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Intervention Summary

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Media Ready

Media Ready is a media literacy education program for 6th- to 8th-grade students. The goal of the program is to prevent or delay the onset of underage alcohol and tobacco use by encouraging healthy beliefs and attitudes about abstaining from alcohol and tobacco use and by enhancing the ability to apply critical thinking skills in interpreting media messages, particularly those related to alcohol and tobacco products. Media Ready consists of 10 45-minute lessons based on established models of decisionmaking and research on the message interpretation process. The program includes homework and extension assignments to further students' understanding of media literacy and to provide additional opportunities for practicing newly learned skills. The curriculum is adaptable to a variety of classroom settings and skill levels of students. The Media Ready program kit contains all materials needed to teach the program, including a teacher manual, poster, and CD with media examples. Also available is a comprehensive 1-day training workshop, which provides an introduction to the theory and research underlying the program model and instructions for facilitating each program activity. Those who successfully complete an online test at the end of this training receive certification of completion. Media Ready is related to Media Detective, a media literacy education program for 3rd- to 5th-grade students. Media Detective has been reviewed separately by NREPP.

Descriptive Information

Areas of Interest Substance abuse prevention
Outcomes Review Date: June 2010
1: Intentions to use alcohol
2: Intentions to use tobacco
3: Media deconstruction skills for alcohol and tobacco
Outcome Categories Alcohol
Social functioning
Tobacco
Ages 6-12 (Childhood)
13-17 (Adolescent)
Genders Male
Female
Races/Ethnicities American Indian or Alaska Native
Asian
Black or African American
Hispanic or Latino
White
Race/ethnicity unspecified
Settings School
Geographic Locations Suburban
Rural and/or frontier
Implementation History Since its development in 2005, Media Ready has been implemented in an estimated 411 classrooms with approximately 10,275 middle school-aged students in the United States (mostly in North Carolina). Media Ready has been used in both public and private schools as well as in after-school programs. One evaluation study of the program has been conducted.
NIH Funding/CER Studies Partially/fully funded by National Institutes of Health: No
Evaluated in comparative effectiveness research studies: No
Adaptations Implementation materials are available in Spanish.
Adverse Effects No adverse effects, concerns, or unintended consequences were identified by the developer.
IOM Prevention Categories Universal

Quality of Research
Review Date: June 2010

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

Kupersmidt, J. B., Scull, T. M., & Benson, J. W. (2009). Improving media interpretation processing skills to promote healthy decision making about substance use: The effects of the middle school Media Ready curriculum. Manuscript submitted for publication.

Supplementary Materials

Kupersmidt, J. B., & Barrett, T. (n.d.). Media Ready. Durham, NC: innovation Research and Training.

Scull, T. M., Kupersmidt, J. B., Parker, A. E., Elmore, K. C., & Benson, J. W. (2010). Adolescents' media-related cognitions and substance use in the context of parental and peer influences. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 39(9), 981-998.  Pub Med icon

Outcomes

Outcome 1: Intentions to use alcohol
Description of Measures Project staff administered a paper-and-pencil questionnaire to students at pre- and posttest. Four items assessed each student's intention to use alcohol:

  • "Before you are 21 years old, do you think you will drink beer, wine, or hard liquor (more than just a few sips)?"
  • "Before you are 21 years old, do you think you will get drunk or drink a lot of alcohol at one time?"
  • "During the next year, do you think you will drink beer, wine, or hard liquor (more than just a few sips)?"
  • "During the next year, do you think you will get drunk or drink a lot of alcohol at one time?"
Students responded using a 4-point Likert scale that ranged from 0 (I definitely will not) to 3 (I definitely will). Scores for intentions to use alcohol were derived from the average of responses across the 4 items, with higher scores indicating a stronger intention to use alcohol. Pretest scores for the outcome variable were included as covariate prediction variables; therefore, outcome variable means were reported as adjusted posttest scores.
Key Findings At posttest, boys in the intervention group had lower mean scores for intentions to use alcohol compared with boys in the wait-list control group (0.48 vs. 0.65; p < .05). The scores for girls did not differ significantly between groups.
Studies Measuring Outcome Study 1
Study Designs Experimental
Quality of Research Rating 2.6 (0.0-4.0 scale)
Outcome 2: Intentions to use tobacco
Description of Measures Project staff administered a paper-and-pencil questionnaire to students at pre- and posttest. Four items assessed each student's intention to use tobacco:

