School Health and Alcohol Harm Reduction Project (SHAHRP) - life skills training to reduce alcohol use and harms

At a glance

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

Target group: 
Schoolchildren aged 12-18 years
Age group: 
11-14 years
15-18/19 years
Programme setting(s): 
Community
School
Level(s) of intervention: 
Universal intervention

The School Health and Alcohol Harm Reduction Project (SHAHRP) aims to decrease the harmful consequences of drinking, rather than advocating abstinence. It uses education, skills training, small-group decision making, and discussion and activities to encourage positive behavioural change as a result of a better understanding of the negative outcomes of drinking. It is delivered in two phases, over two academic years, in classrooms. The first phase consists of six sessions (16 activities) and is delivered in year 10 (ages 13-14); the second is delivered in year 11 and consists of four sessions (10 activities). It can be delivered by trained teachers or outside facilitators such as community-based drug and alcohol workers.

Keywords: 
No data

Overview of results from the European studies

Last reviewed: 
Wednesday, October 18, 2017
Evidence rating: 
Beneficial
Studies overview: 

The programme has been evaluated in one quasi-experimental study in Northern Ireland, UK, involving children aged 13-15 years. At post-test, there were statistically significant effects favouring the intervention on alcohol consumption and self-reported alcohol-related knowledge, attitude and harm.

References of studies
Countries where evaluated: 
United Kingdom

Contact details: 

Dr Michael Thomas McKay
School of Psychology
University of Liverpool
Liverpool L69 3BX
United Kingdom
Email: Michael.McKay@liverpool.ac.uk

Protective factor(s): 
Individual and peers: clear morals and standards of behaviour
Individual and peers: refusal skills
Xchange Risk factor(s): 
Individual and peers: favourable attitude towards alcohol/drug use
Outcomes targeted: 
Alcohol use
Use of illicit drugs
Description of programme: 

The School Health and Alcohol Harm Reduction Project (SHAHRP) adopts a harm reduction approach, that is, it aims to decrease the harmful consequences of drinking, rather than advocating abstinence. It uses education, skills training, small-group decision making, and discussion and activities to encourage positive behavioural change as a result of a better understanding of the negative outcomes of drinking. The programme rationale is that social competence, problem-solving, autonomy and a sense of purpose are key attributes of resilience which in turn reinforces the importance of interactive and applied learning strategies.

There is an emphasis on identifying alcohol-related harms in specific scenarios (e.g. a night out) and discussions on strategies to reduce harm. It is conducted in two phases, over two academic years, in classrooms. The first phase consists of six sessions (16 activities) and is delivered in year 10 (ages 13-14); the second is delivered in year 11 and consists of four sessions (10 activities). It can be delivered by trained teachers or outside facilitators such as community-based drug and alcohol workers. The teacher sare trained over two days in each of the two years of the programme.

As in other life skill approachas, the curriculum uses learning strategies which aim to enhance knowledge and negotiation skills; involve pupils in rehearsing problem-solving and problem-prevention strategies; and engage them in deconstructing social pressures to use substances and beliefs about how common substance use is among their peers. Joint home activities are intended to engage parents in the learning process. An expectation of this non-directive approach is that an interactive discovery process which promotes responsible substance use would reinforce ownership and adoption of that behaviour.

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