Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Teaching & Learning


Schools seem the natural place for the implementation of prevention programs because most children spend the majority of their youth in the educational system. The Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act of 1986 made funds available to State Departments of Education to implement alcohol and drug programming in the public schools.

The primary purpose of this study was to compare prevention curricula on their levels of effectiveness in increasing knowledge about substance use and in preventing certain behaviors and attitudes. The sample population consisted of 36,693 participants (19,739 junior high and 16,954 senior high) in 1990 and 30,616 participants (16,581 junior high and 14,035 senior high) in 1993. Most respondents were Caucasian (91.6%), both in 1990 and (91.3%) in 1993.

The 1990 and 1993 North Dakota Drug and Alcohol Surveys were the research instruments used to measure the behaviors, attitudes, and knowledge related to specific drug and alcohol usage. Elementary prevention curricula compared were: Discover, DUSO, Me-Me, Operation Aware, Positive Action, and Skills for Growing. Junior high prevention curricula included: Health Curriculum, Learning to Live Drug Free, Here’s Looking at You 2000, Local Curriculum, Skills for Living, and Skills for Adolescence.