Alcohol Education Guide
to Reducing Harmful Drinking

Alcohol Misuse Prevention Study (AMPS)



Implementer: Transportation Research Institute, University of Michigan

Partners: National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism

Program Overview: The Alcohol Misuse Prevention Study (AMPS) is a school-based education program designed to reduce alcohol misuse among the youth by decreasing the rate of susceptibility to peer pressure, increasing or maintaining internal health locus of control and self-esteem, and teaching young people the social skills needed to resist peer pressure to use alcohol. The program is initially implemented in the fifth and sixth grades1-2 and then again in the tenth grade.

Program Design:  The AMPS curriculum for 10th-grade students is divided into five 45-minute sessions deliver on consecutive days and involves a life skills training approach. Goals of the program include increasing student awareness of the short-term effects of alcohol, risks of alcohol misuse (including drinking and driving), and situations and social pressures to misuse alcohol that students might encounter.

Evaluation: In the 1988-89 and 1989-90 school years, 4635 10th-grade students in southeastern Michigan participated in AMPS, an ongoing study that had begun when those students were in the fifth and sixth grades. The students were assigned to either an intervention or control group and were followed for an average of 7.6 years after licensure.

Before and after administration of the curriculum, students completed questionnaires that covered several psychosocial topics as well as self-reported alcohol use and misuse. Driver history data was also collected, including information on license tenure, number of and type of violation convictions, and number of and details about reported crashes. Outcomes examined included alcohol-related and other serious offenses, and at-fault, single-vehicle, and alcohol-related crashes.

Key findings: Previous analyses have shown that the high school alcohol misuse prevention curriculum was effective in increasing students’ alcohol misuse prevention knowledge and alcohol refusal skills and in reducing alcohol misuse3-4.

-Serious offenses (which included alcohol-related) had a significant treatment effect, but the effect was found only during the first year of licensure5.

-The intervention overall appears to have reduced the number of first-year-of-license serious offenses by 18 per 1000 intervention students.

-The positive effect was strongest among the largest subgroup of students, those who were drinking less than one drink per week on average before the curriculum, compared with those who drank more than one drink per week.

-The effect was also stronger for the small subgroup of students whose parents had not expressed disapproval of teens’ drinking, compared with those whose parents had disapproved.


Studies evaluating the AMPS program for 5th- and 6th-grade students:

1. Campanelli, P.C., Dielman, T. E., Shope, J. T., Butchart, A.T., & Renner, D. S. (1989). Pretest and treatment effects in an elementary school-based alcohol misuse prevention program. Health Education Quarterly, 16(1), 113-130.

2. Dielman, T. E., Shope, J. T., Butchart, A. T., & Campanelli, P.C. (1986). Prevention of adolescent alcohol misuse: An elementary school program. Journal of Pediatric Psychology, 11(2), 259-282.

Studies evaluating the AMPS program for 10th-grade students:

3. Shope, J.T., Copeland, L.A., Maharg, R., Dielman, T.E., & Butchart, A.T. (1993). Assessment of adolescent refusal skills in an alcohol misuse prevention study. Health Education Quarterly, 20(3), 373-390.

4. Shope, J.T., Copeland, L.A., Maharg, R., & Dielman, T.E. (1996). Effectiveness of a high school alcohol misuse prevention program. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 20, 791-798.

5. Shope, J.T., Elliott, M.R., Raghunathan, T.E., & Waller, P.F. (2001). Long-term follow-up of a high school misuse prevention program's effect on students' subsequent driving. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 25(3), 403-410.

6. Shope, J.T., Dielman, T.E., Butchart, A.T., Campanelli, P.C., & Kloska, D.D. (1992). An elementary school-based alcohol misuse prevention program: A follow-up evaluation. Journal of Studies on Alcohol, 53(2), 106-121.

Target Audience: High school (15-18 years old), Middle school (10-14 years)
Issues: Drinking and Driving, Harmful Drinking Behaviors, Underage Drinking
Setting: Schools
Approach: Life Skills
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