ENHANCING THE EFFECTIVENESS OF SCHOOL-BASED SUBSTANCE USE PREVENTION PROGRAMS: DOES SCHOOL-CONNECTEDNESS PLAY A ROLE?
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The aim of this study was to examine whether higher levels of school-connectedness (SC) among high school students are associated with better receptivity of school-based alcohol and drug educational programs, and lower levels of substance use, misuse and problems. Data on 6,786 students was employed from the 2012 Student Drug Use Survey in the Atlantic Provinces. Regression models before and after stratification by levels of SC were performed. Results showed that students who are exposed to substance use prevention classes do not have a significant decrease in their risk of using alcohol, cannabis, or other illicit drugs, nor the incidence of problems associated with use. Stratifying for SC showed a picture opposite to what was expected for alcohol use, and no additional benefits for drug use. However, higher SC, independent of education exposure, showed negative associations with levels of cannabis and other drug use. Further avenues of research are suggested.