Behavioral and Social Science
The following information is posted with the permission of the Network for Dissemination of Curriculum Infusion (NDCI).
This section includes two prevention write ups from sociology courses and two from psychology courses. The sociology courses are Deviant Behavior by Henry Vandenburgh and Research Methods in the Social Sciences by Marilyn Nouri. The psychology courses are General Psychology by Linda Jeff-rey and Social Psychology by Carol Toris. A variety of methods and techniques are used by each of these four faculty to seamlessly integrate alcohol and other drug prevention content into their courses.
The prevention module in Henry Vandenburgh's course on Deviant Behavior is a concentrated block of teaching and learning activities through which he aims to increase his student's "choice making potential" and encourage their positive feelings concerning abstinence or limited alcohol usage. He relies on a series of lectures/discussions, group activity and intervention exercises.
Marilyn Nouri's prevention module for her course on Research Methods in the Social Sciences is a hands on data analysis experiment with the Core Alcohol and Drug Survey instrument. In this module students learn by analyzing and reporting results from data gathered by use of the Core instrument on their campus. Marilyn Nouri suggests: "Knowing how the research knowledge was generated and seeing the consequences of substance abuse should contribute to both prevention and support for those who do not binge drink or use illicit drugs." Linda Jeffrey's prevention write up for a General Psychology course exposes students to a variety of cases comparing normal versus alcoholic behavior in individuals and in families. "The dynamics and development of a family with an alcoholic member (is) contrasted with the theoretical models of normal individual development and the stages of the family life cycle."
Linda Jeffrey includes the case study of the literary Bronte family and requires reading of the novel by Anne Bronte, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall as one of her main module activities. She notes that the novel "includes a dramatic depiction of the psychological deterioration of an individual and destruction of a family because of chemical addiction" and indicates that "the novel puts an unforgettable human face on addiction. " Taking into account the diversity of student populations, she provides alternative novels by other authors such as Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eye for providing "gender, race and ethnicity and class contrasts."
In a prevention module developed for a Social Psychology class Carol Toris indicates two goals: first, infomiing students about aspects of the social influence process; especially with regard to alcohol abuse and second evaluating information critically, especially concerning the effects of alcohol. Her objective is to encourage students to learn by "identifying sources of influence," "recognizing the effects of labeling," 'thinking critically about information in the news," and "leaming to use operational definitions," through a series of well designed methods around a number of questions. This module provides narrative concerning its implementation in the classroom. Each of the modules in this section demonstrates the open-ended nature of faculty creativity which can be exercised in integrating substance abuse prevention content into courses.
Each module indicates the relationship between course objectives and the prevention content. Other faculty should benefit from familiarity with specific content and general approaches taken by these behavioral and social science faculty.
DATA ANALYSIS USING
THE CORE ALCOHOL AND DRUG SURVEY
RESEARCH METHODS IN THE SOCIAL SCIENCES
Developed by Marilyn Nouri
State University of New York
By doing actual data analysis with the CORE data set, the students will become familiar with the patterns of alcohol and drug use on a campus and the consequences of those patterns for other aspects of student life. Knowing how the research knowledge was generated and seeing the consequences of substance abuse should contribute to both prevention and support for those who do not binge drink or'use illicit drugs.
The students, as a result of completing this module, will
* hear how theory, research and practice are integrated in the area of student health programs on a college campus
* write a specific hypothesis that explores the relationships between student ddnking/drug use patterns and other behavioral/attitude variables as found in the CORE data set
* use Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) in our social science computer laboratory, develop a cross tabulation with an independent and dependent variable to test the null hypothesis, which will explore the relationship between two or more questions on the CORE data set
* introduce an intervening variable to understand the idea of how a hidden or lurking variable such as gender may affect the relationship between drinking behaviors and attitudes/consequences
* construct a bar chart that creates a picture of the relationship between two variables
* make an oral presentation on the results. of the analysis; and learn the results of their own analysis and hear presentations of the other students in the class, through which the students will be better informed and have the opportunity to discuss and challenge the findings of other students about the relationships between drinking/drug use and other student behaviors.