  • "Before you are 18 years old, do you think you will smoke cigarettes?"
  • "Before you are 18 years old, do you think you will chew tobacco or use snuff?"
  • "During the next year, do you think you will smoke cigarettes?"
  • "During the next year, do you think you will chew tobacco or use snuff?"
Students responded using a 4-point Likert scale that ranged from 0 (I definitely will not) to 3 (I definitely will). Scores for intentions to use tobacco were derived from the average of responses across the 4 items, with higher scores indicating a stronger intention to use tobacco. Pretest scores for the outcome variable were included as covariate prediction variables; therefore, outcome variable means were reported as adjusted posttest scores.
Key Findings At posttest, students in the intervention group had lower mean scores for intentions to use tobacco compared with students in the wait-list control group (0.08 vs. 0.23; p < .0001). Among students who had previously used tobacco, those in the intervention group had lower mean scores for intentions to use tobacco compared with those in the wait-list control group (0.42 vs. 0.96; p < .001). The scores for students who had not previously used tobacco did not differ significantly between groups.
Studies Measuring Outcome Study 1
Study Designs Experimental
Quality of Research Rating 2.5 (0.0-4.0 scale)
Outcome 3: Media deconstruction skills for alcohol and tobacco
Description of Measures Project staff administered a paper-and-pencil questionnaire to students at pre- and posttest. The questionnaire asked students to deconstruct one alcohol and one tobacco print advertisement. Three open-ended items assessed each student's critical thinking in regard to each advertisement:

  • "Tell me about this advertisement in the space below (the more detail the better)."
  • "How are the advertisers trying to get someone to buy this product?"
  • "What type of magazine would have this advertisement in it and why?"
The resulting qualitative data were coded by four trained coders, producing scores in five categories:

  • The product score, which ranged from 0 to 3, captured a student's ability to recognize the product being advertised.
  • The graphic elements score, which ranged from 0 to 2, assessed a student's understanding of how advertisers use graphic elements (e.g., font, color, placement of items such as warning labels) to capture attention or to make the product seem more appealing.
  • The language score, which ranged from 0 to 3, evaluated a student's understanding of how slogans and advertising claims are used in advertisements.
  • The target audience score, which ranged from 0 to 3, assessed a student's understanding of the term "target audience" and also his or her ability to recognize the target audience of a particular advertisement.
  • The implied messages score, which ranged from 0 to 3, assessed a student's ability to recognize implied messages in advertisements.
The five scores were summed to create the deconstruction skills score, which had a possible range of 0 to 14, with higher scores indicating greater ability to apply critical thinking about advertisements. Each student's score was calculated as the average of the four coders' scores for that individual. Pretest scores for the outcome variable were included as covariate prediction variables; therefore, outcome variable means were reported as adjusted posttest scores.
Key Findings At posttest, students in the intervention group had higher mean scores for deconstruction skills compared with students in the wait-list control group (10.78 vs. 9.00; p < .005).
Studies Measuring Outcome Study 1
Study Designs Experimental
Quality of Research Rating 2.3 (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 6-12 (Childhood)
13-17 (Adolescent)
56.6% Female
43.4% Male
60.4% White
13.6% Hispanic or Latino
10.7% Race/ethnicity unspecified
8.3% Black or African American
6.3% Asian
0.7% American Indian or Alaska Native

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: Intentions to use alcohol 2.5 3.5 2.3 2.8 2.1 2.8 2.6
2: Intentions to use tobacco 2.5 2.5 2.3 2.8 2.1 2.8 2.5
3: Media deconstruction skills for alcohol and tobacco 1.8 2.0 2.3 2.8 2.1 2.8 2.3

Study Strengths

The internal consistency of the scales was good. The scale items have face validity and are similar to other well-known items that have shown good predictive validity in both cross-sectional and longitudinal contexts. The study used a randomized wait-list control group design. Teachers completed a fidelity checklist after teaching each lesson. Most students (73%) attended all scheduled lessons, and missing data and attrition were minimal (only about 3% of the students who completed the pretest did not complete the posttest). Statistical analyses were appropriate and thorough.

