Summary of Results

Home Up Summary of Results Curriculum Description

The results of this study on the hypothesized mediators and, to a lesser extent, substance use, are very encouraging. In most instances the outcomes are as hypothesized and the effect sizes are in keeping with other drug prevention programs. Due to a small sample size, however, some of the findings are not statistically significant at the .05 level. In addition, there were some findings that were gender-specific. 

The main mediators through which this program was hypothesized to work involved encouraging youth to engage in healthy free time pursuits and shifting motivation from negative motivation (e.g., doing things during free time because of boredom or being pressured by external sources) to positive motivation (e.g., doing things because they are challenging and because it is personally satisfying). The effects of TimeWise on motivation indicate that TimeWise was successful in these areas. 

Perhaps the clearest effect of TimeWise on motivation can be summarized by reviewing the programís statistically significant effects on intrinsic motivation (a desired form of motivation) and amotivation (i.e., doing things due because there is nothing else to do and lack of self-regulation). On average, students in the TimeWise condition had greater intrinsic motivation throughout the study than students in the comparison condition.  Similarly, the overall effect on amotivation was as hypothesized: Students who received the TimeWise intervention had lower amotivation than comparison students throughout the study, despite the developmental indication that amotivation increased over time in all students.   

A key focus of TimeWise was to reduce the sense of boredom experienced by youth and increase their sense of interest in their non-school lives. The results indicated that interest was significantly greater (i.e., boredom was lower) in students who received the TimeWise intervention compared to comparison students throughout the study (p=.0161).  Similarly, initiative (i.e., taking charge and pursuing an interest) was significantly greater for students who received TimeWise than comparisons.   

Developmentally, studentsí awareness of available leisure activities decreased with age. TimeWise students, however, were aware of more leisure activities than comparison students, on average.  This result, however, was significant only for males. 

Substance use distal outcomes were analyzed in the same manner as the proximal outcomes (i.e., by time, gender, and condition).  While most effects on substance use were not statistically significant, almost all effects were in the desired direction. Among the substances most used by both males and females in this sample, the use of cigarettes, alcohol, marijuana (males only) and inhalants was lower among the students who received TimeWise. Within these results, two statistically significant findings did emerge: TimeWise males were significantly less likely to use marijuana and inhalants. These two significant findings first appeared at the end of the 8th grade and became more pronounced at the end of the 9th grade. 

We cautiously interpret the emergence of these statistically significant findings at the end of the 8th and 9th grades as an indication that TimeWise was having a cumulative, beneficial effect on substance use prevention at a time when substance use begins to increase. Furthermore, the fact that these two findings are specific to boys, whose substance use is higher at these grades, is not surprising. Statistically it is difficult to find significant program effects on substance use when substance use is very low. However, when substance use begins to increase, as it did among the 8th and 9th grade comparison boys in our sample, statistically significant findings are easier to detect. The fact that we find generally positive, but non-significant findings in the 7th grade for boys, and across all grades for girls, may simply be a product of generally low substance use for these youth in both conditions.  A longer follow-up period would be required to determine if this hypothesis is correct. 

Given these findings, we conclude that TimeWise is a promising approach to the prevention of substance use among adolescents. The mediators we targeted responded positively to the relatively brief intervention in rural environments that were low in resources. With greater dosage, or in a more resourced environment, we hypothesize that these effects may be even greater.