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Perception of Aspects of School Life

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It has been shown that self-perception in school, both in relation to other students and teachers plays an important role in the likelihood of dropping out. Two other factors that have also been shown to be important are student's experience of a sense of challenge in school and perceived value of school. The CORE SCALE below is designed to measure these features.
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.

Strengthening family and youth resiliency
Johnson, K., Bryant, D., Strader, T., & Bucholz, G. (1996). Reducing alcohol and other drug use by strengthening community, family, and youth resiliency: An evaluation of the Creating Lasting Connections program. Journal of Adolescent Research, 11, 36-67.

This study examined the CLC programme which was aimed at delaying and reducing alcohol and drug use among high risk 14 year olds through the delivery of a programme in Church communities. The major components include community mobilisation, parent/guardian and youth training, early intervention, and follow-up case management services. Data collection before CLC initiation, after parent and youth training, reveals that CLC successfully engaged church communities in substance abuse activities, and produced positive and direct effects on family and youth resiliency. It was found to have moderating effects on onset and frequency of drug and alcohol use.

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.

Page last updated: Thursday, 15 July 2004