Dale Capiisto, Student Development Associate, and Director of the Choices Program on our campus, came to speak to the students about the purpose of collecting the CORE data set. She described the history of thinking about alcohol/drug abuse among college students and how theory, research and practice have led to modifications in earlier strategies for addressing the problem. The students, themselves, had already done a review of literature (on other topics) to develop a research question prior to her presentation; they were familiar with this process. By using the CORE data set, the students could actually do some data analysis with real data. Her presentation helped them to see, in an applied situation, how theory, research, and practice do inform each other.
A copy of the data set was loaded on each computer in the laboratory. Each student downloaded the data set to their own floppy disk. A demonstration was given to the students on how to work with the data set to make cross tabs and bar charts. A handout helped them with the details of SPSS. The students then set out to use the computers to test the hypotheses they had written. They often had to do recoding of the values on the variables so they were exposed to the various questions and answers in the data as they worked with them. Conversations would ensue among the students and between the students and myself as we explored the data for informative results. Each student in the class was expected to do a different analysis than any other (I signed off on their hypotheses before they started).
Dale was invited back for a presentation of the results. Each student had a transparency showing the results of the analysis and had prepared a written report on the findings and the implications of those findings for student health on campus and for Dale's Choices Program. Class discussions of the findings were a part of the presentation process.
This module was one unit in the course. In terms of research methods, the goal was to learn how to do basic quantitative data analysis using SPSS. The goal in terms of student health was for students to see the connections between alcohol and drug choices and other attitudes, behaviors, and consequences. Student participation was a given as they each analyzed the data.
The reports given by the students and then turned in to the instructor provide a clear indication of what the students have learned about alcohol/drug use on college campuses. The students turned in their analysis to me for a critique before the oral presentation so that no "misinformation" would be disseminated. If knowledge supports choices, then the prevention rationale should work.
COURSE MODULE -
CHEMICAL DEPENDENCY AND ADDICTION
SOCIOLOGY 370 - DEVIANT BEHAVIOR
Assistant Professor Sociology
Department State University of New York
This module helps prevent substance abuse behavior by describing problems likely to be encountered during the short-term use of alcohol and drugs, as well as during more systematic abuse as addicted behavior. It describes some of the short and long-term effects of alcohol and drugs, introduces students to a systems model of addiction, discusses the ways in which the addiction model can be extended to other issues beside drug and alcohol abuse-- like gambling, sex, or overeating, and allows students to clarify their own values with regard to substance use. In addition, it describes typical means of intervention and treatment for people who suffer from addictions. This movement, from increased knowledge to self-proposed action through values clarification, has the potential to create behavior change in the student, helping the student realize an increased choice-making potential and positive feelings concerning abstinence or limited alcohol usage, therefore empowering him/her.
Following presentation of this module, the student will be able to recount the basic effects of alcohol and various drugs upon the body. He or she will also be able to identify Rely behavior changes and impairment of abilities resulting from alcohol or drug use. He or she will be able to identify the immediate dangers from certain types of alcohol or drug use and utilize an addiction model to analyze behavioral indications that an addiction is present. He or she will be able to extend the addiction model to describe other types of addicting behavior. He or she will be able to recount basic steps involved in intervention and treatment. He or she will be able to recount and clarify his or her own values with regard to alcohol abuse, substance abuse or other addiction-facilitative problems. Attitudes will change from hostility or indifference toward seeking information about chemical addictions, intervention, treatment, and also toward values clarification to positive attitudes to facilitate action on the part of students toward their own and, when appropriate, others'behavior.
A. Introduction to Deviant Drug Use (Reading: McGagy and Capron 283-339)
1) Lecture/Discussion: History of alcohol/drug use. The politics of alcohol as a native vs. immigrant issue in the United States. Legitimate drug abuse in the nineteenth century and the pure food and drug laws. Prohibition. Politics of the war on drugs. Presented by Instructor- one hour. FILM: first half hour of Drugstore Cowboy, feature film. Discuss 20 minutes.
