Before it all Starts – A Program for Adolescents
Section I. Population and Location
Target Population and Target Location My program will be targeted towards all high school students. This will include ages 12 through 19. I chose this age group because this is when peer pressure can become dangerous. Adolescents begin wanting to take risks and explore their identities. To do this, many follow the footsteps of peers or siblings, even if the activities are not beneficial to their health. A very well-known instance of this is drinking underage. Many adolescents are uneducated on the effects that alcohol can have on their body. My program will educate adolescents in the immediate and long-term effects alcohol can cause, to hopefully aid them in making the best decisions when they are pressured. Since this program will be offered for high school, the best location for the program is at high schools. The program will be offered at various different high schools throughout the United States. High schools have the option to take a certain amount of time out of the student’s day to host a presentation, such as my program. The entire targeted population will already be there, so no transportation is needed, as well as no extra time out of their day. “Some authorities maintain that services should be concentrated on those who are more at risk” (Burt 1998) Using this logic from Burt (1998), it would be smartest to offer this program to high school students, since this is generally the age where alcohol becomes most prevalent for underage adolescents.
Section II. Theory and Services
I have selected the self-efficacy theory to use for my program. “Self-efficacy theory suggests that one of the best ways to have an influence on future behavior is to increase individuals’ confidence in their abilities to complete tasks associated with a targeted behavior.” (Duerden and Gillard 2011) The targeted behavior my program will be addressing is smart decision making. When an adolescent is offered alcohol at an early age, they are often either uneducated on the effects of alcohol, or they fall to the pressure of their peers, and accept the drink. This can lead to many extremely bad habits, and in worst-case, death. My program will be focusing on building resistance to peer pressure, and educating adolescents about alcohol to help them do so. In an example provided by Duerden and Gillard (2011), players in a sports game of all different skill levels are brought together. Instead of jumping right into the game, a skill building activity before the actual game is introduced. This allows players with a higher skill level to help out those with lower skill levels. This not only aids the players with the low skill levels, but it benefits those with higher skill levels too. The higher level skill players will be able to hone their skills, all while brushing up on some of the basics with the less skilled. The lower skilled players will be learning new concepts about the sports game, and will be guided through the game by those with higher skill levels. My program will duplicate this theory. Adolescents who have more experience with peer pressure will be able to aid the younger adolescents with less experience in making good decisions throughout the activities planned during the program. This will help the less knowledgeable adolescents become accustomed to better decision making, as well as showing them that many students alike are making the same decisions.
The drunken maze: In this service, adolescents will have the opportunity to explore a virtual maze. There will be multiple checkpoints throughout the maze. When an adolescent reaches one of these checkpoints, they are provided a question with two answers. One question will lead to damaging effects, and one will be the healthy choice. The explorer will then choose which option they would like to do. If they choose the