Factors That Impact Adolescents' Intentions to Utilize Alcohol-Related Prevention Services

Published in: Journal of Behavioral Health Services and Research, v. 32, no. 3, July/Sep. 2005, p. 332-340

Posted on RAND.org on January 01, 2005

by Elizabeth J. D'Amico

The current study is the first to examine factors that may be associated with middle school students' intentions to use alcohol-related prevention services. Youth (N = 1506; 46% male; 11-14 years old) completed surveys on their intentions to use alcohol-related services, beliefs about services, previous use of services, and substance use. Students who reported stronger positive beliefs reported greater intentions to use services. Girls, younger students, and whites also reported stronger interest in using services than boys, older students, and youth of mixed ethnicity, respectively. Adolescents who reported current use of substances were less willing to use prevention services. Current research highlights the importance of creating prevention services for this age group that are developmentally relevant and that focus on features that will attract youth, such as utilizing an interactive discussion format. Beginning to understand what motivates adolescents to seek help can facilitate the creation of better prevention programs.

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