Evaluation of a Life Skills Program to Prevent Adolescent Alcohol Use in Two European Countries: One-Year Follow-Up
- 598 Downloads
Life skills programs are effective tools to combat youth substance use. However there is a lack of studies concerning their effectiveness in Europe.
This study investigated the 1 year follow up effects and the program implementation of a life skills school-based intervention (IPSY: Information + Psychosocial Competence = Protection) aimed at preventing alcohol use, in German and Italian adolescents.
Participants were 1131 German (57 % intervention group, mean age 10.45 years, 54 % females), and 159 Italian adolescents (45 % intervention group, mean age 11.14 years, 50 % females). Using a quasi-experimental design, data were gathered before the intervention (t1), after (2–7 months later, t2), and 1 year after the post-test (t3), thus covering a time span of about 1.5 years. MANOVAs and ANOVAs with repeated measurements were performed.
IPSY was well accepted in both the German and Italian schools. German and Italian youth who participated in the program decreased their consumption of wine. German youth who participated in the IPSY-program decreased their expected alcohol consumption and increased their knowledge of assertive behaviors, school involvement, and resistance to peer pressure, compared to the control group. Italian youth in the intervention group also increased in assertive behaviors and the perception of being appreciated by others, relative to the control group. In both countries, beer consumption, communication skills and problem solving were not affected.
Our study suggests that life skills-based programs may be a useful tool in the prevention of risk behaviors in adolescence in a broader European context.
KeywordsLife skills Alcohol use Adolescence Cross-cultural Prevention
The first author was in part funded by CRT, Cassa di Risparmio di Torino (Italy). We would like to express our gratitude to Prof. Rainer Silbereisen for his perceptive advice throughout this study and to Prof. Silvia Ciairano, who recently passed away, for having strongly supported the collaboration between researchers that made this paper possible and for the important suggestions she gave for this study. We thank Dr. Michael Spaeth for providing statistical consultations.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
- Bandura, A. (1977). Social learning theory. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.Google Scholar
- Botvin, G. J., Schinke, S. P., Epstein, J. A., Diaz, T., & Botvin, E. M. (1995b). Effectiveness of culturally focused and generic skills training approaches to alcohol and drug abuse prevention among minority adolescents: Two-year follow-up results. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 9(3), 183–194. doi: 10.1037/0893-164x.9.3.183.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Brotherhood, A., Atkinson, A. M., Bates, G., & Sumnall, H. R. (2013). Adolescents as customers of addiction. ALICE RAP Deliverable 16.1, Work Package 16. Liverpool: Centre for Public Health.Google Scholar
- Coffano, E. (2010). Guadagnare Salute in adolescenza: Ricognizione delle esperienze di prevenzione e promozione della salute in Italia Report Finale [Gaining Health: Experiences of prevention and health promotion in Italy, Final Report]. http://www.dors.it/public/ar3601/REPORT_progettoAdolescenti.pdf.
- Deusinger, I. M. (Ed.). (1986). Die Frankfurter Selbstkonzeptskalen. Göttingen: Hogrefe.Google Scholar
- Faggiano, F., Galanti, M. R., Bohrn, K., Burkhart, G., Vigna-Taglianti, F., Cuomo, L., & Wiborg, G. (2008a). The effectiveness of a school-based substance abuse prevention program: EU-Dap cluster randomised controlled trial. Preventive Medicine, 47(5), 537–543. doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2008.06.018.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Faggiano, F., Minozzi, S., Versino, E., & Buscemi, D. (2014). Universal school-based prevention for illicit drug use. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 12.Google Scholar
- Faggiano, F., Vigna-Taglianti, F., Burkhart, G., Bohrn, K., Cuomo, L., Gregori, D., & Grp, E.-D. S. (2010). The effectiveness of a school-based substance abuse prevention program: 18-month follow-up of the EU-Dap cluster randomized controlled trial. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 108(1–2), 56–64. doi: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2009.11.018.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Fend, H., & Schur, G. (1991). Schule und Persönlichkeitsentwicklung. [School and personality development]. Zürich: Universität [University of Zürich].Google Scholar
- Flay, B. R. (2009). School-based smoking prevention programs with the promise of long-term effects. Tobacco Induced Diseases, 5(6), 18.Google Scholar
- Hibell, B., Andersson, B., Bjarnason, T., Ahlström, S., Balakireva, O., Kokkevi, A., & Morgan, M. (2012). The ESPAD report 2011: Alcohol and drug use among students in 35 European countries. Stockholm, Sweden: Swedish Council for Information on Alcohol and other Drugs.Google Scholar
- Jessor, R., Donovan, J. E., & Costa, F. M. (Eds.). (1991). Beyond adolescence-problem behavior and young adult development. New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
- Jessor, R., Turbin, M. S., Costa, F. M., Dong, Q., Zhang, H., & Wang, C. (2003). Adolescent problem behavior in China and the United States: A cross-national study of psychosocial protective factors. Journal of Research on Adolescence, 13(3), 329–360. doi: 10.1111/1532-7795.1303004.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Kersch, B., Petermann, H., & Fisher, V. (1998). Alkoholdistanz—Ein Evaluationskriterium schulischer Sucht- und Drogenprävention. Kindheit und Entwicklung, 7, 244–251.Google Scholar
- Kohli, M., Künemund, H., & Vogel, C. (2005). Family structure, proximity and contact. In A. Börsch-Supan (Ed.), Health, ageing and retirement in Europe—First results from the survey of health, ageing and retirement in Europe (pp. 164–170). Mannheim: MEA.Google Scholar
- La Torre, G., Chiaradia, G., Monte, L., Moretti, C., Mannocci, A., Capitanio, D., & Boccia, A. (2010). A randomised controlled trial of a school-based intervention to prevent tobacco use among children and adolescents in Italy. Journal of Public Health, 18(6), 533–542. doi: 10.1007/s10389-010-0328-8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Ndugwa, R., Kabiru, C., Cleland, J., Beguy, D., Egondi, T., Zulu, E., & Jessor, R. (2011). Adolescent problem behavior in Nairobi’s informal settlements: Applying problem behavior theory in sub-Saharan Africa. Journal of Urban Health, 88, 298–317. doi: 10.1007/s11524-010-9462-4.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Santor, D. A., Messervey, D., & Kusumakar, V. (2000). Measuring peer pressure, popularity, and conformity in adolescent boys and girls: Predicting school performance, sexual attitudes, and substance abuse. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 29(2), 163–182. doi: 10.1023/a:1005152515264.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Vazsonyi, A. T., Chen, P., Jenkins, D. D., Burcu, E., Torrente, G., & Sheu, C. (2010). Jessor’s problem behavior theory: Cross-national evidence from Hungary, the Netherlands, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, Taiwan, Turkey, and the United States. Developmental Psychology, 46(6), 1779–1791. doi: 10.1037/a0020682.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Weichold, K., Giannotta, F., Silbereisen, R. K., Ciairano, S., & Wenzel, V. (2006). Cross-cultural evaluation of a life-skills programme to combat adolescent substance misuse. SUCHT—Zeitschrift für Wissenschaft und Praxis/Journal of Addiction Research and Practice, 52(4), 268–278.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- WHO. (1997). Life skills education in schools. Geneva: World Health Organization.Google Scholar