INNOVATIVE CONCEPTS FOR ASSESSING AOD USE IN COLLEGE SETTINGS. Robert Voas1, Rob Turrisi2, 1Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation, Calverton, MD United States; 2Penn State University, University Park, PA United States
Alcohol use is highly prevalent among U.S. college students (Presley, Meilman, & Lyerla, 1995), and alcohol-related problems are considered among the most serious public health threats on American college campuses (e.g., Wechsler, Davenport, Dowdall, Moeykens, & Castillo, 1994). It is estimated that 1,400 college students die each year from unintentional alcohol-related injuries and that 500,000 are unintentionally injured while under the influence of alcohol (Hingson, Heeren, Zakocs, Kopstein, & Wechsler, 2002). Approximately 25% of college students report negative academic consequences (e.g., missing class, performing poorly, receiving low grades) of their drinking (e.g., Wechsler et al., 2002; Presley, Meilman, Cashin, & Lyerla, 1996).To address the problems associated with student drinking, colleges and universities have introduced prevention and intervention efforts to reduce excessive alcohol consumption by students. A relatively limited number of these programs have been adequately evaluated in part because most studies have used relatively expensive mail and telephone survey procedures. Additionally, most evaluations have been highly dependent on self-report information rather than more objective measures of drinking and problems linked to drinking. To meet the challenge presented by the need for objective, low-cost evaluations of college programs, innovative assessment and intervention methodologies are required that (1) allow estimation of risks associated with unique college settings (e.g., fraternity parties versus other campus events) and (2) offer insight on effective intervention strategies. This symposium is designed to describe and present evidence from six unique assessment methodologies that have practical utility for evaluating alcohol and other drug (AOD) use by students in college communities.The six presented studies vary from soliciting students passing through high-traffic campus locations to participating in surveys, to observing them at parties, to intercepting students on campus sidewalks as they return from a night of partying, to contacting them as they enter and leave dance events, to interviewing students taking advantage of university safe-ride programs, to conducting intensive interviews with small groups of students. Several of the techniques emphasize the collection of biological samples as well as interviews to collect information on AOD use on campus.In 2002, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism generated a “Call to Action” report that described the prevalence of heavy drinking on campuses and the extent of health risks attributable to college alcohol consumption.
THE SIDEWALK SURVEY: A METHOD FOR COLLECTING OBJECTIVE DRINKING MEASURES ON COLLEGE CAMPUSES. Mark Johnson1, James Lange2, John Clapp2, Robert Voas1, 1Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation, Calverton, MD United States; 2San Diego State University, San Diego, CA United States
Alcohol use is highly prevalent among U.S. college students, and alcohol-related problems are often considered the most serious public health threat on American college campuses. Empirical examinations of college drinking and evaluations of campus-drinking interventions have relied primarily on self-report measures. Recently, however, there has been increased emphasis on using objective measures to assess drinking, as researchers have suggested self-report measures of alcohol may be particularly biased. Although objective measures of drinking can be obtained relatively easily via BAC breath tests, developing a method of collecting these data from a random or representative sample of the population may be more difficult.This paper describes a methodology used to collect objective drinking data from young people on and around the campus of San Diego State University. The procedure involves randomly sampling, interviewing, and breath testing students as they pass through various campus locations on weekend nights. Descriptive summaries of the data collected through spring 2003 are provided, and limitations to methodology are discussed.
