Television campaigns and adolescent marijuana use: tests of sensation seeking targeting

Am J Public Health. 2001 Feb;91(2):292-6. doi: 10.2105/ajph.91.2.292.


Objectives: This study evaluated the effectiveness of targeted televised public service announcement campaigns in reducing marijuana use among high-sensation-seeking adolescents.

Methods: The study used a controlled interrupted time-series design in 2 matched communities. Two televised antimarijuana campaigns were conducted in 1 county and 1 campaign in the comparison community. Personal interviews were conducted with 100 randomly selected teenagers monthly in each county for 32 months.

Results: All 3 campaigns reversed upward developmental trends in 30-day marijuana use among high-sensation seekers (P < .002). As expected, low-sensation seekers had low use levels, and no campaign effects were evident.

Conclusions: Televised campaigns with high reach and frequency that use public service announcements designed for and targeted at high-sensation-seeking adolescents can significantly reduce substance use in this high-risk population.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Controlled Clinical Trial
  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Behavior / psychology*
  • Attitude to Health*
  • Exploratory Behavior*
  • Health Education / methods*
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Kentucky / epidemiology
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Marijuana Smoking / epidemiology
  • Marijuana Smoking / prevention & control*
  • Marijuana Smoking / psychology*
  • Mass Media*
  • Needs Assessment
  • Program Evaluation
  • Psychology, Adolescent / statistics & numerical data*
  • Regression Analysis
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Television*