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IMPORTANT LEGACY NOTICE: Legacy Programs have not been reviewed by the current National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices (NREPP). The programs in this database were reviewed only under the previous National Registry of Effective Prevention Programs system. This section is intended to be used for historical reference only. If you would like more information about a program listed here, please contact the program developer directly. The program developer of each Legacy Program listed here agreed to post program information on this site.

Preventive Alcohol Education Program

Brief Program Description

Inoculation theory proposes that an individual will better resist persuasive, threatening arguments if s/he learns the argument's content and strategy beforehand. The Preventive Alcohol Education Program was developed utilizing the tenets of inoculation theory. The two most fundamental tenets of the theory were not varied in the program:

  1. That participants be forewarned, or pre-exposed, to the external threats by examining their content, strategy, and rationale before actual contact with them
  2. That the subjects own vulnerability to attack, or persuasion, be made known to them

This strategy of forewarning has been successfully used by various organized religions to inoculate members against the persuasive appeals of threatening groups. Lawyers are another example of persons with expertise in utilizing the logic of inoculation. In essence, the inoculation procedure lessons the persuasive impact of the opposing parties' argument. In the present preventive alcohol education program, students are forewarned of pro-drinking and driving arguments, given practice systematically refuting those appeals, provided with evaluative feedback on their refutations, and later administered brief booster sessions utilizing new, never-before-heard, pro-drinking arguments.

Program Strategies

The program consisted of four components

  1. Question-and-answer sessions
  2. Verbal role playing simulations
  3. Nonverbal role playing simulations
  4. Evocative slide show presentation

The question-and-answer session between class and instructor covered major misinformation youth have regarding alcohol consumption and human performance. Students then participated in a variety of in-class role-plays (using both verbal and nonverbal resistance strategies) where students read from prepared and "improvisational" scripts. After each role-play, the teacher provided students with evaluative feedback on their responses to the pressures (i.e., how to better refute or resist such arguments both verbally and using nonverbal signals). The slide show component subsequently reviewed, both, the knowledge and the argument aspects covered in these prior three components.

Population Focus

Participants were students from a southeastern Nebraska high school, none of which had received any prior school-based alcohol education.

Suitable Settings

This intervention is suitable for implementation in a junior and/or high school setting.

Required Resources

The program requires only the intervention exercises, which are all in print form. The evocative slide show requires a slide projector and screen.

Implementation Timeline

The treatment consisted of 1 hour/day for six days.


Evaluation of this program revealed the following:

  • There was a favorable impact for the treatment group on knowledge, refuting prodrinking and driving arguments, and tendency to comply in risky alcohol situations.
  • There was a favorable impact for the treatment group on the attitude that their drinking and driving may result in serious consequences (perceived susceptibility).
  • There was a favorable impact for the treatment group on the attitude that accompanying those who drink and drive may result in serious consequences (perceived severity).

Contact Information

For indepth information on this program, please use the contact listed below.

Program Developer

Elias J. Duryea, Ph.D.
Professor Health Education
University of New Mexico
112 Johnson Center
Albuquerque, NM 87131-1231
Phone: (505) 277-8187
Fax: (505) 2776227

In July 2002, this program was designated as a Promising Program under SAMHSA's previous National Registry of Effective Prevention Programs system.