Thesis Title

The Effectiveness of the D.A.R.E. Prevention Program in Rural Missouri

Date of Graduation

Fall 2008


Master of Science in Nursing



Committee Chair

Susan Sims-Giddens


D.A.R.E., drug prevention, alcohol prevention, prevention programs, adolescents

Subject Categories



Drug abuse by adolescents is a top priority in all communities throughout the United States (The National Institute on Drug Abuse, 2007; Zagumny & Thompson, 2001). The D.A.R.E. program, a widespread drug-prevention program, is designed to decrease the number of adolescents using alcohol and drugs, and is utilized by over 75% of school districts across the nation (Drug Abuse Resistance Education, 1996). The purpose of this study was to examine the effectiveness of the D.A.R.E. program and to analyze trends in drug and alcohol use of rural Missouri students compared to the national average. A descriptive correlational design was utilized to undertake this study. The results of this study were compared with results from the Monitoring the Future Survey that is completed yearly to increase awareness of adolescent trends in drug use. Self-report data on alcohol and drug use were collected anonymously from seventy-seven 12th grade students, seven years after their completion of the D.A.R.E. program. Nine students that had never participated in the D.A.R.E. program were surveyed. Data analysis was conducted by the Rocky Mountain Behavioral Science Institute using S.P.S.S. The study indicates that participation in the D.A.R.E. program does not significantly alter adolescent alcohol and drug use in this rural Missouri community. However, when compared to the national average, students in this rural area fall below the national average in alcohol and drug use. The information obtained from this study will be disseminated to the appropriate agencies to determine if changes need to be made to the D.A.R.E. curriculum currently being taught in this Missouri community.


© Krystal S. Colvin


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