Individuals – Ringwalt et al. (1991)

Study Reference:

Ringwalt, C., Ennett, S. T., & Holt, K. D. (1991). An outcome evaluation of Project DARE (Drug Abuse Resistance Education). Health Education Research, 6(3), 327-337.

Location in the Matrix; Methodological Rigor; Outcome:

Individuals; General; Highly proactive; Rigorous; No evidence of an effect

What police practice or strategy was examined?

This study evaluates the effects of Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE), a school-based drug use prevention program, in a sample of fifth and sixth graders in North Carolina. DARE is distinguished by its use of specially trained, uniformed police officers to deliver 17 weekly lessons in the classroom.

How was the intervention evaluated?

The evaluation used an experimental design employing random assignment of 20 schools in two school districts in central North Carolina to either a DARE or no-DARE condition. Students were administered a pre-test and post-test which included measures of self-reported use of alcohol, tobacco, marijuana and inhalants; behavioral intentions regarding these substances; and selected attitudinal variables hypothesized to be related to drug use and targeted by the DARE curriculum. Students in both conditions were pre-tested approximately one week before the intervention began and were post-treated immediately after the semester long program.

What were the key findings?

DARE demonstrated no effect on adolescents’ use of alcohol, cigarettes or inhalants, or on their future intentions to use these substances.

What were the implications for law enforcement?

While perhaps successful in other program objective targeting youth attitudes toward these substances, DARE failed to impact youth behavior regarding alcohol and drug use.

Where can I find more information about this intervention, similar types of intervention, or related studies?