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Intervention Summary

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Class Action

Class Action is the second phase of the Project Northland alcohol-use prevention curriculum series. Class Action (for grades 11-12) and Project Northland (for grades 6-8) are designed to delay the onset of alcohol use, reduce use among youths who have already tried alcohol, and limit the number of alcohol-related problems experienced by young drinkers. Class Action draws upon the social influence theory of behavior change, using interactive, peer-led sessions to explore the real-world legal and social consequences of substance abuse. The curriculum consists of 8-10 group sessions in which students divide into teams to research, prepare, and present mock civil cases involving hypothetical persons harmed as a result of underage drinking. Using a casebook along with audiotaped affidavits and depositions, teens review relevant statutes and case law to build legal cases they then present to a jury of their peers. Case topics include drinking and driving, fetal alcohol syndrome, drinking and violence, date rape, drinking and vandalism, and school alcohol policies. Students also research community issues around alcohol use and become involved in local events to support community awareness of the problem of underage drinking. Class Action can be used as a booster session for the Project Northland series or as a stand-alone program.

Descriptive Information

Areas of Interest Substance abuse prevention
Outcomes Review Date: April 2007
1: Tendency to use alcohol
2: Binge drinking
Outcome Categories Alcohol
Ages 13-17 (Adolescent)
Genders Male
Female
Races/Ethnicities American Indian or Alaska Native
White
Race/ethnicity unspecified
Settings School
Geographic Locations Rural and/or frontier
Tribal
Implementation History Data on implementation sites are not tracked by the developer.
NIH Funding/CER Studies Partially/fully funded by National Institutes of Health: Yes
Evaluated in comparative effectiveness research studies: No
Adaptations Class Action has been translated into Spanish. Translated versions of the implementation materials are available from Hazelden Publishing and Educational Services.
Adverse Effects No adverse effects, concerns, or unintended consequences were identified by the developer.
IOM Prevention Categories Universal

Quality of Research
Review Date: April 2007

Documents Reviewed

The documents below were reviewed for Quality of Research. The research point of contact can provide information regarding the studies reviewed and the availability of additional materials, including those from more recent studies that may have been conducted.

Study 1

Perry, C. L., Williams, C. L., Komro, K. A., Veblen-Mortenson, S., Stigler, M. H., Munson, K. A., et al. (2002). Project Northland: Long-term outcomes of community action to reduce adolescent alcohol use. Health Education Research, 17(2), 117-132.  Pub Med icon

Supplementary Materials

Perry, C. L., Williams, C. L., Forster, J. L., Wolfson, M., Wagenaar, A. C., Finnegan, J. R., et al. (1993). Background, conceptualization, and design of a community-wide research program on adolescent alcohol use: Project Northland. Health Education Research, 8(1), 125-136.  Pub Med icon

Perry, C. L., Williams, C. L., Komro, K. A., Veblen-Mortenson, S., Forster, J. L., Bernstein-Lachter, R., et al. (2000). Project Northland high school interventions: Community action to reduce adolescent alcohol use. Health Education & Behavior, 27(1), 29-49.  Pub Med icon

Williams, C. L., Toomey, T. L., McGovern, P., Wagenaar, A. C., & Perry, C. L. (1995). Development, reliability, and validity of self-report alcohol-use measures with young adolescents. Journal of Child and Adolescent Substance Abuse, 4(3), 17-40.

Outcomes

Outcome 1: Tendency to use alcohol
Description of Measures Students' self-reported past alcohol use and intentions to use alcohol in the future were measured using the Tendency To Use Alcohol Scale. The scale combined items from the Monitoring the Future survey on actual alcohol use with other items about intention to use alcohol. Questions included "On how many occasions have you had alcoholic beverages to drink?" at four past time points (lifetime, past 12 months, past 30 days, past 7 days) and "How likely is it that you'll drink an alcoholic beverage?" at four future time points (ever, next 12 months, next 30 days, next 7 days). Students responded on a scale from 1 (0 occasions) to 7 (40 or more occasions).
Key Findings Class Action participants were less likely to report increased alcohol use or increased intentions to use alcohol in the future, as measured by the Tendency To Use Alcohol Scale, compared with peers who did not participate in the intervention (p < .05).
Studies Measuring Outcome Study 1
Study Designs Experimental
Quality of Research Rating 3.1 (0.0-4.0 scale)
Outcome 2: Binge drinking
Description of Measures Binge drinking was measured using an item from the Monitoring the Future survey: "On how many occasions have you had five or more drinks in a row in the past 3 weeks?" Students responded using a 6-point Likert scale ranging from 1 (0 occasions) to 6 (10 or more occasions).
Key Findings Students who received the program reported fewer occasions of binge drinking than students who did not receive the program (p < .05).
Studies Measuring Outcome Study 1
Study Designs Experimental
Quality of Research Rating 3.2 (0.0-4.0 scale)

Study Populations

The following populations were identified in the studies reviewed for Quality of Research.

Study Age Gender Race/Ethnicity
Study 1 13-17 (Adolescent) 53% Male
47% Female
93% White
5% American Indian or Alaska Native
2% Race/ethnicity unspecified

Quality of Research Ratings by Criteria (0.0-4.0 scale)

External reviewers independently evaluate the Quality of Research for an intervention's reported results using six criteria:

  1. Reliability of measures
  2. Validity of measures
  3. Intervention fidelity
  4. Missing data and attrition
  5. Potential confounding variables
  6. Appropriateness of analysis

For more information about these criteria and the meaning of the ratings, see Quality of Research.

