Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

A Community-Based Approach to Planning Implementation of a Drug Abuse Curriculum for Elementary Schools
by Mueller, Marie, Ph.D., University of Missouri - Saint Louis, 2011, 86; 3473956
Abstract (Summary)

This project used a collaborative approach with community organizations in a Missouri county to plan the implementation of an evidence-based drug abuse prevention curriculum for elementary schools. It is part of a larger project funded by the Community-Oriented Policing Services within the U.S. Department of Justice (J. Sebastian, Project Director). The focus is drug abuse prevention, with an emphasis on methamphetamine. There is much work currently being done in this county by multiple community organizations; however, no efforts focused on the elementary schools. The goal of this project is to plan a curriculum that will strengthen health protective factors in elementary school children to prevent use of methamphetamine (MA).

Methamphetamine addiction is difficult to treat and is costly to society. Substance abuse is being initiated by those as young as elementary school age, which is why preventive education at an early age is essential. The curriculum will be implemented in kindergarten through fifth grade. This project used a community-based participatory action research process. A team of university and community participants was convened that evaluated the extent of the problem of substance abuse in the community, assessed the current work being done in the schools and the community, assessed what has worked and what has not worked, and developed a plan to implement a substance abuse curriculum. This included choosing a research-based drug prevention curriculum that could be sustained in the schools following the conclusion of the project.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse Brain Power! Junior Scientist curriculum was chosen and will be implemented along with a school-wide Positive Behavior Support program. A focus group was held with key personnel in the schools. Focus group data were transcribed and compared with field notes prepared by a project team member who served as scribe. Data were analyzed for key themes. Key themes from the focus group included: methamphetamine is a problem in this community; current efforts are not adequate; early education is key to prevention; NIDA Brain Power! is research-based and appropriate to implement with the school-wide positive behavior support program. A plan was developed for implementation, which will vary by grade level. This will strengthen children's ability to make healthy choices and give them the skills and knowledge to more effectively refrain from substance abuse.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Sebastian, Julliann G., Magnuson, Nancy
Commitee: Butcher, Joan, Topolski, James
School: University of Missouri - Saint Louis
Department: College of Nursing
School Location: United States -- Missouri
Source: DAI-B 72/12, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Nursing, Public health
Keywords: Drug abuse, Substance abuse prevention
Publication Number: 3473956
ISBN: 978-1-124-89017-3
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