2) Group activity: break into three groupswith following team roles: captain, recorder, reflector, team members. Captain assigns tasks. Recorder makes report of team findings. Reflector minds process and makes brief report on quality of teamwork. One group investigates key physical effects of depressants, another group investigates stimulants, and a third group investigates hallucinogens. Team reports. Presented by teams - two hours.
3) Lecture/Discussion: the Dangers of alcohol poisoning. Social settings likely to encourage/require high intake of alcohol. Physiological consequences. Individual and campus strategies. Military policies on high alcohol use - one hour.
4) Lecture/Discussion: Addiction model. Advantages of model not depending upon pharmacological characteristics of drugs/alcohol. Thinking: obsessing on addictive substance/behavior, denial system, excuses, rationalization. Behavior/unwanted consequences from addiction. Emotional/spiritual consequences: depression, anger, spiritual bereftness. Propensity for these feelings to reprompt thinking leading to use and consequences. Special role of defense mechanisms of rationalization and projection in addiction. (Projection as one reason addicts are difficult to treat.) Instructor - one hour.
B. Intervention (Reading: McOagy and Capron 283-339)
1) Lecture/Discussion: Mstory of addiction treatment. Early moral treatment in the United States. Rise of Oxfbrd Groups/Alcoholics Anonymous. The twelve steps. Treatment in hospitals. The development of Al-Anon. Intervention techniques. Social model treatment. Forceful programs for hard- core clients, e.g. Delancy Street. Instructor - two hours.
2) Exercise: Values clarification. Individual students respond to a series of questions devised by the instructor that put them in hypothetical situations, e.g. being asked to drive with an intoxicated person, driving while intoxicated, number of drinks theywill choose to have at social functions, being asked to experiment with controlled substance by a friend, being asked to go drinking rather than study, being asked for help with chemical dependency problem by a friend. Each student fifls out a workshect stating what his or her position is and why. Group discusses each position in deto. Students and Instructor - two hours.
C. Unit examination: 25 short answer and two essay questions.
This prevention module is taught in a concentrated block. The addiction model is revisited when discussing sexual deviation later in the course. The lecture/discussions and student presentations help the student reach the informational objectives. The values clarification exercise helps the student internalize his or her values and actions in the presence of addictive substances. The examination assesses whether learning has taken place. All elements of the course increase the probability that the student can assist others to find help for this problem. Active student participation is encouraged by 1) the discussion component of lecture/discussions, 2) student presentations, and 3) the values clarification exercise. I also use the textbook McGaghy, Charles H. and Timothy A. Capron, Deviant Behavior, 4th Edition, Boston: Allyn and Bacon, 1997 and the film Drugstore Cowboy.
Student leaming is evaluated by the written examination. Depth of student practical understanding and motivation is evaluated by the values clarification exercise. Students periodically assess the instructor's performance in this course by written means. This also provides a way by which to assess whether students are likely to have acquired the material.
SYLLABUS GENERAL PSYCHOLOGY
Linda R. Jeffrey, Ph.D.
Professor Department of Psychology
In this course the student will acquire an understanding of the discipline of psychology by becoming familiar with the basic theories, principles, research methods and classic studies of the field. The student will make connections between psychological facts, theories and practices and issues and problems confronted in daily He. Moreover, the student will use psychological theories and research findings to understand and interpret human behavior and to evaluate the information encountered day to day in an informed and intelligent manner.
The goals of this course lend themselves to the infusion of prevention information. Understanding of alcohol and other drug use and abuse involves consideration of biological, behavioral and social factors routinely considered in an introduction to psychology. Indeed, addiction as a complex behavior pattern embedded in a social context, and involving individual biological and personality aspects as well as social factors, can be used as a ca se study for the understanding of human behavior.
