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CORK Bibliography: D.A.R.E. Program



17 citations. January 2003 to present

Prepared: September 2012



Birkeland S; Murphy-Graham E; Weiss C. Good reasons for ignoring good evaluation: The case of the Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) program. Evaluation and Program Planning 28(3): 247-256, 2005. (33 refs.)

D.A.R.E. is the most popular school-based drug abuse prevention program in the U.S., but evaluations have found that positive effects on students' knowledge, attitudes, and behavior (often observed right after the program) fade away over time. By late adolescence students exposed and not exposed to the program are indistinguishable. Some school districts ignore the evidence and continue to offer D.A.R.E. In our study of 16 school districts, we found two persuasive reasons: (1) Evaluations generally measure drug use as the main outcome, but school officials are skeptical that any low-input short-term program like D.A.R.E. can change adolescents' drug-taking behavior. (2) Evaluations often do not often report relationships between cops and kids. Improvement in these relationships is a main reason for many districts' continued implementation of D.A.R.E. Districts also mention other understandable although more problematic rationales for keeping D.A.R.E.

Copyright 2005, Elsevier Science Ltd.


Glantz MD; Compton WM. Mental health and substance abuse innovations: Issues of diffusion and adoption. Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice 11(2): 183-185, 2004. (4 refs.)

Gotham (2004, this issue) has done a good job of reviewing the subject of diffusion and raising some important issues. One of the key elements of Gotham's approach is its simple framework of development, dissemination, and implementation. In conjunction with work by Rogers (2003) and others in the field, these discussions draw attention to the processes that follow the development of interventions and determine, at least in part, the ultimate impact of the innovations. This commentary also comments upon diffusion of information about and the discontinuation of empirically nonsupported treatments (ENSTs). A well-known example in the field of drug abuse prevention is the Drug Abuse Resistance Education program (Project DARE) which continues to be the most frequently used prevention program despite credible research that fails to support its effectiveness. With regard to a diffusion model, it would be useful to differentiate between innovations for which there is clear and unambiguous research support and the extent to which potential adopters are aware of the innovation. One of the major differences in the diffusion and adoption of mental health and substance abuse developments compared to the diffusion and adoption of many medical innovations is the extent to which there are relatively definitive medical research findings based on consensually accepted assessments and standards. However, even relatively definitive medical research findings are often slow to be adopted by the general medical community. In fields such as mental health and substance abuse, where there is less consensus about treatment approaches, the problems may be compounded.

Copyright 2004, Oxford University Press, Inc.


Komro KA; Perry CL; Munson KA; Stigler MH; Farbakhsh K. Reliability and validity of self-report measures to evaluate drug and violence prevention programs. Journal of Child & Adolescent Substance Abuse 13(3): 17-51, 2004. (65 refs.)

The purpose of this paper is to outline the evaluation plan for the Minnesota D.A.R.E. Plus Project, a drug and violence prevention program for young adolescents, and to present the results of psychometric analyses on the measures that will be used in the assessment of the intervention program. The survey instrument was tested using different samples for each stage of its development. The main scale development sample included seventh grade students in urban, suburban and rural schools. The results indicate that the scales constructed are reliable and valid measures of young adolescents' drug use and violent behaviors, as well as intrapersonal, social, and environmental factors related to those behaviors.

Copyright 2004, Haworth Press, Inc.


Komro KA; Perry CL; Veblen-Mortenson S; Stigler MH; Bosma LA; Munson KA et al. Violence-related outcomes of the DARE plus project. Health Education & Behavior 31(3): 335-354, 2004. (36 refs.)

The objectives of this study were to examine outcomes of the Minnesota D.A.R.E. Plus Project on violence-related behaviors among middle school students and mediation analyses that test how the intervention was effective in reducing physical and verbal violence. Twenty-four schools were randomly assigned to the D.A.R.E. middle school curriculum, the D.A.R.E. Plus multicomponent intervention, or control. The study cohort completed a self-report questionnaire at baseline and two follow-ups. The results showed that boys had higher rates of violence and victimization than girls. The D.A.R.E. Plus program was more effective in preventing violence among boys than among girls. It appears that the small behavioral effect that D.A.R.E. Plus did demonstrate on physical and verbal violence among boys was entirely mediated by a decrease of norms that support violence, an increase in outcome expectancies about being violence-free, and an increase in parental consequences for fighting.

