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This entry is our analysis of a review or synthesis of research findings added to the Effectiveness Bank. The original review was not published by Findings; click Title to order a copy. Free reprints may be available from the authors – click prepared e-mail. Links to other documents. Hover over for notes. Click to highlight passage referred to. Unfold extra text Unfold supplementary text The Summary conveys the findings and views expressed in the review.

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A meta-analytic review of school-based prevention for cannabis use.

Porath-Waller A.J., Beasley E, Beirness D.J.
Health Education and Behavior: 2010, 37(5), p. 709–723.
Unable to obtain a copy by clicking title? Try asking the author for a reprint by adapting this prepared e-mail or by writing to Dr Porath-Waller at aporath-waller@ccsa.ca.

Taking in studies up to the end of 2007, this synthesis of research concludes that secondary school cannabis prevention lessons are most effective when delivered by outside experts who teach in an interactive manner and deliver comprehensive content which goes beyond resisting peer and other social influences.

Summary This investigation used meta-analytic techniques to evaluate the effectiveness of school-based prevention programming in reducing cannabis use among youth aged 12 to 19. It summarised the results from 15 studies published in peer-reviewed journals since 1999 and identified features that influenced programme effectiveness. The results from the set of 15 studies indicated that these school-based programmes had a positive impact on reducing students' cannabis use (d = 0.58, CI: 0.55, 0.62) compared to control conditions. Findings revealed that programmes incorporating elements of several prevention models were significantly more effective than were those based on only a social influence model. Programmes that were longer in duration (at least 15 sessions) and facilitated by individuals other than teachers in an interactive manner also yielded stronger effects. The results also suggested that programmes targeting high school pupils of at least 14 years of age were more effective than those aimed at younger pupils. Implications for school-based prevention programming are discussed.

Last revised 11 January 2011

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