Frequently Asked Questions
Program Approach/Target Group
Question: Is Project TND a selective, indicated, or universal program?
Drug abuse prevention programs developed for regular high school youth generally are referred to as “universal” programs when all youth participate, regardless of the level of risk. Programs developed for alternative high school youth are referred to as “selective” programs because these teens are at relatively higher psychosocial or behavioral risk for drug abuse. Project TND has been shown to work for both populations. Thus, it can be considered a universal program when implemented in the traditional high school setting since all youth are targeted, and a selective program (targeted for those at high psychosocial risk for drug abuse, who have not yet started using drugs) when delivered in an alternative school setting. Community-based programs could also be either universal or targeted programs, depending on the clientele being served.
Question: With what age group can this program be implemented? Can 7th-graders and 8th-graders participate in the program?
The target group for the program is youth ages 14 to 19. We strongly recommend that the program not be used for students in the middle school grades (6th-8th). It is possible that the program could be effective for that age group, but we have not evaluated it for any age group other than high school.
Question: Will TND work for young teens (i.e., 12 year-olds)?
It is doubtful that TND will be effective with young teens because (1) comprehensive social influence programs tend to be more effective for youth who are first trying drugs, and TND is a motivation-skills-decision making program (more intrapersonal oriented); and (2) many of the concepts referred to in TND (e.g. stereotyping) are too conceptually abstract for a young teen-level of development.
Question: What is the reading level of the curriculum materials?
The material in the TND student workbook is written at an 8th-grade reading level. This estimate is based on the SMOG readability test (McLaughlin, 1969).
Question: What group size works best with this curriculum?
The class size should be determined by the individual school or district. We have taught the program in regular high schools to classes as large as 35 students. In alternative high schools, it is best to have a class with ten or more students; however, it can be taught to a group as small as 5 students, if necessary.
Question: Does the curriculum cover peer pressure and peer influences to use drugs?
The program does not address peer pressure directly. It is a program developed for older teens for whom “just say no” type programs are likely to be rejected and, in fact, may do harm. However, Project TND does touch on aspects of peer pressure and peer influences. For example, Session 2 addresses students’ tendency to overestimate rates of drug use by their peers, and makes the point that such overestimates may influence young people to use drugs. In Session 3, we make the point that if all of your friends are drug users and you stop using, they may remain your friends, but not if your friendship was constructed around drug use. Also, true friendship that lasts generally is not based on using drugs together. In Session 5, students learn how one’s drug use can affect relations with friends.