Factors that influence student drug use in a small rural Tennessee school district
The purpose of this study was to identify factors that play a role in student drug use in the Lawrence County School System in Tennessee. A comprehensive literature review validated the prevalence and serious consequences of drug use among high school students nationwide. The Pride Survey was given to Lawrence County School Students in grades 9 and 11 during the school day. Independent T-tests, One-Way ANOVA, and Chi-Square were tests used to analyze data for interpretation. Focus groups were randomly selected from each high school in the Lawrence County School District. Responses from students were taped and transcribed. Constant comparison analysis was utilized in the analysis of qualitative data by three panel members. A difference was found in six of the eight tested hypotheses. Results of the data analyses revealed a significant difference in perception of risk-taking behaviors, students? perception of parent and friend disapproval, perception of drug availability, family structure of students, and extracurricular involvement between students who reported they use drugs and students who reported they do not use drugs. Since both quantitative and qualitative data analysis implied evidence of a drug problem in the Lawrence County School System, major conclusions include the need for education programs on the harmful effects of drugs. Also community outreach programs for parent drug users, more rigorous policies to deter drug use in the school setting, and the need for a myriad of extracurricular activities are obvious. Recommendations for further study include more comprehensive studies and opportunities for teacher training.
0514: School administration
0573: Public health