|Botvin, G. J., Griffin, K. W., Paul, E., & Macaulay, A. P. (2003). Preventing tobacco and alcohol use among elementary school students through Life Skills Training. Journal of Child & Adolescent Substance Abuse, 12, 1-18.
The present study examined the effectiveness of a substance abuse prevention program in preventing tobacco and alcohol use among elementary school students in grades 3 through 6. The prevention program teaches social resistance skills and general personal and social competence skills. Rates of substance use behavior, attitudes, knowledge, normative expectations, and related variables were examined among students (N = 1090) from 20 schools who were randomly assigned to either receive the prevention program (9 schools, n = 426) or serve as a control group (11 schools, n = 664) who did not. Data were analyzed at both the individual-level and school-level. Individual-level analyses controlling for gender, race, and family structure showed that intervention students reported less smoking in the past year, higher anti-drinking attitudes, increased substance use knowledge and skills-related knowledge, lower normative expectations for smoking and alcohol use, and higher self-esteem at the posttest assessment, relative to control students. School-level analyses showed that annual prevalence rate was 61% lower for smoking and 25% lower for alcohol use at the posttest assessment in schools that received the prevention program when compared with control schools. In addition, mean self-esteem scores were higher in intervention schools at the posttest assessment relative to control schools. Findings indicate that a school-based substance abuse prevention approach previously found to be effective among middle school students is also effective for elementary school students.