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.
Randomized controlled trial of 24 schools, with 3 conditions: D.A.R.E. only, D.A.R.E. Plus, and delayed program control.
Schools and neighborhoods, primarily in Minneapolis–St Paul.
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).
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 schoolts 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.
There were no significant differences between D.A.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.
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.