Date of Award

Spring 2011

Degree Name

Education Specialist (Ed.S)

Department

Advanced Education Programs

Advisor

Dr. Leo Herrman

Abstract

The topic of teen drinking is popular because it has been persistent over time and does not appear to be diminishing in today’s society. Alcohol consumption among adolescents is a major health concern for our adolescents today (Kosterman, Hawkins, Guo, Catalon, & Abbott, 2000). Besides being associated with poor health conditions (Puddey, Rakic, Dimmitt, & Beilin, 1999), adolescent drinking is also correlated with risks such as poor school performance, violence/criminal behavior, and other self-harming behaviors (Mason & Windle, 2002). Aside from these alcohol related risks, there is a higher risk of poor decision making including that of drinking and driving. The current study attempted to determine the relationship among exposure to the negative effects of alcohol, specifically, death as a result of alcohol consumption and driving, and (1) the teen’s participation in alcohol consumption post exposure and (2) the teen’s participation in driving after consuming alcohol post exposure to these negative effects. The current study suggests that knowing someone who has been killed in a drunk-driving accident and the participants’ own reported alcohol consumption is not significantly related, however, knowing someone who has been killed in a drunk driving accident is significantly related to the participants’ own drunk driving behaviors, with those reporting higher levels of drunk driving being those who knew someone killed in a drunk driving accident. The study also indicates that the rated level of closeness to the person the participant knew who had been killed in a drunk driving accident was not significantly related to their own alcohol consumption nor their own drunk driving behaviors. Although the data doesn’t show a level of significance between rated closeness to the person the participant knew who had died in a drunk-driving accident and their own drinking and drunk-driving behaviors, data does indicate a trend toward social group behaviors. There were six participants who reported being “Very Close” to someone who had been killed in a drunk-driving accident. Those six participants reported a higher mean (tables 2 and 4) for both alcohol consumption in the past 30 days and also for driving under the influence of alcohol in the past 30 days. This trend is something that possibly relates back to social group actions (e.g. the peer group of the individual who was killed in a drunk-driving accident is more likely to participate in drinking and drunk-driving than those not in that same peer group). The statistical power of the results indicating the peer groups (closeness) trends was compromised due to the small amount of participants (6 students) that fell within the group that rated being “very close” to someone who had been killed in a drunk-driving accident. This finding may have been found significant had there been more participants in this particular rating group.

Rights

Copyright 2011 Amber Jones

Library Call Number

LD2652 .F5 S3 J664 2011

Comments

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