Implementing school-based substance abuse interventions: Methodological dilemmas and recommended solutions
Abstract: To review current knowledge about the most effective school-based interventions for child and adolescent problems, and to present dilemmas and potential solutions in mounting and evaluating school-based interventions for adolescent alcohol and other drug (AOD) use problems. Two literature reviews were conducted: (1) a broad and encompassing review of English-language articles published from 1990 to the present concerning school-based interventions for child and adolescent problems and (2) an exhaustive review of articles concerning Student Assistance Programs, which are the most popular approach to school-based AOD intervention in the United States. Ten key components of effective school-based interventions were identified. In addition, six pervasive dilemmas in school-based AOD intervention research were discussed. Examples of potential solutions to these dilemmas were gleaned from an ongoing randomized clinical trial of a Student Assistance Program. School-based AOD interventions have several potential advantages over more traditional clinic-based AOD interventions. Nonetheless, there are many challenges and dilemmas to conducting and evaluating interventions in school settings. With patience and guidance, these challenges can be addressed successfully.
Wagner, E.F., Tubman, J.G., & Gil, A.G. (2004). Implementing school-based substance abuse interventions: Methodological dilemmas and recommended solutions. Addiction, 99106-119. doi:10.1111/j.1360-0443.2004.00858.x