents. The curriculum includes consultation
with nurses and mailed postcards to the adolescent’s home. Parents discuss the
prevention message on the postcard with their child. Six months after the
program ended, intervention group adolescents who attended a magnet school
reported significantly less alcohol use and intent to drink alcohol than similar
adolescents in the control group. No impact was found for adolescents at the
neighborhood school. At the one-year follow-up, the program impact on intent to
drink alcohol remained significant at the magnet school, but there was no impact
on alcohol use at either school.

DESCRIPTION OF PROGRAM

Target population:
Adolescent students ages 11 to 14

The STARS for
Families Program is a school-based program aimed to prevent alcohol use among
adolescents. Intervention consists of health consultations with nurses.
Following the consultation youth receive prevention postcards. The postcards
contain key facts about specific alcohol-related risk factors that are discussed
during the health consultation. In the spring semester, parents/guardians are
mailed up to 10 postcards, which contain alcohol prevention information. Each
postcard contains a new key fact about a risk factor for the student. The
parent/guardian are asked to read and talk about the information with their
child.

The STARS for
Families curriculum can be purchased for $299, which includes the facilitator’s
guide, fifty student postcard sets, and 50 student take-home lesson sets.
Additional postcard sets and take-home lesson sets can also be purchased.

EVALUATION(S) OF PROGRAM

Werch, C. E., Pappas, D. M.,
Carlson, J. M., & DiClemente, C. C. (1999). Six-month outcomes of an alcohol
prevention program for inner-city youth. American Journal of Health
Promotion, 13
(4), 237-240.

Evaluated
population:
Six-hundred-fifty sixth-grade students from one neighborhood and
one bused middle school in an economically disadvantaged area in Jacksonville,
Florida were randomly assigned to the STARS intervention or a control minimal
intervention. The majority of students in the sample were African-American (58
percent), half of the students were male, and the average age was 12 years old.
Seventy-eight percent of the students were in the free lunch program. Those
students ineligible for the study were withdrawn from school or had an absentee
rate greater than 50 percent. The final number of participants at the end of
the study was 481 and 74 percent of the same completed the questionnaire.

Approach:
Students were randomly assigned to the STARS intervention or a control group
within the targeted schools. Students in the minimal intervention control group
received a 15-page alcohol education booklet. In a quiet room, they were asked
to read the booklet on their own. Data were collected using the Youth Alcohol
Drug Survey at the beginning of the fall semester, end of spring semester, and
six months after the end of spring semester. During the fall semester,
intervention students received standardized health consultations with nurses.
As many as 12 specific risk factors were addressed during the health
consultation.

Youth also
completed a confidential questionnaire administered by trained staff and
received a “dipstick” saliva pipeline procedure to test alcohol and drug use.

Results: At
six-month follow-up, alcohol use measures were not significantly different
between intervention students and control students for the full sample.
However, students from the bused school that received the intervention had
significantly less intent to drink in the future and drank less alcohol than
control group students from the bused school.

The program had a
more significant impact for students who had prior alcohol-related problems.
Bused students with prior alcohol problems had significantly less intention to
drink after receiving the intervention, compared with control group bused
students, but there was no significant difference in intent to drink in the
future among students with no prior alcohol-related problems.

Werch, C. E.,
Owen, D. M., Carlson, J. M., DiClemente, C. C., Edgemon, P., & Moore, M. (2003).
One-year follow-up results of the STARS for Families alcohol prevention program.
Health and Education Research, 18(1), 74-87.

Evaluated
Population:
Participants included 650 sixth-grade students from two
low-income middle schools in Jacksonville, Florida. Students were recruited by
project staff in the fall of sixth-grade and followed until the end of
eighth-grade. Of the students, 388 were recruited from a magnet school, and 272
were recruited from an inner-city neighborhood school. The majority of students
were African-American (58 percent) with a mean age of 11.4 years. Fifty-four
percent were male, and 55 percent received free lunch.

Approach:
Students were randomly assigned within each school to the STARS for Families
program intervention group or a minimal intervention control group. At
baseline, intervention students received a brief one-on-one health consultation
about why and how to avoid alcohol use. During the spring of sixth grade,
intervention parents received prevention postcards explaining what to say to
their children about alcohol avoidance. In the spring of seventh-grade,
intervention students received a follow-up nurse consultation and four take-home
lessons providing prevention activities. As many as 12 specific risk factors
were addressed during the health consultation. Students in the minimal
intervention control group were given alcohol education booklets during the fall
of sixth-grade and seventh-grade and placed in a quiet area during health
consultations to read the material on their own. Youth also completed a
confidential questionnaire administered by trained staff and received a
“dipstick” saliva pipeline procedure to test alcohol and drug use.

Significant
differences were found between students at the two schools at baseline.
Students in the neighborhood school sample were more likely to be female,
African-American, older, receive free school lunch, live in a single
parent/guardian home, and receive no prior alcohol or drug education during the
past year than were students in the magnet school. These students were also
less likely to have experienced lifetime alcohol use, greater levels of negative
alcohol consequences, and great total risk for drinking. As a result, each
school was treated as a separate sample during initial analyses. At the
one-year follow-up 78 percent of participants completed a questionnaire.

Results:
Significantly fewer intervention students from the magnet school were planning
to drink in the next six months than control students. Magnet intervention
students were marginally less likely to be in advanced stages of alcohol
acquisition and to drink alcohol for any length of time than control students.
Other measures of lifetime alcohol use, 30- and 7-day use, and 30-day heavy use
were not significant for magnet intervention students. The neighborhood
intervention students had significantly less total alcohol risk than control
students.

SOURCES FOR MORE INFORMATION

Program
curriculum can be purchased at:


http://www.preventionresources.com/STARS-for-Families-Curriculum-p3270.html

References

Werch, C. E., Owen,
D. M., Carlson, J. M., DiClemente, C. C., Edgemon, P., & Moore, M. (2003).
One-year follow-up results of the STARS for Families alcohol prevention program.
Health and Education Research, 18(1), 74-87.

Werch, C. E.,
Pappas, D. M., Carlson, J. M., & DiClemente, C. C. (1999). Six-month Outcomes of
an Alcohol Prevention Program for Inner-city Youth. American Journal of
Health Promotion, 13
(4), 237-240.

KEYWORDS:
Adolescence (12-17), School-based, Home-based, Adolescents (12-17), High-Risk,
Alcohol Use, Middle School, White or Caucasian, Black or African American,
Manual, Cost, Parent of Family Component

Program
information last updated 1/4/12.