The practical understanding of human behavior achieved through the study of psychology facilitates the development of the student's personal decision-making, a goal that is integral to the strategy of curriculum infusion.
1. The student will identify, describe and discuss the physiological and behavioral changes that take place in the stages of addiction.
2. The student will identify, describe and discuss marital and family dynamics associated with an addictive process.
3. The student will identify, describe and discuss gender issues in the family psychology of addiction.
4. The student will examine his or her attitudes toward family caretaking in the context of a major stressor such as addiction.
5. The student will identify, describe and discuss the normal stages of family development.
6. The student will discuss the nature vs. nurture question in development in light of information concerning the genetics of addiction and the impact of addiction on family dynamics.
In this module the psychology of family alcoholism will be employed to teach students about a number of traditional issues in psychology, including:
A. THE STAGES OF NORMAL INDIVIDUAL DEVELOPMENT: Age appropriate developmental achievements and tasks will be discussed, and students will consider those behaviors that are expected in progressive developmental stages.
B. THE STAGES OF THE FAMILY LIFE CYCLE: The stages of family life will be described as they are linked to transformation of the family system with the maturing of family members.
The dynamics and development of a family with an alcoholic member will be contrasted with the theoretical models of normal individual development and the stages of the farnay life cycle. The changes manifested by an individual experiencing a progressive addictive process will be compared with the transformation over time expected in normal development.
A. ALCOHOL / OTHER DRUG INFORMATION:
Students will be assigned readings that convey information about addiction and the impact of chemical use and addiction on family dynamics from texts such as the following:
Jung, J. (1994). Under the Influence of Alcohol and Human Behavior. Pacific Grove, Calif:Brooks/Cole Publishing Company.
Doweiko, H. (1996). Concepts of Chemical Dependency. Pacific Grove, Calif: Brooks/Cole Publishing Company.
McKim, W. (1997). Drugs and Behavior: An Introduction to Behavioral-Pharmacology.3rd Edition. Upper Saddle River, N.J.:Prentice Hall.
B. CASE STUDY:
The Bronte family:
One of the great families of English literature is that of Charlotte, Emily and Anne Bronte. "While Charlotte Bronte is well known for her masterpiece, Jane Eyre, and Emily Bronte for Wuthering Heights, the third sister, Anne Bronte, is unfortunately less recognized. Her novel, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall (1848), includes a dramatic depiction of the psychological deterioration of an individual and destruction of a family because of chemical addiction. Perhaps the source of the realism of the description of the behavior of the character Arthur Huntington was Anne Bronte's observation of the progressive decline and death of her brother, Branwell, from opiate abuse and alcoholism. Francis Grundy, a friend of Branwell, described their meeting at an inn in Haworth:
... the door opened cautiously, and a head appeared. It was a mass of red, unkempt, uncut hair, wildly floating round a great, gaunt forehead: the cheeks yellow and hollow, the mouth fallen, the thin white lips not trembling but shaking, the sunken eyes, once small, now glaring with the light of madness. [Once Branwell was warmed by a glass of brandy] he looked frightened--fiightened of himself
cited in Lyndall Gordon's Charlotte
Bronte: A Passionate Life, New York:
W.W. Norton & Company, pg. 184.
Class discussion of the novel may be focused on contrasting normal and abnormal individual and family development, integrating the empirical psychological research with the behavior described in the novel. A contrast may also be explored between the characters and events of Anne Bronte's novel, and the family ffe and destruction of Branwell Bronte.
A BBC production of the novel in two video cassettes (160 minutes) is available from BBC Video and CBS FOX. Particularly useful in this portrayal of Bronte's story is the performance of Tara Fitzgerald as Arthur Huntington's long-suffering spouse. Her behavior and transformation in relation to her husband's addictive behavior provide a rich context for discussion of caretaking in the presence of active addiction.
The empirical psychological research findings from the texts fisted above may be brought to the discussion to enrich the students' understanding of the complex consequences of addiction for the individual and the family.