Copyright 2004, Sage Publications Inc


Komro KA; Stigler MH; Perry CL. Comprehensive approaches to prevent adolescent drinking and related probems. IN: Galanter M, ed. Recent Developments in Alcoholism. Volume 17: Alcohol Problems in Adolescents and Young Adults -- Epidemiology, Neurobiology, Prevention, Treatment. New York: Kluwer Academic, 2005. pp. 207-224. (40 refs.)

This chapter reviews comprehensive prevention strategies. Ideally these include a mix of environmental and individual level efforts. The authors review different comprehensive efforts: Life Skills Training; Project STAR; Project Northland; Seattle Social Development Project; Project SAFE; and D.A.R.E. In practice, commonly the "environment" is often to school and family. One exception, Project Northland, is described. The chapter begins with a discussion of the theory and rationale for prevention efforts, and notes the importance of attending to research and tie interventions to theory.

Copyright 2005, Project Cork


Lucas WL. Parents' perceptions of the Drug Abuse Resistance Education program (DARE). Journal of Child & Adolescent Substance Abuse 17(4): 99-114, 2008. (29 refs.)

Responses from 420 parents of fifth- and sixth-grade DARE students in a Midwestern county were examined to determine the parents' perceptions of the impact of DARE on their children's and their own attitudes and behavior. Major findings indicated that most parents did not see an impact on their child's school performance or overall attendance. Most perceived program impact with respect to the child's improved understanding and ability to resist drug use and improved perception of police officers. Most parents themselves reported increased awareness of substance abuse problems and increased conversation with their children about drug use as a result of DARE. Relevance of the findings to describing the perceived value and utility of DARE for parents as a stakeholder group is discussed.

Copyright 2008, Haworth Press


MacKillop J; Lisman SA; Weinstein A; Rosenbaum D. Controversial treatments for alcoholism. IN: Lilienfeld SO; Lynn SJ; Lohr JM, eds. Science and Pseudoscience in Clinical Psychology. New York: Guilford Press, 2003. pp. 273-305. (154 refs.)

Two frameworks for the treatment of alcoholism have evolved over the course of understanding the disorder. The large gaps between the lay and scientific treatment communities and even within the clinical community itself have resulted in substantial controversy regarding treatment approaches to alcoholism. This chapter examines "controversial" treatments for alcoholism, namely those that have been widely adopted or generated popular appeal, but have been demonstrated by controlled research to be of questionable or even nonexistent efficacy. Specifically, the chapter discusses the efficacy of Alcoholics Anonymous, the Johnson Intervention, disulfiram pharmacotherapy, the debates about moderation as a treatment goal, and Project DARE. The second portion of the chapter describes the theory, evidence, and procedures of a selection of evidence-based treatments. The chapter concludes with a comment on the increasing visibility and influence of the scientific perspective in alcoholism treatment.

Copyright 2003, Guilford Press


Merrill JC; Pinsky I; Killeya-Jones LA; Sloboda Z; Dilascio T. Substance abuse prevention infrastructure: a survey-based study of the organizational structure and function of the D.A.R.E. program. Substance Abuse Treatment, Prevention, and Policy 1: article 25, 2006. (29 refs.)

Background: The only national drug abuse prevention delivery system that supports the rapid diffusion of new prevention strategies and includes uniform training and credentialing of instructors who are monitored for quality implementation of prevention programming is the Drug Abuse Resistance Education network (D.A.R.E.) linking community law enforcement to schools. Analysis of the organizational structure and function of D.A.R.E. provides an understanding of the essential parameters of this successful delivery system that can be used in the development of other types of national infrastructures for community-based prevention services. Information regarding organizational structure and function around funding issues, training, quality control and community relationships was gathered through telephone surveys with 50 state D.A.R.E. coordinators (including two major cities), focus groups with local D.A.R.E. officers and mentors, and interviews with national D.A.R.E. office staff. Results: The surveys helped identify several strengths inherent in the D.A.R.E. program necessary for building a prevention infrastructure, including a well-defined organizational focus (D.A.R.E. America), uniform training and means for rapid dissemination (through its organized training structure), continuing education mechanisms (through the state and national conference and website), mechanisms for program monitoring and fidelity of implementation (formal and informal), branding and, for several states, predictable and consistent financing. Weaknesses of the program as currently structured include unstable funding and the failure to incorporate components for the continual upgrading of curricula reflecting research evidence and "principles of prevention". Conclusion: The D.A.R.E. organization and service delivery network provides a framework for the rapid dissemination of evidence-based prevention strategies. The major strength of D.A.R.E. is its natural affiliation to local law enforcement agencies through state coordinators. Through these affiliations, it has been possible for D.A.R.E. to become established nationally within a few years and internationally within a decade. Understanding how this structure developed and currently functions provides insights into how other such delivery systems could be developed.