THE KIOSK TECHNIQUE FOR CAMPUS SURVEYS. Dexter Taylor1, Mark Johnson1, Robert Turrisi2, Robert Voas1, 1Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation, Calverton, MD United States; 2Penn State University, State College, PA United States
Survey methods typically used to measure college student drinking vary in their strengths and weaknesses. Traditional data-collection methods, particularly on college campuses, include mail surveys, telephone surveys, web-based surveys, classroom surveys, and field surveys. Each of these techniques has benefits and costs that are both general and specific to the intention of the researcher. Some general concerns among survey researchers when considering a methodology include time involvement, financial costs, labor, and the extent to which the survey technique produces a representative sample. Because no survey methodology is perfect, there may be benefits to using survey methodologies that are inexpensive, yet “good enough” to yield results that can be easily interpreted and generalized.Our kiosk survey technique involves such a method and has been used at two universities—Boise State and Portland State—for 4 years and at the University of Idaho for 3 years. This survey method involves a nonrandom recruitment of students at campus locations likely to generate a representative sample. The primary advantage to using the kiosk method (relative to telephone, web-based, and mail surveys) is that it is inexpensive to conduct and can gather adequate samples in a relatively short time; sample sizes of approximately 500 participants can be collected in 3 to 5 days. The primary limitation of the kiosk method is that it does not generate a random sample of students from the campus population. However, our research suggests that it produced a sample of students that is generally representative of the campus population.In this research, we examine the extent to which demographic characteristics from our kiosk sample are similar to the characteristics of the known student population (obtained from university enrollment databases). We computed population estimates regarding gender, class (freshman, sophomore, junior and senior), race (White, Black, Hispanic, Asian, and Other), and age category (18-20; 21-22; 23-24; 25-29; 30+) separately for each campus and for each year. Our data revealed that at each university, the demographic characteristics presented in our survey sample approximated demographic characteristics at each respective campus population. The primary discrepancy concerned an oversampling of undergraduate students aged 18 to 20 and an undersampling of undergraduate students aged 24 and older. These data were found to be consistently reliable across 4 academic years. This inexpensive technique was used on several campuses and was reasonably representative of the campus populations.
EVALUATING A SAFE-RIDE PROGRAM WITH RIDE-ALONG BREATH-TEST SURVEYS. James Lange1, Susan Henry1, Mark Reed1, 1San Diego State University, San Diego, CA United States
When Hingson et al. (2002) estimated that more than 1,400 college students die each year in alcohol-related incidents, they acknowledged that the vast majority of these fatalities stemmed from vehicle crashes. Drunk driving by college students represents the most life-threatening risk associated with college binge drinking. Behavioral alternative programs such as safe-ride programs have largely been left unevaluated. Safe-ride programs offer patrons a free ride home from a drinking locale. Thus, these programs offer potentially drunk drivers a direct alternative to driving home impaired. Safe-ride programs also offer passengers of potentially impaired drivers an alternative to riding with an intoxicated driver. However, it remains an empirical question whether the provision of a safe ride increases consumption and/or prevents actual DUI offenses. Indeed, there have been so few investigations into safe-ride programs that virtually nothing has been documented about them, especially within the college population. The weak utilization of the SDSU Safe-Ride program offered an opportunity to study efforts to enhance its use and better understand how a safe-ride program may impact the general problem of college student drunk driving. Methods to evaluate such a program were developed whereby patrons were breath tested by surveyors riding along with the safe-ride provider. Findings from two telephone surveys and also the ride-along indicate that (a) the safe-ride program was used primarily by those with high BACs and (b) that it remains plausible that the program facilitated heavy drinking at least among a portion of the patrons.
PORTAL SURVEYS OF TIME-OUT DRINKING LOCATIONS: A TOOL FOR STUDYING BINGE DRINKING AND AOD USE. Robert Voas1, Deborah Furr-Holden1, Brenda Miller2, Kristin Bright3, Mark Johnson1, 1Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation, Calverton, MD United States; 2Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation, Berkeley, CA United States; 3Prevention Research Center, Berkeley, CA United States
“Portal surveys” emerged from a need to better understand the nature and extent of high-risk drinking and AOD use within specific social contexts. Defined as an assessment occurring proximal to the point of entry to a high-risk locale and immediately upon exit from the locale, portal surveys can be used in different settings to measure the characteristics and behavior of the attendees at an event of special interest. Our specific portal study methodology has been developed around assessing AOD use upon a specific occasion/event and has included measuring participants´ intentions to use collected at entry and reported use upon exit, as well as chemical tests for AOD consumption upon entrance and exit. This presentation outlines the procedures and methodology for a specific setting namely, electronic music dance events (EMDEs) occurring in established venues, such as bars and nightclubs, where we have recently applied the portal survey procedure.