C. About Men Commentary: John Holveck, "A Confession, a Lie" December 23,1990, New York Times Sunday Magazine.
John Holveck is a writer and former philosophy professor who describes in this one- page essay the complex feelings that he experienced as an adult when his alcoholic father asked for his forgiveness. This essay may be used to discuss psychological concepts of maturity, ego integrity and the relation of emotional and moral development. In the process students may acquire a greater understanding of potential long-term effects of the parenting that is common in homes where a parent is addicted.
DISTRIBUTION OF MATERIAL: It is recommended that the Bronte novel be taught in a unit focusing on developmental psychology after a unit on the brain and behavior has been taught. Information about the action of neurotransmitters in addiction and the effects of chemicals on memory and thinking will provide a basis for understanding the individual and family effects of addiction.
ACHIEVEMENT OF OBJECTIVES: Reading The Tenant of Wildfell Hall provides the student with historical and literary distance that Oows objective consideration of the consequences of addiction for the individual and the family. Contrasting the depiction of addiction in the novel with the historical record of Branwell Bronte's decline provides a context for students to apply the scientific description of addiction learned from psychological accounts. The novel puts an unforgettable human face on addiction.
ACTIVE STUDENT PARTICIPATION: Student projects have focused on developing and comparing genograms for the family of characters in The Tenant of Windfell Hall and the Bronte family. Students have explored the relation of alcoholism to creativity, particularly writing, and have contrasted the place of addiction in the lives of the Brontes with other writers such as the poet Coleridge. Students have been encouraged to explore the role of metaphor in the novel with that of metaphor in family therapy.
DIVERSITY: Other novels and essays may be incorporated to provide gender, race, ethnicity and class contrasts. The Famfly Secret: Adult Children of Alcoholics Tell Their Stoiy is an anthology edited by Jay David (1994), New York: WdHarn Morrow and Company. Family dynarffics portrayed in the classics, The Bluest Eye, by Toni Morrison and The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros, provide important opportunities for creating a diverse and enriched perspective in students' views of individual and family development. The recent bestseller, Angela's Ashes, especially when linked with an historical account of Ireland such as Cecil Woodham- Smith's The Great Hunger , offers an opportunity to discuss the impact of poverty and alcoholism on individual and family development.
Essay examinations have provided the opportunity for students to apply the alcohol/other drug knowledge acquired in this module to an understanding of the traditional topics of developmental psychology. Moreover, questions have asked students to describe how underfunctioning, unhealthy but drug-ftee families differ from families in which an addiction is present in a family member. The Bronte case study is an ideal focus for an interdisciplinary course, integrating the literary and psychological study of behavior.
A CURRICULUM INFUSION
FOR SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY
Developed by.- Carol Toris, Ph.D.
College of Charleston
Social Psychology is the scientific study of how the thoughts, feelings, and behaviors of individuals are influenced by the actual, imagined, or implied presence of others (Allport, 1985). In the seventeen years that I have been teaching this class, I have attempted to enable students to: (1) realize that social influence is a common aspect of everyday life, and (2) think critically about any information they encounter regarding social behavior, regardless of the source.
My reason for the first goal is that often we would rather deny than admit that we are influenced by something. We all have a desire to believe in Habeas Mentum, the right of a person to his or her own mind. Yet it is when we deny the power and pervasiveness of social influence that we, by our ignorance, are most likely to succumb to it. It is by learning about the particulars of influence that we can best come to anticipate its presence and its effects and to exercise some control over it. My intention, then, is for my students to learn about the empowering effects of knowledge about the social influence process.
In a related vein, my second goal is for students to realize that they have the capacity to caiticauy evaluate information about social behavior. They can decide which facts are suspect, or limited, or not applicable to their own situation. They can even evaluate the appropriateness of empirical reports (original research observations). Knowing they have this capacity, they can, at any time in the future, go to a source and evaluate it for themselves, without the need for a "translation" by a news commentator or reporter, or even a professor.
