Date of Award

Spring 5-16-2014

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)

Department

Public Health

First Advisor

Dr. Kymberle Sterling

Second Advisor

Madeleine Frey, MPH

Third Advisor

Dr. Jill Lee-Barber

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Mikyta Daugherty

Fifth Advisor

Johnny Gossett

Abstract

Program Description

CHOICES: A Brief Alcohol Abuse Prevention and Harm Reduction Program, is a research-based intervention program that can assist college students in making safer choices as it relates to alcohol consumption. Students in CHOICES are informed of the risks associated with alcohol use and are provided with the tools and strategies necessary for reducing these risks. Students who complete CHOICES leave with the knowledge and strategies that are required to modify risky drinking behavior and reduce negative consequences related alcohol consumption.

Evaluation Questions

The purpose of the evaluation was to determine how effective is the CHOICES program. Program effectiveness was measured through the assessment of student’s change in background knowledge, knowledge of health related risks associated with alcohol consumption, and attitudes towards excesive drinking. Student’s perceived effectiveness of the program and their likelihood to modify their behavior was also assessed. Below are the five evaluation questions:

  1. Do students display an increase in background knowledge of alcohol consumption?
  2. Do students display an increased knowledge of health-related risks associated with alcohol consumption?
  3. Do students display a change in attitudes towards excessive drinking?
  4. Do students consider the CHOICES Program an effective alcohol abuse prevention program?
  5. Are students likely to modify their behavior as a result of the CHOICES Program?

Methods

There were 88 students mandated to participate in and complete Georgia State University’s CHOICES Program from May 2013 to December 2013. Of those 88 students, 83 of them completed pre- and post-tests, and 84 completed the de-identified evaluation. The data was entered directly into IBM’s SPSS Statistics Desktop Version 21. Reliability analyses were conducted to evaluate the internal consistency and reliability of the scales created to answer the evaluation questions. Frequencies were run on the responses from the pre-tests, post-tests and evaluations. A paired-samples t-test was used to compare mean scores of students before and after completing the CHOICES Program. An independent-samples t-test was used to compare the difference in mean scores between men and women.

Key Findings

Statistically significant findings suggests that CHOICES is an effective alcohol abuse prevention program. There was a statistically significant increase in background knowledge scores from the pre-test to the post-test. These results indicate that students who complete CHOICES display an increase in background knowledge of alcohol use. There was also a statistically significant increase in health knowledge scores from the pre-test to the post-test. This indicates that students who complete CHOICES display an increase in knowledge of health-related risk associated with alcohol consumption. Statistical significance was also found in the increase of student’s attitude scores from the pre-test to the post-test, indicating that students who complete CHOICES display a positive change in attitude towards excessive drinking.

Over half of students gave CHOICES an overall rating of “excellent” and 38.6% gave it a rating of “good”. Also, 60.6% of students scored above a 28 on the Program Effectiveness Scale. These results indicate that students consider CHOICES an effective alcohol abuse prevention program. 60.7% of students reported that they would “definitely” change some aspect of their alcohol-related behavior as a result of the CHOICES Program. 29% reported “maybe”. These results indicate that the majority of students are likely to modify their behavior as a result of CHOICES. Students who participate in CHOICES leave the program with increased knowledge, a change in attitude towards excessive drinking and are motivated to make safer choices related to drinking.

Available for download on Tuesday, April 28, 2015

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