The socio-ecological model highlights the importance of working across levels to address the constellation of factors that influence both individuals and populations.
Even if schools have a clear policy against alcohol use on school grounds, accepting underage drinking on behalf of the parents and the broader community might have less impact than if the prevention includes changes to the school policy plus education for parents on the dangers of underage drinking or a city ordinance that requires alcohol sellers to participate in training.
The table offers an overview of coordinated prevention strategies.
|Level||Risk Factor||Protective Factor||Strategy Example|
School-based interventions can have some effect on prevention, in the short term.
As the school has a major role in the lives of youth, schools can be a central coordinating institution for primary prevention and linking them to families, media, and community policies (Stigler, Neusel, & Cheryl, 2011).
Two evidence-based programmes will be presented, as they were described as indicated by the European Monitoring Center for Drugs and Drugs Addiction for talking alcohol with young students (2017).
The first is a Spanish selective multi-component programme, aiming to prevent alcohol use for children that have high-risk behaviour and the second, a German programme of indicated prevention, that aimed at children of substance-abusing parents, who are in turn at substantial risk of developing substance-use and other mental disorders.
There is some evidence that the multicomponent interventions can have some results on intervening alcohol problematic use in young people, especially for delaying alcohol use in the case of children of high risk.
However, there is little evidence that these approaches are more effective than the ones with a single component.
In the case of EmPeCemos, we can say that it is an effective selection strategy as it targets youth with known individual risk factors for alcohol use, including personality risk factors or behavioural problems before the onset of alcohol use.
These programmes show stronger and long-term effects on drinking onset, binge drinking onset, and problem drinking symptoms in high-risk populations.
It is shown that selective prevention strategies on alcohol (for a specific population of the school), can also benefit the universal population.
On contrary, in the case that selective approaches are used with students that are using alcohol and students that have high-risk behaviours, it was shown that youth adopted the unwanted norms than learn about and adopt positive norms.
|Children younger than 10 years of age|
Description of methodology:
It is aimed at children (7-10 years old) with early on-set behaviour problems and is conducted in small groups of 5-10 people and 1-2 moderators for each session. It consists of three components to bring changes in the child and its closest environment:
The sessions are:
The structure includes two (2) general sessions:
In addition, it included three (3) specific block themes, divided into sessions
c)Social skills block:
The sessions were:
There is a close collaboration among all components:
Regarding the methodology of the sessions, diverse dynamics are included, based on the principles of social learning and cognitive-behavioural principles: instructions by monitors, discussion, observation, modelling, guided behavioural trials, feedback and practice in natural contexts.
This kind of practice is seen as a central ingredient within the program as it is based on everyday contexts, planned, supervised from the program, and applied in the specific problems of each participant.
In this way, the students have the chance to express their troubles and find solutions in a protected environment.
|Children 8-12 years old|
Description of methodology:
This prevention program is selective and targets children aged 8-12 from families with at least one substance-use parent and aims to prevent substance use disorders.
The main goals are:
This prevention programme contains elements of psychoeducation, emotion regulation skills, strengthening of self-efficacy and self-worth, stress management and problem-solving strategies. The material includes 9 modules:
The manual includes nine weekly 90-minute modules for children, as well as two optional sessions for their parents. Each module follows the same structure for the children:
It is considered that this structure is especially useful for these children for whom appropriate attention is often lacking from home. The methodology includes a lot of practice and role-playing.
Regarding the modules of the parents, there is one at the beginning of the intervention and one at the end.
The first one aims at informing parents about the intervention and the risk and protective factors for their children when they grow in a substance environment.
The parents share their hopes and are encouraged to use their parenting skills with their kids.
At the end of the intervention, this module includes some results regarding the programme, and the parents ask questions they might have occurred during the prevention period at home or ask for support if they consider they need it.
For these two modules, there is a manual for parents to follow.
In case of interest, check also the “Project Northland”, which was considered as a highly effective programme, and included school-based education programs, community activities and outreach, and environmental strategies that reduced the availability of alcohol to youth.
Based on the methodologies described in the case studies, you can adapt your lesson plan, in terms of methodology or materials used to make it more appropriate for working with the prevention of alcohol use with your students.