This study aimed to assess the effectiveness of school's policy of prevention
based on their policy to test for alcohol and drugs The experimental
hypotheses were; that students from schools with a policy to test, would
have more negative attitudes and opinions and engage less in smoking
drinking and drug use. The Independent Variable (IV) was a policy to test
or not, demographic variables age and social class were also taken into
account. The dependant variables (D V) were smoking, drinking and drug
use. A researcher-designed questionnaire was circulated to 4 post- primary
schools, 2 with a policy to test and 2 with a no test policy( n= 149).
A one-way independent samples ANOVAs were conducted to evaluate the
impact of (1) age, (2) gender on smoking, drinking and drug use. A
significant difference was found between age of males (16.63) and females
(16.37). 2.9% of the variance was accountedfor by difference in age. (F
[1,47]= 4.32, P<0.05), Eta squared = 0.029. A significant difference was
found between age and smoking (F [1, 147] = 5.12, P<0.05), Eta squared =
0.034.A 3% of the variance between groups, based on age, was accounted
for by smoking, with older students reporting a higher rate of smoking.
ANOVA was conducted to evaluate the impact of gender on lie scale. No
significant difference was found between groups based on lie score (F
[1, 145] = 10.262, p<0.05). Eta Squared = 0.067. A 6.7% of variance
between groups was based on lie score. ANOVAs were conducted to
evaluate the impact of policy on smoking (F[1, 147] = 5.2, p, 0. 05), drinking
(F[I, 146]=2.193,p, 0. 05
and drugs (Fl, 147]=3.3,p, 0. 05). A series of Chi-square, Cross tabulations
and Multiple Regressions were conducted. Males engaged in drinking, more
thanfemales (B=3.22 p, 0. 05). Policy was not a predictor of drug status.
The conclusion was that there was insufficient evidence that a policy to test
had any influence over student's attitudes or behaviours in relation to
smoking, drinking or drug use.