These goals are directly pertinent to the prevention of alcohol and other drug abuse. It is no secret that much drug use occurs in circumstances of social influence, especially among college students, for whom social acceptance is often of the highest priority. Secondly, it is our ignorance about the powerful effects of these substances that sometimes militates against the exercise of appropriate cautions regarding their use. My purpose, as part of the Curriculum Infusion project, was to include the use and abuse of alcohol among the behaviors we study as part of the social influence process. In so doing, I hoped to assist my students to realize that: (1) our drinking behavior affects, and is affected by others, and (2) we have the ability to inform ourselves about these influences, as well as about the effects of alcohol and other drugs. As an educator, my highest goal is that my students will feel empowered to educate themselves, as necessary, outside the classroom and throughout their lives.
The learning objectives of this module are related to the two main goals outlined above; namely, that students will become informed about (1) Aspects of the Social lnfluence Process, especially with regard to alcohol abuse and (2) Evaluating Information Critically, especially about the effects of alcohol.
Method of Attainment
Aspects of the Social Influcence Process
Identifying sources of social influences
|Discussion and Assighment: Why Drink to death? Part 1 Reading: Abbey & Harnish (1995)|
|Classifying attributions for behavior||Discussion and assighnment: Why drikn to death? Part 2|
|Recognizing the effects of labeling||Discussion: Why did John Denver die?|
Evaluating Information critically
|Thinking critically about information in the news.||Discussion: Why did Princess Diana die?|
|Learning to use operational definitions||Lecture: Who's intoxicated?|
|Reading original source journal articles.||Reading: Abbey & Harnish (1195)|
|Finding and using outside sources of information||Assighment: What does DUI mean? Film: The other Side of DUI|
The three leaming objectives associated with Aspects of the Social Influence Process and the four leaming objectives associated with Evaluating Information Critically as well as the methods of attainment associated with each of these objectives are fisted in Table 1. Although they are grouped conceptually in the table, they are here described as they occurred chronologically, since most of the objectives were met by ocusing on three news events that occurred over the course of the semester. It should be noted that an instructor could use other recent news events toward the attainment of these leaming objectives. One need not necessarily be restricted to news stories that occur while the class is being taught. In my experience teaching this course, there is never a shortage of current events to illustrate key points. In fact, I was somewhat dismayed that there were so many readily available, high profile tragedies about alcohol use for our consideration.
Soon after the semester began, a young Louisiana State student was found dead after ingesting a lethal dose of alcohol at a party. This sad story was of great interest to my students, and we spent time discussing what could have caused someone to drink to the point of death. I asked each student to complete an assignment wherein they responded to the question: "What do you think caused the student to drink so much that he died?" (Discussion and Assignment: Why drink to death? Part 1), compiled their answers, (see Appendix A) and later in the semester, when we were discussing the traditional social psychological topic of making causal attributions, that is, deciding the causes or explanations for our own and others behavior (Heider, 1957) it was demonstrated to them that all of their attributions fell into the two main categories of dispositional (or personal) and situational (or external) causes. Considering their responses as data, (Discussion and Assignment: Why drink to death? Part 2) we pondered why, in view of current research findings, the majority (59.4%) of the total number of attributions that were made for the student's fatal behavior were dispositions] (as would be predicted by the fundamental attribution error- Ross, 1977), yet the majority of students (89.4%) also made situational attributions as well. The students concluded that, as students themselves, they could empathize with the young man who had died and therefore were more likely to share information that would facilitate situational attributions. Indeed, many volunteered stories of having experienced sin-dlar topeer pressure" situations. Of course, part of our discussion involved the physiology of drinking, including how it is possible to drink to death by ingesting enough alcohol to "knock out" the gag reflex before it can perform it's -potentially life-saving function. We also considered how an unattended person could have an intact gag reflex but inhale his or her own vomit and die of asphyxiation. I shared information with students regarding "first aid for drunks."
