The Television, School, and Family Smoking Prevention and Cessation Project: VIII. Student Outcomes and Mediating Variables

Document Type



Community and Global Health (CGU)

Publication Date



Community Health and Preventive Medicine | Health Communication | Mass Communication | Mental and Social Health | Substance Abuse and Addiction


Background. This paper presents the student outcomes of a large-scale, social-influences-based, school and media-based tobacco use prevention and cessation project in Southern California.

Methods. The study provided an experimental comparison of classroom delivery with television delivery and the combination of the two in a 2 × 2 plus I design. Schools were randomly assigned to conditions. Control groups included "treatment as usual" and an "attention control" with the same outcome expectancies as the treatment conditions. Students were surveyed twice in grade 7 and once in each of grades 8 and 9. The interventions occurred during grade 7.

Results. We observed significant effects on mediating variables such as knowledge, prevalence estimates, and coping effort. The knowledge and prevalence estimates effects decayed partially but remained significant up to a 2-year follow-up. The coping effort effect did not persist at follow-ups. There were significant main effects of both classroom training and TV programming on knowledge and prevalence estimates and significant interactions of classroom and TV programming on knowledge (negative), disapproval of parental smoking, and coping effort. There were no consistent program effects on refusal/self-efficacy, smoking intentions, or behavior.

Conclusions. Previous reports demonstrated successful development and pilot testing of program components and measures and high acceptance of the program by students and parents. The lack of behavioral effects may have been the result of imperfect program implementation or low base rates of intentions and behavior.

Rights Information

© 1995 American Health Foundation and Academic Press.