An Analysis of the Differences Between Learning Groups Using the Project DARE Program
Thompson, David D.
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The Problem. The purpose of this study was to address the Project DARE chemical substance prevention education program, and to determine if this instruction benefitted fifth grade students by increasing scores on a substance prevention posttest. Procedures. Five similar, but not randomly selected fifth grade classes, were chosen to take part in this study. Initially, the five groups of 135 students were given identical pretests. The 83 student experimental group was then treated with the DARE Program, which included the direct teaching of chemical substance education and resistance education by a specially trained police officer. The control group received no substance abuse instruction during this period. After 17 weeks of instruction in the DARE Program, both groups were then given a posttest to determine the amount of gain which had occurred. An ANCOVA was run on the data to allow for statistical adjustments on the dependent variable. Comparisons were made on the adjusted means relating to gains by both groups of students over the 17-week period of instruction. Findinqs. A comparison of adjusted means indicated that there was statistical significance between the experimental group and the control group at the .05 level. The null hypothesis was rejected as a result of the findings. A delta test was run to determine if there was practical significance of the findings. The delta test indicated that a practical significance did exist. Conclusion. Statistical significance was found to exist between the experimental and control groups. Consensus by leading researchers support the findings of the statistical significance and practical significance suggested by this study. Recommendation. Testing and accurately measuring the gain in substance abuse education is extremely hard to accomplish. The writer suggests that more research is needed to determine the extent to which substance resistance skills can be taught, and the exact teaching strategies to be employed while teaching them.
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