It was not long after this occurred that Princess Diana perished in a fatal car crash. As the details slowly unfolded regarding the tragedy, we compared the various contradictory reports that we were hearing (Discussion: Why did Princess Diana die?), an exercise which made us 0 a bit more wary about traditional news sources of information. When it was reported that her driver was "into)dcated," we considered various definitions of this term (Lecture: Who's Intoxicated?).
We realized that there are many different operational definitions (that is, definitions expressed in measurable terms) of intoxication. In fact, despite the absence of this information in most news reports, we were able to determine that the legal level of intoxication in Louisiana, where the student died, and in Paris, where the Princess died, were different (blood alcohol levels of . I versus .06). Students were challenged to find out from a verifiable source what the legal limit of blood alcohol was for drivers in our state, as well as in a number of other states and nations (Assignment: What does DUI mean?) Through this assignment we were able to observe some of the many sources that are available for information about alcohol. Students used web sites, SCCADA (South Carolina Comniission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse) publications, national surveys from insurance agencies, and many other sources. Part of our discussion at this point also concerned the fact that driving impairment does not necessarily imply that other behavioral signs of intoxication will be present, and students came to realize that the effects of a given quantity of alcohol are not uniform across persons. We considered some of the other factors that might mediate the effects of alcohol (for example, percentage of body fat, presence or absence of food in the stomach, place in the menstrual cycle, etc.). Students also contributed information related to the effects of alcohol on particular driving skills, like impairments in reaction time and decreased responsivity to red fights.
Students were given another opportunity to use an outside source of information by watching a video outside of class. The film entitled The Other Side of DUI was produced by our own campus Office of Substance Abuse Prevention and contained some sad stories of local teens who had died in alcohol related accidents. Students were asked to turn in a brief summary of the film and their reactions to it.
A third tragedy sparked yet another discussion (Lecture: Why did John Denver die?) when early reports of Mr. Denver's death by airplane accident were followed by speculations about his ability to fly given that he had at one time been diagnosed as an alcoholic, and had received tickets for DUI several years earlier. I asked students to respond, anonymously and in writing, to the question "Do you think John Denver had a drinking problem?" In class, we considered what constituted a "drinking problem" and the fact that some people might always suspect that someone has a drinking problem once they were so labeled. We considered the part that this fact might play in preventing some people from seeking needed treatment. Of course, Mr. Denver was vindicated when he was found to have no drugs or alcohol in his bloodstream.
Finally, in keeping with traditional activities in this class wherein students read and evaluate several empirical reports on social behavior, they completed a Reading: Abbey & Harnish (1995) entitled "Perception of Sex" Intent: The Role of Gender, Alcohol Consumption, and Rape Supportive Attitudes." Among other things, this article revealed that college students perceive situations where both members of a couple are drinking to be more sexually charged than if only one or neither is drinking. Moreover, women who drink alone are seen as acting inappropriately. In addition to evaluating the study and its limitations, we used this opportunity to discuss some social norms regarding alcohol use in different situations and among different kinds of users.
METHODS OF EVALUATION This prevention module would be considered effective if students realized that: (1) their drinking behavior affects and is affected by others, and (2) they have the ability to inform themselves about these influences, as well as about the effects of alcohol and other drugs. It is obvious that, to some extent at least, both of these goals have been achieved.
Goal (1) - Many of those who participated in our discussion of the student who ingested a lethal dose of alcohol shared their own experiences of feeling pressured to conform by drinking to excess at some time. Perhaps those who did not have such experiences (or at least did not share them in the discussion) learned from listening to their colleagues in class. Clearly, in our assignment Why drink to death? Students generated many plausible influences upon the student who drank to his death. These activities in particular indicate that there were some persons in class who clearly realized that one's drinking behavior affects and is affected by others.
Students who watched the film resource, the Other Side of DUI, were uniformly positive in their evaluations of it. Perhaps more importantly, they also seemed to be quite powerfully affected by its message. A number of my students attended high school with one of the victims portrayed in the film. They spoke very poignantly of the film's impact upon them.