Study Weaknesses

Neither test-retest reliability nor validity of the measures (other than face validity) was provided. Only the students' and teachers' self-reports were provided as fidelity measures. Only five schools were randomized into the intervention and control groups, which increased the chances of unmeasured differences between the schools in each group. Relative to the control group, students in the intervention group were much more likely to be in the 6th or 7th grade than in the 8th grade; although the investigators included students' grade level as a covariate, this approach did not necessarily equalize the groups because of the very small number of schools. The interval between the administration of the pre- and posttests was very short and only captured short-term effects.

Readiness for Dissemination
Review Date: June 2010

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.

innovation Research and Training. (2005). Media Ready: Media Literacy Substance Abuse Prevention Project (grades 6-8). Teacher manual. Durham, NC: Author.

innovation Research and Training. (2008). Media Ready. Teacher training workshop fidelity checklist. Durham, NC: Author.

innovation Research and Training. (n.d.). Media Ready. Media literacy questions poster. Durham, NC: Author.

innovation Research and Training. (n.d.). Media Ready: Media Literacy Substance Abuse Prevention Project. Facilitator's guide for conducting teacher training workshops. Durham, NC: Author.

innovation Research and Training. (n.d.). Media Ready: Media Literacy Substance Abuse Prevention Project. Student workbook. Durham, NC: Author.

innovation Research and Training. (n.d.). Media Ready. Teacher fidelity of implementation checklist. Durham, NC: Author.

Media Ready teacher certification test. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/FLKBRWJ

Media Ready training consumer satisfaction survey. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/YWCCR7H

Media Ready Web site, http://www.irtinc.us/products/mediaready/index.html

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
3.5 3.5 3.4 3.4

Dissemination Strengths

The teacher manual is well organized, detailed, and easy to read, and it includes clear, logically sequenced sessions and guidance for conducting a hands-on practicum and other interactive activities. The facilitator's guide for conducting teacher training workshops is also well organized and logically sequenced, with clear guidance on how and when to incorporate other implementation tools. Each training module contains interactive components that help teachers build mastery of the intervention. Teachers must successfully complete an online certification test to validate their ability to conduct the program. Fidelity checklists include open-ended questions that give users an opportunity to detail adaptations.

Dissemination Weaknesses

No guidance is provided on the optimal class size or methods for incorporating the intervention into existing classroom curricula. Because the teacher training focuses on the procedures associated with each session, it is unclear whether there are skills particular to the program model as a whole that teachers need to learn to implement the program effectively. The fidelity checklist is self-administered by teachers, which raises questions about whether its results can serve as an objective basis for improvement. No guidance is provided for measuring the outcomes of objectives.

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
Curriculum kit (includes teacher manual, CD with multimedia presentation, 1 Key Questions poster, 30 student workbooks, and 30 bookmarks) $300 each Yes
Additional student workbooks (pack of 10) $30 per pack No
1-day, on-site teacher training workshop $2,800 for up to 20 participants, plus travel expenses No
Teacher certification test $25 each No
Limited phone and email consultation Free No
Pre- and posttest outcome assessment instruments Free No
Fidelity checklists Free No
Implementation design and monitoring consultation $175 per hour No
Evaluation services consultation $175 per hour No
Contractual evaluation services Varies depending on the number of participants, types of services, and number of evaluation reports needed No

Additional Information

The curriculum kit and additional student workbooks are available in English or Spanish.

Replications

No replications were identified by the developer.

Contact Information

To learn more about implementation, contact:
Tracy Scull, Ph.D.
(919) 493-7700
tscull@irtinc.us

To learn more about research, contact:
Janis Kupersmidt, Ph.D.
(919) 493-7700
jkupersmidt@irtinc.us

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

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