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Personality-targeted interventions delivered by teachers may be effective at reducing alcohol use

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Question: Is a teacher-delivered personality-targeted intervention for substance misuse effective for reducing drinking behaviour in high-risk adolescents?

Participants: A total of 2643 adolescents (mean age 13.7 years; 42% white ethnicity) attending 1 of 21 secondary schools in September 2007. Adolescents at high risk for addiction (n=1210) were defined as students with baseline scores 1 SD above the school mean on one of the four subscales of the Substance Use Risk Profile Scale (anxiety sensitivity, hopelessness, impulsivity and sensation seeking); low-risk adolescents (n=1433) did not meet these criteria.

Setting: Twenty-one secondary school in London, UK; interventions delivered 2008–2009.

Intervention: Schools were randomised to provide either brief personality-targeted intervention to all high-risk adolescents, or usual care. Four different interventions (each targeting one of the four personality risk dimensions) were delivered during two 90 min sessions over the course of 4 months. Interventions incorporated psychoeducational, motivational and cognitive behavioural components. They were provided in group sessions by trained facilitators and included use of a therapist manual and student workbook. Schools randomised to usual care received only …

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