Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Educational Leadership


The purpose of this study was to investigate risk and protective factors related to the use of alcohol during a 30-day time frame for 7th-12 th grade females/males. The comparisons were male non-users to male users, female non-users to female users, and male users to female users. Data were collected from the spring 2003 Grand Forks (North Dakota) Public Schools Youth Risk and Protective Factor Survey (YRPFS). The study was conducted with 666 students: 375 were in grades 7-9 and 291 were in grades 10-12. There were 340 females and 326 males. MANOVA was used to investigate the differences between the comparison groups. The level of significance was set at .01.

There were significant differences found at all grade levels for male and female non-users and users of alcohol. Non-users were more likely to have protective factor influences (e.g., personal perception, parent perception, and positive beliefs). Users were more likely to have risk factor influences (e.g., other drug use; friend's influence; school drug use; alcohol, tobacco, and other drug (ATOD) school availability; and ATOD community availability). There were slight variations between male and female users; males were higher on risk factors, other drug use, and ATOD community availability. There were no significant differences found within any of the comparison groups on 5 of the 14 factors. These were personal support, parent/school involvement, parental relationships, home violence, and school safety.

In conclusion, this study found there were specific risk and protective factors that influenced the non-use and use of alcohol by males and females at all grade levels. There were very few differences for male and female users: males were higher on only two of the factors.

This study provided significant findings that can be used to develop strategies to promote protective factors and reduce risk factors. Some of the specific recommendations included the need to use these findings and further research on risk/protective factors as a guide to reduce/eliminate the use of alcohol by adolescents. These results must be shared with youth, parents, schools, and communities to develop a collaborative action plan that will promote healthy youth development.

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Psychology Commons