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A Randomized Controlled Trial of the Middle and Junior High School D.A.R.E. and D.A.R.E. + P.L.U.S. Programs.

NCJ Number
Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine Issue: 157 Dated: 2003 Pages: 178-184
Date Published
7 pages

This article reports on an evaluation of the effect of the middle and junior high school Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) and D.A.R.E. Plus programs on drug use and violence. 


The evaluation was a randomized controlled trial of 24 schools, with three conditions: D.A.R.E. only, D.A.R.E. Plus, and delayed program control. Schools and neighborhoods involved in the evaluation were primarily in Minneapolis–St Paul, Minnesota. Participants were seventh-grade students in 24 schools in the academic year 1999-2000 (N = 6,237 at baseline, 67.3 percent were white, and there was 84.0 percent at final follow-up). In the 8 schools that received D.A.R.E. Plus, additional components included a peer-led parental involvement classroom program called "On the VERGE," youth-led extracurricular activities, community adult action teams, and postcard mailings to parents. The interventions were implemented during two school years, when the cohort was in the seventh and eighth grades. Outcome measures were self-reported tobacco, alcohol, and marijuana use; multidrug use; violence; and victimization. These measures were assessed at the beginning and end of seventh grade and at the end of eighth grade. Growth curve analytic methods were used to assess changes over time by condition. The findings showed no significant differences between D.A.R.E. only and the controls. There were significant differences among boys between D.A.R.E. Plus and controls for tobacco, alcohol, and multidrug use and victimization. There were significant differences among boys between D.A.R.E. Plus and D.A.R.E. only in tobacco use and violence, but there were no significant behavioral differences among girls. The overall conclusion is that D.A.R.E. Plus significantly improved the effectiveness of the D.A.R.E. curriculum among boys and was more effective than the delayed program controls, underscoring the potential for multiyear, multicomponent prevention programs and demonstrating sex differences in response to intervention programs. (publisher abstract modified)

Date Published: January 1, 2003