Too Good for Drugs—Elementary School

Program Goals
Too Good for Drugs (TGFD) for elementary school students is a school-based drug prevention program designed to reduce students' intention to use alcohol, tobacco, and illegal drugs, while promoting prosocial attitudes, skills, and behaviors. The program seeks to build the self-confidence of students so they are better able to make healthy choices and achieve success. Although there are different objectives across grade levels, promoting positive, prosocial attitudes, and fostering healthy relationships is a running theme throughout the program’s curriculum. Overall, TGFD seeks to develop positive peer norms; appropriate attitudes toward alcohol, tobacco, and illegal drug use; personal and interpersonal skills relating to alcohol, tobacco, and illegal drug use; knowledge of the negative consequences of alcohol, tobacco, and illegal drug use; and finally the knowledge of the benefits of living a drug-free lifestyle.

Program Theory
The TGFD program uses the social influence model and the cognitive–behavioral model as its framework for the prevention program. In developing the program, the Mendez Foundation sought to develop the skills of students so that they are better able to resist peer pressure and make responsible, healthy decisions. TGFD uses a developmentally appropriate curriculum that specifically concentrates on five social and emotional learning skills that have been shown to promote healthy development and academic success: 

  1. goal setting
  2. decision making
  3. bonding with pro-social others
  4. identifying and managing emotions
  5. communicating effectively with others.

Program Components
As a long-term prevention program, the TGFD curriculum builds on the curriculum in the previous grade level, requiring students to develop skills and use these skills year after year. At each grade level the TGFD program consists of: 

  1. 10 core curriculum lessons, including an interactive workbook delivered by trained teachers/TGFD instructors
  2. a “Looking for More” component at the end of each lesson that includes suggestions for additional readings, videotapes, and activities to further reinforce the skills learned during the lesson
  3. parental involvement, including newsletters and homework assignments for families
  4. community inclusion
  5. a Staff Development Curriculum that is provided to educators

As part of the elementary school curriculum, the program introduces and fosters social and emotional skills to assist students in making healthy choices, developing positive friendships, communicating effectively, and resisting peer pressure. These lessons seek to teach the fundamental elements of a healthy lifestyle that can be further developed during adolescence.

Intervention ID
351
Ages

5 to 12

Rating
No Effects
Outcomes

Study 1
Overall, the preponderance of evidence from the Bacon (2003) study suggests that the program had limited to no effect on program participants at the 4-month follow-up period. Although statistically significant differences were found by the study author for some of the teacher-reported outcome measures, these differences were generally small. Moreover, although there were some significant differences for the student-reported outcome measures, the program did not measure student drug use and appeared to have no significant impact on students’ attitudes towards drugs.

Teacher Checklists
Personal and Social Skills
Bacon (2003) found that participating in the TGFD program appears to have a statistically significant impact on students’ personal and social skills. At the 4-month follow-up period, teachers in the experimental group reported more personal and social skills in their students than did teachers in the control group whose students did not receive the Too Good for Drugs program; however, the differences between the two groups were small.

Prosocial Behavior
The TGFD program appears to have a statistically significant impact on students’ prosocial behavior. At the 4-month follow-up period, teachers in the treatment group reported more prosocial behaviors in their students than did teachers in the control group whose students did not receive the Too Good for Drugs program. Again, however, the differences between the two groups were small.

Inappropriate Behaviors
Regarding inappropriate behaviors, the TGFD appears to reduce the number of inappropriate behaviors in students. At the 4-month follow-up period, teachers in the treatment group reported fewer inappropriate behaviors displayed by their students than did teachers in the control group. Although the difference between the two groups was statistically significant, the difference was once again small.

Student Surveys
Emotional Competency Skills
Regarding student responses to questions related to their emotional competency skills, no significant differences were found between the treatment and control groups at the 4-month follow-up period.

Social and Resistance Skills
No significant differences were found between the treatment and control group at the 4-month follow-up period in terms of their responses related to social and resistance skills.

Goal-Setting and Decision-Making Skills
The TGFD program appeared to have a statistically significant impact on students’ goal-setting and decision-making skills. At the 4-month follow-up period, students in the treatment group reported higher goal-setting and decision-making skills than did students in the control group.

Perceptions of Harmful Effects of Drugs
In terms of student responses related to their perceptions of the harmful effects of drugs, no significant differences were found between students in the treatment group and students in the control group.

Attitudes Toward Drugs
At the 4-month follow-up period, no significant differences were found between the treatment and control groups in terms of their attitudes toward drugs.

Study 2
Overall, the preponderance of evidence from the Bacon (2007) study suggests that the program had a very limited to no effect on program participants at the 3-month follow-up period. Although statistically significant differences were found by the study author for some of the outcome measures, these differences were small. Further, the program did not measure student drug use and appeared to have no significant impact students’ attitudes towards drugs.

Teacher Checklists
Personal Skills
Bacon (2007) found that participating in the TGFD program appears to have a statistically significant impact on students’ personal skills. At the 3-month follow-up period, teachers in the experimental group reported more personal skills in their students than teachers in the control group whose students did not receive the TGFD program; however, these differences were small.

Social Skills
The TGFD program appeared to have a statistically significant impact on students’ social skills, as teachers in the treatment group reported better social skills in their students than did teachers in the control group at the 3-month follow-up period.

Prosocial Behavior
Teachers in the treatment group reported more prosocial behaviors in their students than did teachers in the control group at the 3-month follow-up period. These differences were statistically significant.

Inappropriate Behaviors
Although teachers in the treatment group reported fewer inappropriate behaviors in their students than did the teachers in the control group at the 3-month follow-up period, these differences were not statistically significant.

Student Surveys
Emotional Competency Skills
The TGFD program appeared to have a statistically significant impact on students’ emotional competency skills, as students in the treatment group indicated higher emotional competency skills in their responses than students in the control group at the 3-month follow-up period.

Social and Resistance Skills
In terms of student responses related to their social and resistance skills, students in the treatment group indicated higher social and resistance skills than students in the control group at the 3-month follow-up period. These differences were statistically significant.

Goal-Setting and Decision-Making Skills
At the 3-month follow-up period, students in the treatment group indicated higher goal-setting and decision-making skills in their survey responses than students in the control group. These differences were statistically significant.

Perceptions of Harmful Effects of Drugs
Students in the treatment group had more positive perceptions of the harmful effects of drugs than did students in the control group at the 3-month follow-up period. These differences were statistically significant.

Attitudes Toward Drugs
At the 3-month follow-up period, no significant differences were found between the treatment and control group in terms of their attitudes toward drugs.

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