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Evaluation of an Initiative to Reduce Youth Alcohol Abuse in the “Bourbon Country” of Kentucky

Author(s): Ramona Stone | Sarah Hendrix

Journal: Journal of Social Research & Policy
ISSN 2067-2640

Volume: 1;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 109;
Date: 2010;
Original page

Keywords: Youth Alcohol Abuse | Binge Drinking | Multi-Component Stages (McMOS) Model | STARS for Families | Program Evaluation | Panel Study

This paper describes the program evaluation results of the “STARS for Families” alcohol abuse prevention program implemented in the three school districts of Nelson County, Kentucky, an area known as the location for bourbon whiskey production in Kentucky and in the United States. All 9th grade students in these three school districts were invited to participate in the program. The baseline survey included questions related to their alcohol use, to the alcohol use in their family, and that of their peers. Follow-up surveys were conducted at 6-month, 18-month and respectively 30-month from the pretest. The survey data is compared to the county figures available from a statewide annual survey conducted by the Kentucky Incentives for Prevention Project (KIP). “STARS for Families” program uses a validated curriculum and was applied by many school districts across the United States. Overall, its implementation in Nelson County was successful, even though there were significant differences across the three school districts. The rate of increase in the number of students who used or planned to use alcohol in the near future was significantly reduced between pretest and the last follow-up. Our findings confirm that alcohol use behavior occurs in stages, and that the alcohol use habits of family and friends are strong correlates with alcohol drinking in youth.
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