A meta-analytic review of school-based prevention for cannabis use

Health Educ Behav. 2010 Oct;37(5):709-23. doi: 10.1177/1090198110361315. Epub 2010 Jun 3.


This investigation used meta-analytic techniques to evaluate the effectiveness of school-based prevention programming in reducing cannabis use among youth aged 12 to 19. It summarized the results from 15 studies published in peer-reviewed journals since 1999 and identified features that influenced program effectiveness. The results from the set of 15 studies indicated that these school-based programs had a positive impact on reducing students' cannabis use (d = 0.58, CI: 0.55, 0.62) compared to control conditions. Findings revealed that programs incorporating elements of several prevention models were significantly more effective than were those based on only a social influence model. Programs that were longer in duration (≥15 sessions) and facilitated by individuals other than teachers in an interactive manner also yielded stronger effects. The results also suggested that programs targeting high school students were more effective than were those aimed at middle-school students. Implications for school-based prevention programming are discussed.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Child
  • Health Education / organization & administration*
  • Humans
  • Marijuana Abuse / prevention & control*
  • Program Evaluation
  • Risk Factors
  • Schools