PREVENTING POLYDRUG USE AMONG COLLEGE STUDENTS: QUALITATIVE METHODS IN A MAJOR ENVIRONMENTAL PREVENTIVE INTERVENTION TRIAL IN CALIFORNIA. Kristin Bright1, Robert Saltz1, 1Prevention Research Center, Berkeley, CA United States
There is substantial evidence to show that environmentally based interventions have an impact on the reduction of drinking and alcohol-related harms in college settings. Yet there has been significantly less research on environmental efforts to reduce the mixed use of alcohol and other drugs including licit (e.g., prescription) and illicit drugs. This poster reports on a qualitative study of polydrug use among college students at a major university in California. Findings from in-depth interviews (n=19) are discussed in light their methodological utility for the design of a larger fixed-choice survey fielded to 14 campuses (n=14,000). Qualitative findings indicate that polydrug use is a key component of college student parties. Yet, different combinations of drugs are consumed in markedly different ways (e.g., marijuana, due in part to higher ratings of social acceptability, is more openly consumed with alcohol than prescription drugs such as Vicodin, which are generally perceived as less socially acceptable and are more likely to be consumed in private, prior to a drinking event). These qualitative findings indicate a need for further consideration of what is meant by “at risk settings” and the multiple environments of student party culture (e.g., private and public, on-campus and off-campus, alcohol-prevalent and polydrug-prevalent). Prevention strategies aimed at reducing polydrug use would benefit from mixed-methodological research that enables us to design and conduct environmental interventions not simply as a “shot in the dark,” but also as multidisciplinary and culturally informed strategies appropriate to diverse settings.
MEASURING ALCOHOL CONSUMPTION AND THE PHYSICAL ENVIRONMENT IN COLLEGE PARTIES. John Clapp1, Megan Holmes1, 1San Diego State University, San Diego, CA United States
Drinking settings can vary in their level of actual alcohol control regardless of formal laws and policies. Uncontrolled parties and irresponsible bars are situations actively sought out by students to avoid the controls enforced by the school, the community, and the state. To the extent that controls are established that inhibit heavy episodic drinking, there will be increased motivation among students to seek locations having four characteristics: (1) parents, supervisors, law enforcement, and other regulators are not present; (2) alcohol is readily available at low cost; (3) peers who support heavy drinking are present; (4) the environment is tolerant of drunkenness and has loose behavioral standards (that is, allowing customers to “go a little crazy”) (Lange & Voas, 2002).Student parties represent an important context of student alcohol use. Observational studies have long been an important approach to understanding drinking contexts. Early ethnographic work by Cavan (1966), quantitative work by Culter and Storm (1975), and naturalistic/qualitative work by Gusfiueld (1979) did much to advance the study of drinking contexts and environments. Fewer such studies have been conducted that are specific to college students´ drinking behavior.This poster will present the party observation methodology used in the College Alcohol Party and Bar Study currently underway at San Diego State University. Specifically, we will present the procedures used to locate and gain access to parties, observe and map the party environment, collect BAC samples from partygoers, and the like. The issue of sampling and ethical concerns also will be addressed.