Copyright 2006, BioMed Central


Montgomery JM; Foley KL; Wolfson M. Enforcing the minimum drinking age: State, local and agency characteristics associated with compliance checks and Cops in Shops programs. Addiction 101(2): 223-231, 2006. (32 refs.)

Aims: To identify state, local and organizational characteristics associated with local law enforcement agencies' implementation of two dramatically different approaches to enforcement of underage drinking laws: compliance checks and Cops in Shops programs. Compliance checks use underage decoys to attempt to purchase alcohol from retail merchants, while Cops in Shops programs deploy undercover law enforcement officers in alcohol outlets to detect and cite persons under the age of 21 who attempt to purchase alcohol. Design: Cross-sectional telephone interview conducted as part of the Tobacco Enforcement Study (TES), which examined enforcement of laws related to youth access to tobacco. Setting: Data were collected in 1999 among law enforcement agencies in all 50 states of the United States. Participants: Representatives of city police departments, departments of public safety, sheriffs or county police were included (n = 920 local agencies). Measurements: Alcohol compliance checks and Cops in Shops programs were the primary outcomes. Covariates included state level policies (e. g. beer tax), agency resources (e. g. number of sworn officers) and community demographics (e. g. college dormitory population). Findings Local enforcement agencies were more likely to perform alcohol compliance checks than to have a Cops in Shops program (73.9% compared to 41.1% in cities > 25000 and 55.7% compared to 23.9% in cities <= 25000). Conducting compliance checks for tobacco age-of-sale laws was positively associated with alcohol compliance checks and Cops in Shops (OR 3.30, P < 0.001; OR 1.84, P = 0.001, respectively). Having a Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) officer was negatively related to conducting compliance checks (OR 0.67, P = 0.03). Special community policing units were associated with departments having Cops in Shops programs (OR 1.80, P = 0.006). Conclusions: This study used a nationally representative sample of communities to better understand state and local factors that shape local law enforcement agencies' use of two distinct approaches to underage drinking enforcement. The strong link observed between tobacco and alcohol compliance checks may indicate a culture within some law enforcement agencies supporting strict enforcement of age-of-sale laws.

Copyright 2006, Society for the Study of Addiction to Alcohol and Other Drugs


Morris MC; Cline RJW; Weiler RM; Broadway SC. Prescription drug abuse information in DARE. Journal of Drug Education 36(1): 33-45, 2006. (26 refs.)

This investigation was designed to examine prescription drug-related content and learning objectives in Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) for upper elementary and middle schools. Specific prescription-drug topics and context associated with content and objectives were coded. The coding system for topics included 126 topics organized within 14 categories. A two-dimensional coding system for context identified Use versus Abuse and Explicit versus Implicit references to prescription drugs. Results indicated that content and objectives found in D.A.R.E. represent a very narrow breadth of prescription drug topics. Moreover, all prescription-drug related content and objectives were presented in an Abuse-Implicit context. Although some educational material in D.A.R.E. modules potentially is related to prescription drugs, none of the content or objectives explicitly identify drugs discussed as prescription drugs. If elementary and middle schools rely on D.A.R.E. modules to teach students about drug abuse, students are likely to be under-informed about prescription drug risks.

Copyright 2006, Baywood Publishing Co.


Pan W; Bai HY. A multivariate approach to a meta-analytic review of the effectiveness of the DARE Program. (review). International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 6(1): 267-277, 2009. (48 refs.)

The Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) program is a widespread but controversial school-based drug prevention program in the United States as well as in many other countries. The present multivariate meta-analysis reviewed 20 studies that assessed the effectiveness of the D.A.R.E. program in the United States. The results showed that the effects of the D.A.R.E. program on drug use did not vary across the studies with a less than small overall effect while the effects on psychosocial behavior varied with still a less than small overall effect. In addition, the characteristics of the studies significantly explained the variation of the heterogeneous effects on psychosocial behavior, which provides empirical evidence for improving the school-based drug prevention program.

Copyright 2009, Molecular Diversity Preservation


Perry CL; Komro KA; Veblen-Mortenson S; Bosma LM; Farbakhsh K; Munson KA et al. A randomized controlled trial of the middle and junior high school DARE and DARE Plus programs. Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine 157(2): 178-184, 2003. (40 refs.)

Objective: To evaluate the effect of the middle and junior high school Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) and D.A.R.E. Plus programs on drug use and violence. Design: Randomized controlled trial of 24 schools, with 3 conditions: D.A.R.E. only, D.A.R.E. Plus, and delayed program control. Setting: Schools and neighborhoods, primarily in Minneapolis-St Paul. Participants: All seventh-grade students in 24 schools in the academic year 1999-2000 (N = 6237 at baseline, 67.3% were white, and there was 84.0% retention at final follow-up). Interventions: The middle and junior high school D.A.R.E. curriculum in the 16 schools that received D.A.R.E. only and D.A.R.E. Plus. In the 8 schools that received D.A.R.E. Plus, additional components included a peer-led parental involvement classroom program called "On the VERGE," youth-led extracurricular activities, community adult action teams, and postcard mailings to parents. The interventions were implemented during 2 school years, when the cohort was in the seventh and eighth grades. Main Outcome Measures: Self-reported tobacco, alcohol, and marijuana use; multidrug use; violence; and victimization, assessed at the beginning and end of seventh grade and at the end of eighth grade. Growth curve analytic methods were used to assess changes over time by condition. Results: There were no significant differences between DA.R.E. only and the controls; significant differences among boys between D.A.R.E. Plus and controls for tobacco, alcohol, and multidrug use and victimization; significant differences among boys between D.A.R.E. Plus and D.A.R.E. only in tobacco use and violence; and no significant behavioral differences among girls. Conclusion: D.A.R.E. Plus significantly enhanced the effectiveness of the D.A.R.E. curriculum among boys and was more effective than the delayed program controls, underscoring the potential for multiyear, multicomponent prevention programs and demonstrating sex differences in response to intervention programs.

Copyright 2003, American Medical Association


Sloboda Z; Stephens P; Pyakuryal A; Teasdale B; Stephens RC; Hawthorne RD et al. Implementation fidelity: The experience of the Adolescent Substance Abuse Prevention Study. Health Education Research 24(3): 394-406, 2009. (25 refs.)

While researchers have developed more effective programs and strategies to prevent the initiation of substance use and increasingly communities are delivering these interventions, determining the degree to which they are delivered as they were designed remains a significant research challenge. In the past several years, more attention has been given to implementation issues during the various stages of program development and diffusion. This paper presents the findings from a substudy of an evaluation of a newly designed middle and high school substance abuse prevention program, Take Charge of Your Life delivered by local Drug Abuse Resistance Education officer instructors. A key aspect of the study was to determine the extent to which implementation fidelity, using the measures of content coverage and appropriate instructional strategy, was associated with improvement in the program mediators of realistic normative beliefs, understanding the harmful effects of substance use and the acquisition of decision-making and resistance skills. Although it was found that higher fidelity was associated with better scores on some of the mediators, this was not a consistent finding. The mixed results are discussed within the context of the lesson activities themselves.

Copyright 2009, Oxford University Press


Sloboda Z; Stephens RC; Stephens PC; Grey SF; Teasdale B; Hawthorne RD et al. The adolescent substance abuse prevention study: A randomized field trial of a universal substance abuse prevention program. Drug and Alcohol Dependence 102(1/3): 1-10, 2009. (72 refs.)

