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Motivation and School Attendance

User Information
Of all of the important factors predicting dropping out from school, motivation and school attendance are among the most important. The scale below is intended for use by student's class teacher at primary or post-primary school.
Relevant Studies
Dropping out from school and drug use
Garnier, H.E., Stein, J.A., & Jacobs, J.K. (1997). The process of dropping out of high school: A 19-year perspective. American Educational Research Journal, 34, 395-419.

This study shows the interaction between early school leaving and drug use. In a longitudinal study it was found that dropping out of school was a multiply determined process with early influences beginning in childhood and involving family as well as childhood and adolescent factors. Among the factors associated with dropping out were childhood exposure to drug use, family stress, low high school achievement and motivation.

Targeting at-risk students
James, W.H., & Wabaunsee, R. (1995). At risk students: Drug prevention through after school/latchkey programs. Drugs: Education, Prevention and Policy, 2, 65-75.

This study reviews the role of latchkey programmes for children in preventing drug use. These are programmes that target at-risk children and take place in an after-school community context. These programmes target social skills, self-esteem and family relationships. In this study, the data supported the role of such programmes particularly at primary school level. However, some studies at secondary school level did not show that such programmes were effective. While this is a limited study, there are indications that this kind of intervention may be an important part of a comprehensive approach.

Community approaches to prevention of substance use
Pentz, M.A., Dwyer, J.H., MacKinnon, D.P., Flay, B.R., Hansen, W.B., Wang, E.Y., Johnson, C.A. (1989). A multi-community trial for primary prevention of adolescent drug abuse. Journal of the American Medical Association, 261, 3259-3266.

This study presents results of an apparently successful community based prevention project from the US Midwestern prevention project that begun initially in the Kansas city area. This project includes mass media programming, school-based program for youths, parent education and organisation, community organisation and a health policy, which were introduced sequentially into communities during a 6-year period. Analyses for 42 schools suggest that the rates of use are lower in the intervention condition than in a delayed intervention condition, with or without controlling for grade, socio-economic status. While the pilot and controls were essentially equivalent at baseline, the current (4-week) prevalence for cigarettes use were 22% and 15% for control and intervention schools, while the corresponding prevalence rates for alcohol were 12% and 9% and for marijuana 7% and 4%.

The measure of outcomes was prevalence of marijuana as well as alcohol and cigarette use in lifetime, in the last week and in the last month. Reliability for the three substances was .84, .86 and .84, respectively. Test-retest reliabilities for a sample of 396 7th grade students were .78 (alcohol), .53 (cigarettes) and .67 (marijuana) over a three week period.

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Page last updated: Thursday, 15 July 2004