CONCURRENT 4, CULTURAL SENSITIVITY, Organized symposia
PREVENTATIVE INTERVENTIONS IN DIVERSE POPULATIONS AND SETTINGS: ISSUES IN ENGAGING ETHNICALLY DIVERSE LOW-INCOME FAMILIES IN RURAL AND URBAN SETTINGS. Melvin Wilson1, Daniel Shaw2, Nicholas Ialongo3, 1University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA United States; 2University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA United States; 3Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD United States
This symposium will explore contextual issues of ethnic background (African American and Latino American) and population density (rural, suburban and urban). Although low-income minority children may be at greater risk for poorer socio-emotional outcomes, service provision may be limited for minority families and those residing in less-populated or inner-city areas (Wells, Klap, Koike, & Sherbourne, 2001). The present symposium will review information gathered from The Early Steps Project (ES), The Chicago Parent Program (CPP), and The Strong African American Families Program (SAAF) which share principals and practices that reflect cultural and regional sensitivity and promotion of family well being. The Early Steps Project is a multi-site research project testing the effectiveness of an intervention designed to prevent early-onset conduct problems. A primary aim of the Early Step Project is to refine an intervention model for low-income families that capitalizes on existing parenting services within rural areas of Charlottesville, Virginia, urban areas of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and suburban areas of Eugene, Oregon. The Chicago Parent Program is a parent training program targeting low-income African American and Latino American families in inner-city Chicago, IL. The Strong African American Families Program is the first family-community preventative intervention program designed specifically for rural African American families and youth. SAAF was informed by feedback from community research partners, as well as by the theoretical and empirical findings that emerged from research on rural African American families. The current symposium will discuss the unique circumstances of service delivery to ethnic populations in diverse settings. Specifically, the three presentations will discuss strategies employed to enhance the cultural sensitivity of service delivery. First, Dr.Gill will present the ES strategy that engages the families in a process of change through providing feedback based on thorough assessments of family functioning and helping families to set relevant goals and targets of change. Also, the ES presentation will share parents´ attitudes about child management practices obtained through focus groups with minority parents. Dr. Gross will describe CPP´s collaboration with a parent advisory board to address the needs and interests of low-income ethnic minority families with young children living in urban contexts. Dr. Murry will highlight SAAF prevention strategies that incorporate the efforts of a community-research partnership involving rural-area families, academic researchers and family interventionists. Dr. Ialongo will offer a discussion on the symposium.
ADDRESSING CULTURAL DIFFERENCES IN THE IMPLEMENTATION OF PARENTING INTERVENTIONS. Alison Schlatter1, Anne Gill2, Barbara Adelman2, Mary Curby1, Michelle Jensen3, Melvin Wilson1, Daniel Shaw2, 1University of Virginia, Department of Psychology, Charlottesville, VA United States; 2University of Pittsburgh, Department of Psychology, Pittsburgh, PA United States; 3University of Oregon, Child and Family Center, Eugene, OR United States
Preventative interventions aimed at reducing child behavior problems have demonstrated the benefits of parent skills training (e.g., Webster-Stratton & Reid, 2004). However, there has been limited research on how racial and cultural factors influence program implementation. This presentation focuses on the Early Steps Project, a multi-site research project designed to prevent the early-onset of conduct problems among 720 toddlers from low-income families. This project is embedded within the Women, Infants, and Children Nutritional Supplement Program (WIC) Centers in urban (Pittsburgh, PA), rural (Charlottesville, VA) and suburban (Eugene, OR) locations and emphasizes client concerns as momentum toward behavior change in the intervention model. A primary challenge of the study has been tailoring the intervention to diverse cultural and geographic backgrounds of families. This presentation is based on data gathered during WIC participant focus groups and study participant intervention sessions regarding the needs of African American, Latino, and Caucasian families across geographic communities.
Focus groups were conducted with suburban Latino parents in Oregon, urban African American parents in Pittsburgh, and rural African American parents in Virginia. African American groups strongly endorsed the use of corporal punishment and reported mistrust of service providers. Within the suburban Latino community in Oregon, a theme of isolation and concerns about acculturation were prominent. This suggests the importance of cultural sensitivity in intervening with diverse ethnic populations.