Memory for particular effects, such as those demonstrated by the research in the Abbey & Harnish reading was assessed in test questions and on the final exam. Item analyses of responses to these test questions indicated that, on average, objective questions were responded to correctly 72% of the time.
Goal (2) - Do students utilize outside resources to inform themselves about alcohol? All students who successfully found the blood alcohol level associated with intoxication in our state (What does DUI mean?) did effectively use an outside resource to do so. Exposure to empirical reports in this class also should make students better able to use such sources in the future. The real test of this goal, of course, depends upon future applications of critical thinking skills (e.g., sensitivity to the use or absence of operational definitions). In this initial introduction of the module, no longitudinal tests of its effectiveness were planned, but it would be possible to ask recent graduates who had taken this course about their tendency to use outside sources when in need of information. They could also be presented with stories from the news, asked to evaluate the information in the stories, and then their evaluations could be appraised.
Abbey, A. & Hamish, R. (1995). Perception of sexual intent: The role of gender, alcohol consumption, and rape supportive attitudes - Sex Roles, 32, 297-313.
Allport, G. (1985). The historical background of social psychology. In g. Lindzey & E. Aronson (Eds.), Ae handbook of social psychology (3rd edition, Vol. 1) New York: Random House.
Heider, F. (I 95 8). 7he psychology of interpersonal relations. New York: Wiley.
Ross, L. (1977). The Intuitive psychologist and his shortcomings: Distortions in the attribution process. In L. Berkowitz (Ed.), Advances in Experimental Social Psychology (vol. 10. pp. 174- 221). New York: Academic Press.
DUI Extra Credit Assignment
The film Images and Words: The Other Side of DUI, was not only enjoyable to watch, but had a great impact on me as well. I currently have, and have had in the past, many fhends arrested for "Driving under the Muence" (hence DUI), of alcohol - some on more than one occasion. I believe this film did an excellent job of making people aware of the facts, and of portraying the reality that there is a definite problem at hand, and a serious need to address this issue, especially among college students.
The film stated some important and surprising (at least to me) statistics that I found to be very disturbing. While the nation as a whole has been making "substantial progress in the fight against impaired driving and DUI's", driving under the influence of alcohol is the number one killer of people under the age of 24. It even clearly stated at the end of the film that, "three people were injured in DUT crashes while you were watching this film, and one person was killed". If nothing else got my attention, that certainly did.
The film showed many "five" graphic footages taken of people that had just been in car accidents as a result of drinking, as well as including several interviews of parents who had lost their children due to DUI. Their stories were very touching- I could almost feel their pain. In addition, interviews were taken of college students outside of bars near campus, following what appeared to be hours of drinking. It truly amazed me to hear the responses of people my own age when asked questions on this issue. Some seemed to be aware of the seriousness of this problem (mostly females), however far too many sounded so incredibly ignorant on the topic of DUI'S, I honestly felt embarrassed to hear their responses.
The film also touched on some effective approaches that have been taken regarding drinking and driving: laws are becoming much tougher on those given a DUI than they once were; DUI checkpoints are currently more prevalent and thorough in many states throughout the country; a great deal of pressure has been applied by groups such as MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Drivers); as well as the fact that drunken driving has increasingly come to be seen by Americans as absolutely unacceptable.
Although all of these approaches add a small degree of comfort, watching this film made me actually sit down and think about what an enormous problem DUI's have become, especially in my generation. I realized more than ever that everyone is effected by this issue. It may not be you doing the drinking and driving, but you may be the innocent one that has your life put at risk because of those certain careless individuals. In conclusion, I strongly recommend that this film be viewed by every college student, on every campus that has access to it. It is completely relevant and influential, not only to those who frequently drink and then get behind the wheel of a vehicle, but also to those who do comprehend the dangers of drinking and driving, as well as understand the "new meaning applied to the term DUI; Driving Un-Impaired".