Objectives: The purpose of the study was to determine whether a universal school-based Substance abuse prevention program, Take Charge of Your Life (TCYL), prevents or reduces the use of tobacco, alcohol, or marijuana. Methods: Eighty-three School Clusters (representing school districts) from six metropolitan areas were randomized to treatment (41) or control (42) conditions, Using active consenting procedures, 19,529 seventh graders were enrolled in the 5-year study. Self-administered surveys were completed by the students annually. Trained Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) police officers presented TCYL in seventh and ninth grades in treatment schools. Analyses were conducted with data from 17,320 students who completed a baseline survey. Intervention outcomes were measured using self-reported past-month and past-year use of tobacco, alcohol, and Marijuana When Students were in the 11th grade. Results: Main effect analyses show a negative program effect for use of alcohol and cigarettes and no effect for marijuana use. Subgroup analyses indicated that the negative effect occurred among nonusers at baseline, and mostly among white students of both genders. A positive program effect was found for Students Who used marijuana at baseline. Two complementary papers explore the relationship of the targeted program mediators to the use of alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana and specifically for students who were substance-free or who used substances at baseline. Conclusions: The negative impact of the program on baseline nonusers Of alcohol and tobacco indicate that TCYL should not be delivered as a universal prevention intervention. The finding of a beneficial effect for baseline marijuana users further supports this conclusion. The programmatic and methodological challenges faced by the Adolescent Substance Abuse Prevention Study (ASAPS) and lessons learned offer insights for prevention researchers who will be designing similar randomized field trials in the future.

Copyright 2009, Elsevier Science


Vincus AA; Ringwalt C; Harris MS; Shamblen SR. A short-term, quasi-experimental evaluation of D.A.R.E.'s revised elementary school curriculum. Journal of Drug Education 40(1, special issue): 37-49, 2010. (37 refs.)

We present the short-term results of a quasi-experimental evaluation of the revised DARE. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) curriculum. Study outcomes examined were D.A.R.E.'s effects on three substances, namely students' lifetime and 30-day use of tobacco, alcohol, and marijuana, as well as their school attendance and academic performance. The study comprised students in 17 urban schools, each of which served as its own control; 5th graders in the 2006-2007 school year constituted the comparison group (n = 1490), and those enrolled as 5th graders in the 2007-2008 school year constituted the intervention group (n = 1450). We found no intervention effect on students' substance use for any of the substance use outcomes assessed. We did find that students were more likely to attend school on days they received DARE. lessons and that students in the intervention group were more likely to have been suspended. Study findings provide little support for the implementation and dissemination of the revised D.A.R.E. curriculum.

Copyright 2010, Baywood Publishing


Weiss CH; Murphy-Graham E; Birkeland S. An alternate route to policy influence: How evaluations affect DARE. American Journal of Evaluation 26(1): 12-30, 2005. (43 refs.)

Investigators of the influence of evaluations on policy decisions have noted three main routes to influence: instrumental, conceptual, and political/symbolic. This study, an inquiry into the effect of evaluations of the Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) program, found a fourth main way that evaluations exert an influence: imposed use. The Safe and Drug Free Schools office of the U.S. Department of Education obliged districts to select a program that met its "Principles of Effectiveness," which most districts construed to mean that the program had to be on the department's approved list. Because results of D.A.R.E. evaluations repeatedly showed that D.A.R.E.'s effectiveness on knowledge and attitudes was neither sustained nor led to lower use of drugs, D.A.R.E. did not make the "lists." Hence, many districts dropped or scaled back D.A.R.E. This kind of imposed use is likely to become more common when government agencies make greater demands for accountability.

Copyright 2005, Sage Publications, Inc.


Zhong H; Zhao X; Deason-Howell LM. Does gender matter? Assessing the new D.A.R.E. program effects on mediators across gender groups. Journal of Alcohol and Drug Education 49(4): 15-25, 2005. (10 refs.)

This article examines the role of gender in prevention programs, examining the impact of D.A.R.E. programs. This report is based upon a new D.A.R.E. curriculum developed by the Instutitue for Health and Social Policy at the University of Akron. This curriculum based on efforts to address three mediators: normative beliefs about substance use, attitudes toward substance use and the adoption of refusal skills. Among the findings is that there are general differences based on the type of substance -- alcohol, nicotine, and marijuana. One of the gender differences identified was greater peer tolerance for smoking among girls.

Copyright 2005, American Alcohol and Drug Information Foundation