As part of the ES brief intervention, parents randomly assigned to the study´s treatment group were asked to generate family goals in the interest of reducing their child´s level of behavior problems. Preliminary data from the Pittsburgh site suggests that families were highly concerned with issues related to housing and employment. Parents in the Pittsburgh site chose goals related to finding a job (26% of parents) and moving to a better neighborhood/home (24%) most frequently. Parenting goals included improving the parent-child relationships (21%), reducing aggressive behavior (19%) and improving parenting skills (19%). Data collection from all sites is ongoing and more complete data will be presented. Our findings suggest that while the primary goal of parenting programs is skill development, diverse high-risk families may prioritize economic issues over parenting skill acquisition.
This data will enhance service delivery and inform prevention interventionists about the stressors and community specific issues within this high-risk population. We will discuss the implications of our findings with regard to intervention planning with diverse populations.
CREATING AND MAINTAINING RESEARCH PARTNERSHIP WITH RURAL AFRICAN AMERICAN FAMILIES AND COMMUNITY MEMBERS: TRANSLATING BASIC RESEARCH INTO THE STRONG AFRICAN AMERICAN FAMILIES PROGRAM (SAAF). Velma Mcbride Murry1, Gene Brody1, 1University of Georgia, Athens, GA United States
The Center for Family Research has implemented the first family–community preventive intervention program designed specifically for rural African American families and youths. Basic information garnered during a decade of research in rural African American communities formed the theoretical and empirical foundations for the program, which focuses on delaying the onset of sexual activity and discouraging substance use among youths. The Center´s researchers have formulated future directions for engaging rural families in basic research and preventive intervention programs. We will highlight ways in which our work has been guided by creating research partnerships with representatives of these communities. In addition, we highlight a family–community based program for rural African Americans, The Strong African American Families Program (SAAF), that was informed by feedback from our community research partners, as well as by the theoretical and empirical findings that emerged from our research on rural African American families.
PREVENTIVE PARENT TRAINING WITH LOW-INCOME, ETHNIC MINORITY FAMILIES IN CHICAGO. Deborah Gross1, Christine Garvey1, Wrenetha Julian1, Louis Fogg1, 1Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, IL United States
The majority of parent training (PT) programs used in prevention trials have used frameworks and strategies based on European-American values. Not surprisingly, the greatest PT effects have been found among middle-class European-American samples. However, generalizing PT effects to low-income ethnic minority families living in urban settings has been less successful. Low participation rates, resistance to parenting strategies seen as counter to their cultural values, and dissatisfaction with models and situations that fail to capture the context and complexity of their lives has led to diminished effects. The purpose of this presentation is to describe our efforts to create and test a PT program that is culturally and contextually relevant to low-income ethnic minority parents raising young children in Chicago. Chicago is home to the largest population of African-Americans and the second largest population of Mexican-Americans in the US. A disproportionate number of Chicago´s ethnic minority children live in poverty (40% among African-Americans, 25% among Latinos). The Chicago Parent Program (CPP) is a PT program developed in collaboration with a parent advisory board to address the needs and interests of low-income ethnic minority families with young children living in urban contexts. This parent board (100% African-American and Latino) advised us on the kinds of situations they find most challenging (e.g., managing misbehavior in public, stress), parenting strategies they believe are ineffective or culturally unacceptable (e.g., time-outs, child-directed play), situations they´d most like to see modeled in a program, and unpopular discipline strategies they still believe are effective (e.g., corporal punishment). The results of this collaboration is the development of a 12-week video-based + group discussion intervention that addresses the concerns of ethnic minority parents raising young children while still promoting parenting principles known to support healthy parent and child outcomes. Using a quasi-experimental design, the CPP is being tested with 300 parents of 2-4 year olds in seven day care centers serving low-income families in Chicago. This presentation will focus on our work with the parent advisory board, methods we´ve used to address the needs and interests of low-income African-American and Latino parents of young children, and the effectiveness of The Chicago Parent Program for reducing risk factors associated with poor outcomes in young children.