Education and Human Sciences, College of (CEHS)


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A DISSERTATION Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy Major: Psychological Studies in Education (Health Education). Under the Supervision of Professor Ian M. Newman.
Lincoln, Nebraska: May, 2009
Copyright (c) 2009 Ying Zhang.


This study evaluates the effects of an alcohol education program on high school students’ knowledge, alcohol expectancy, self-regulation self-efficacy and alcohol use behavior in Wuhan City, Hubei Province in China.

Trained teachers from the treatment schools taught the education program to 306 students in 10th and 11th grades in three schools. Another 332 students in matched schools served as the control group. Three waves of questionnaire surveys – pretest, posttest and 6 month follow-up – were conducted in both intervention and control schools. A series of path analysis models were adopted to evaluate the effects of the intervention on knowledge, expectancies, self efficacy, and drinking behavior. Mediation effects of knowledge, expectancies and self-efficacy were assessed using parallel path analysis models. Moderation effects of cultural orientation were assessed with multi-group path analysis models.

The curriculum increased Chinese high school students' knowledge and alcohol self-regulation self-efficacy and reduced positive alcohol expectancies and frequency of drinking at immediate posttest. However, at 6 month follow-up, without booster sessions, few effects were identified. The effect on drinking behavior was mediated by positive alcohol expectancy and self-regulation self-efficacy. Knowledge was also a mediator via its effects on self-regulation self efficacy.

This study highlights the value of developing curricula based on data and theory, the challenges of introducing alcohol education in new environments, and the importance of booster sessions in intervention practices.

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