Intellectually disabled adolescents prepared in time : a study into the possibilities of E-learning and substance use prevention-interventions for intellectually disabled adolescents

Kemna, L.E.M. (2009) Intellectually disabled adolescents prepared in time : a study into the possibilities of E-learning and substance use prevention-interventions for intellectually disabled adolescents.

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Abstract:Background There is a lack of research into the use and misuse of psychoactive substances such as alcohol and drugs among persons with an intellectual disability, especially among the adolescents in this population. To our knowledge there are no special prevention intervention programmes for special needs school students explaning them about the dangers of using tobacco and alcohol and helping them in not starting the use of any of these products. However there is an e-learning program ‘Prepared in time’ which has the main goal of prevention adolescents from using tobacco and alcohol. This program was developed for 5th and 6th graders in mainstream primary schools and has so far not been used in different settings. ‘Prepared in time’ aims to increased the knowledge on smoking and tobacco and also tries to change attitudes, lower intention to start using and increase the self-efficacy of the students working with the programme. Aim: This study into substance use prevention among adolescents with an intellectual disability was twofold. First it gives an impression of the use of tobacco and alcohol amond 1st and 2nd graders in secundary special needs schools. Secondly it looks at the usefullness and the effectiveness of the e-learning program ‘Prepared in time’ for this population. Methods: A quasi-experiment was used in which 232 students filled out a baseline and follow-up questionnaire. The respondents were students of one of the five participating schools. The schools were selected to be part of either the experimental group or control group based on number of students, gender of student and number of students in 1st and 2nd grade. The students in the experimentalgroup also worked with ‘Prepared in time’ and filled out a process evaluation on the e-learning programme. Results: This study showed that a large proportion of respondents, age 11-15, initiated smoking (49%) and drinking (75%). The drinking percentage is consistent with national results however the students in this study smoke significantly more then was expected based on national studies. The students were well capable of working with the e-learning program ‘Prepared in time’. They gave it a rating of 6 out of 10, finding it easy and, especially the games, fun. The e-learning programme significantly increased their knowledge on alcohol. It did however not affect their smoking or drinking behaviour or the behavioural determinants attitude, intention, subjective norm, peer pressure, social support and self-efficacy. Conclusion: This study has showed some first results on the smoking and drinking behaviour of adolescents with a mild and borderline intellectual disability. The participating students were well capable of working with an e-learning programme and more research should be done into this way of teaching. To get effective results from ’Prepared in time’ it will need some improvements to provide in the special needs these students have, such as repetition and simple explenations. If this were to be done, ‘Prepared in time’ could be a good supplement to a larger scale prevention program. These results show the importance of developing a proper prevention-intervention programme for this special population
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Aveleijn SDT; Tactus verslavingszorg
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology MSc (66604)
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