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J Stud Alcohol. 1991 Nov;52(6):568-79.

Program integrity as a moderator of prevention program effectiveness: results for fifth-grade students in the adolescent alcohol prevention trial.

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  • 1Department of Public Health Sciences, Bowman Gray School of Medicine, Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, North Carolina 27103.


This study reports the results of a test of the quality of program delivery (program integrity) as a variable that may moderate the effectiveness of alcohol prevention programs. Two theory-based programs, Resistance Training and Normative Education, were delivered to fifth-grade students who were then tested on program relevant mediating variables. Resistance Training was found to improve students' knowledge of peer pressure resistance strategies, their performance on a behavioral assessment of peer pressure resistance skills and the manifestation of their future intentions to drink alcohol. Normative Education was found to improve students' perceptions of a conservative norm regarding alcohol use, facilitated their belief that refusing unwanted offers to drink alcohol could be easily accomplished and reduced their perceptions of the prevalence of alcohol use. Program integrity was measured by program specialists who taught the programs to students and by trained observers. Ratings of program integrity were found to significantly moderate outcomes for three of seven mediating variables. Affected were knowledge of peer pressure resistance strategies, behavioral pressure resistance skills and perceived self-efficacy. These results suggest that the quality of program delivery and reception may play an important moderating function on prevention program effectiveness.

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