Degree Name

Education Specialist (EdS)

Semester of Degree Completion


Thesis Director

David E. Bartz


The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of the Primary Prevention of Substance Abuse Program grades kindergarten through six in Mattoon Community Unit School District Number Two, Mattoon, Illinois. In order to accomplish this purpose the study utilized the Purpose--Input--Process--Outcome—Decision Model for program evaluation. The study was divided into four chapters. Chapter 1 presents the background and statement of the problem of substance use and abuse by America’s youth. Chapter 2 is a review of current literature and related research. For organizational purposes, the literature and research are divided into two sections: the problem of substance abuse and educational programming for the prevention of substance abuse. The latter section includes research on prevention program strategies, prevention program effectiveness, characteristic prevention program weaknesses, and prevention program models. Chapter 3 contains an overview of the design of the study. It presents discussions of the general design of the evaluation study utilizing pretests and posttests, the 80 third and fourth grade students used as the sample population, the data collection and instrumentation, and data analysis. A secondary process evaluation is also discussed which measures teacher opinions by use of a survey. The results, conclusions, and recommendations for the study are presented in Chapter 4. The results are reported in the format of the evaluation model. Conclusions about the effectiveness of the substance abuse program show that while the program is effective in cognitive gain of information concerning the use and abuse of substances, the program affects no statistically significant gain in self-image or appropriate, socially-acceptable attitudes. The study concludes with recommendations for improvement of the Primary Prevention of Substance Abuse Program.