Outcome Reliability
of Measures
Validity
of Measures
Fidelity Missing
Data/Attrition
Confounding
Variables
Data
Analysis
Overall
Rating
1: Tendency to use alcohol 3.0 3.8 2.5 3.0 2.8 3.8 3.1
2: Binge drinking 3.3 3.8 2.5 3.0 2.8 3.8 3.2

Study Strengths

A randomized controlled design with multiple evaluation strategies was used to examine the effect of this comprehensive alcohol prevention program. The program is based on a sound theoretical foundation, and the survey instruments used have good psychometric properties (high internal consistency and test-retest reliability) and acceptable criterion-related validity. The participation rate within the large population-based study was relatively high. In addition, appropriate and sophisticated analytic methods (growth curve analyses) were used to evaluate change across time, trends within the data, and differences among subgroups.

Study Weaknesses

One of the 24 school districts did not participate for 1 of the 2 years of Phase II (Class Action). Generalizability of findings is limited because the study took place in small, rural communities, and school districts were not equivalent at baseline. It is difficult to assess the relative contribution of the five intervention components to the success of the intervention. In addition, it is unclear why changes in psychosocial risk factors did not correspond to the changes in outcome measures.

Readiness for Dissemination
Review Date: April 2007

Materials Reviewed

The materials below were reviewed for Readiness for Dissemination. The implementation point of contact can provide information regarding implementation of the intervention and the availability of additional, updated, or new materials.

Class Action casebooks [with CD-ROMs]:

  • Perry, C., Williams, C., & Veblen-Mortenson, S. (2002). Case 1: Drinking and driving on trial. Hazelden Foundation: Center City, MN.
  • Perry, C., Williams, C., & Veblen-Mortenson, S. (2002). Case 2: Fetal alcohol syndrome on trial. Hazelden Foundation: Center City, MN.
  • Perry, C., Williams, C., & Veblen-Mortenson, S. (2002). Case 3: Drinking and violence on trial. Hazelden Foundation: Center City, MN.
  • Perry, C., Williams, C., & Veblen-Mortenson, S. (2002). Case 4: Date rape on trial. Hazelden Foundation: Center City, MN.
  • Perry, C., Williams, C., & Veblen-Mortenson, S. (2002). Case 5: Drinking and vandalism on trial. Hazelden Foundation: Center City, MN.
  • Perry, C., Williams, C., & Veblen-Mortenson, S. (2002). Case 6: School alcohol policies on trial. Hazelden Foundation: Center City, MN.

Class Action postcards

NREPP Project Northland and Class Action Program Application: Readiness for Dissemination [Binder]

Perry, C., Williams, C., & Veblen-Mortenson, S. (2002). Class Action teacher's manual. Hazelden Foundation: Center City, MN.

Project Northland/Class Action Surveys and Process Data Forms [CD-ROM]

Readiness for Dissemination Ratings by Criteria (0.0-4.0 scale)

External reviewers independently evaluate the intervention's Readiness for Dissemination using three criteria:

  1. Availability of implementation materials
  2. Availability of training and support resources
  3. Availability of quality assurance procedures

For more information about these criteria and the meaning of the ratings, see Readiness for Dissemination.

Implementation
Materials
Training and Support
Resources
Quality Assurance
Procedures
Overall
Rating
4.0 3.8 2.8 3.5

Dissemination Strengths

The program curriculum is well designed and contains detailed instructions for teachers. Multiple copies of handouts and other materials are provided along with reproducible master copies. Training and support are available from the developer, though the comprehensive nature of the curriculum does not require significant levels of training. Classroom observation forms and satisfaction evaluation forms are provided to support quality assurance.

Dissemination Weaknesses

The extent of ongoing technical assistance available to potential implementers is unclear. No information is provided on how to analyze the information to be derived from the quality assurance materials.

Costs

The cost information below was provided by the developer. Although this cost information may have been updated by the developer since the time of review, it may not reflect the current costs or availability of items (including newly developed or discontinued items). The implementation point of contact can provide current information and discuss implementation requirements.

Item Description Cost Required by Developer
Class Action curriculum $595 each Yes
Additional classroom packs of casebooks (36) and parent postcards (120) $395 per pack No
1-day, on-site basic or refresher training $2,200 per site per day, plus travel expenses No
1-day, off-site basic or refresher training $200 per participant No
Technical assistance $100 per hour No
Quality assurance materials Included with curriculum No

Additional Information

The cost to implement Class Action includes the purchase of the curriculum (which an experienced teacher can deliver without training) and the cost of the teacher's salary. Discounts are available depending on the volume of order totals, and purchasers who place orders through Hazelden's Online Bookstore receive free shipping.

Replications

Selected citations are presented below. An asterisk indicates that the document was reviewed for Quality of Research.

Portland school district reducing alcohol abuse project. Project Northland/Class Action. Grant, Lincoln, and Wilson High Schools. 2005-2006 (n.d.). Unpublished report.

Contact Information

To learn more about implementation, contact:
Kaylene McElfresh
(651) 213-4324
kmcelfresh@hazelden.org

To learn more about research, contact:
Kris Van Hoof-Haines
(651) 213-4331
kvanhoof-haines@hazelden.org

Consider these Questions to Ask (PDF, 54KB) as you explore the possible use of this intervention.

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