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A comparison of the behavioral and attitudinal effects resulting from a pharmacologically based drug education program and a non-pharmacologically based human relationship program Ducklow, Patrick Joseph

Abstract

The purpose of this research was to determine empirically whether or not a pharmacologically based drug education program results in a change in the recipient's behavior and attitude with reference to potentially harmful drugs. A further objective of this research was to determine empirically whether or not a non-pharmacologically based human relationship program results in a change in the recipient's behavior and attitude with reference to potentially harmful drugs. A conceptual model for drug education utilizing four components was also developed. The sample consisted of 284 grade eight boys and girls in one Vancouver, B.C., high school of whom less than one-half were experimental and more than one-haIf were control. Of the 117 students in the experimental groups, fifty-five students, in two sexually segregated class groupings, were involved in the pharmacologically based drug education program. Sixty-two students in two sexually segregated class groupings were involved in the non-pharmacologically based human relationship program. The control group consisting of 167 students received the normal guidance and study block programs which did not include any form of drug education. A drug behavior questionnaire and a drug attitude semantic differential were developed for the pretest -postest control group design. An assumption central to the use of both instruments is that scores on the behavior questionnaire or the semantic differential scales which were considered to be evaluative can be taken as indicants of the respondent's actual behavior and attitudes with reference to the concepts relating to drugs. The pharmacologically based drug education program consisted of thirteen, one hour sessions of basic pharmacological and legal information transmitted by videotape productions, paper and pencil activities, large group discussions and pamphlets applicable to the basic cognitive data. The non-pharmacologically based human relationship program consisted of fifteen, one hour sessions of structured experiences and cognitive learning and was based on several psychological systems of thought. This program was prematurely terminated at the end of the fourth session. In the analysis of data, the Hotelling routine yielded the basic data for the thirty-eight variables of the drug behavior questionnaire and a student t statistic at the .05 level of significance was employed in determining between-group equivalance and the null hypotheses measured at postest. The Alberta General Factor Analysis Program yielded the basic data for the drug attitude semantic differential and one-way analyses of variance were employed on emerging concept structures in determining pretest between-group equivalence and the null hypotheses measured at postest. Missing data from the instruments were not scored at pretest nor at postest and it affected none of the computations. The pharmacologically based drug education program yielded non-statistically significant differences for the measured variables from the drug behavior questionnaire and a non-systematic mean difference effect as compared with the control group at postest. The non-pharmacologically based human relationship program yielded non-statistically significant differences for the measured variables from the drug behavior questionnaire and a systematic and negative (decrease) mean difference effect as compared with the control group at postest. There was no statistically significant difference in the treatment recipients' drug-using and anti-establishment attitudes as measured by the postest drug attitude semantic differential between the pharmacologically based drug education program, the non-pharmacologically based human relationship program and the control group.

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