The Ringsted Experiment - brief social norms intervention in schools on cigarette smoking

At a glance

Country of origin: 
Denmark
Added to registry: 
Wednesday, October 18, 2017 - 11:00

Target group: 
School children aged 11-13 years
Age group: 
11-14 years
Programme setting(s): 
School
Level(s) of intervention: 
Universal intervention

The intervention is targeted at school children and consists of a single session delivered within classrooms. The session, which lasts approximately four hours, involves the instructor providing information on misperceptions regarding smoking, followed by group discussions. The experiment has been developed into the "I’m OK when I say no way" programme.

Keywords: 
No data

Overview of results from the European studies

Last reviewed: 
Wednesday, October 18, 2017
Evidence rating: 
Likely to be partially beneficial
Studies overview: 

The programme has been evaluated in one cluster randomised controlled trial (RCT) in Denmark involving children aged 11-13 years. One year after the intervention, there was a statistically significant effect favouring the intervention on self-reported illegal behaviours, such as vandalism, but not on smoking, drinking or marijuana use. There was a statistically significant effect favouring the intervention for most misconceptions (assumptions about prevalence of cigarette smoking, alcohol and marijuana use) but not for attitudes towards drinking.

References of studies
Countries where evaluated: 
Denmark

Contact details: 

Professor Flemming Balvig
Faculty of Law
University of Copenhagen
St Peter’s Straits 19 1455
Copenhagen Denmark
Email: flemming.balvig@jur.ku.dk

Protective factor(s): 
No defined Protective factors
Xchange Risk factor(s): 
Community: laws and norms favourable to drug use and antisocial behaviour
Outcomes targeted: 
Smoking (tobacco)
Violence
Crime/Delinquency
Description of programme: 

The intervention is targeted at school children and consists of a single session delivered within classrooms. The session lasts approximately four hours.

The instructor starts by presenting the class with information about the level of normative misperceptions regarding smoking, tailored to the specific class. This is followed by discussion of perceived and actual prevalence of smoking amongst peers in other reference groups. Pupils are then asked to discuss in small groups possible reasons for the emergence of exaggerated beliefs, the results of which are presented to the class.

This small-group activity is repeated to discuss possibilities for reducing normative misperceptions. The session concludes with pupils developing a ‘Class Contract’ outlining strategies for retaining the insights gained through the session.

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