To download dissertations and theses, please click on the appropriate "Download" button for your campus to log in and be e-verified. When you reach the "Sign into your JWU email" page, enter your JWU username and password.

Non-JWU users: Please talk to your librarian about requesting this dissertation through interlibrary loan.

Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) transition from high school to college: Northeast college freshmen and their experiences with alcohol

Robert J Larson, Johnson & Wales University


Over the past 60 years, studies have been conducted on the use of alcohol by college students and its impact on their college experience (Straus and Bacon, 1953; Wechsler, Lee, Nelson, & Kuo, 2002). These studies show alcohol impacts many areas of the college experience including academic and social. Binge drinking and secondhand effects from alcohol have become major concerns (Wechsler, et al., 2002). Consequently, prevention programs are gaining in importance on campus, and administrators are looking for any assistance selecting prevention programs they can find to be successful (Schulenberg, & Maggs, 2002). One such program, which has shown success albeit at the secondary level, is Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD). This qualitative study investigated the perceptions of a select number of freshmen that were of SADD while in high school. Specifically, the study looked at how the affiliation with SADD has influenced the behaviors surrounding alcohol use by first year college students. It assessed the perceived influence of the peer-to-peer education program SADD (Hunter, 2004). Initially, 500 freshmen students from a private four-year institution of higher education were canvassed to identify freshmen that participated in SADD in high school. Seven students identified themselves as willing to participate. The researcher interpreted the data and the resulting themes were used to assess the perceptions of the sample. Notable findings include: Five of seven sample students had not heard of the SADD No Use policy or the SADD Contract for Life. All sample students had used alcohol since high school. The study is important in that it will address the behaviors and attitudes use regarding alcohol among first year college students who affiliated with Students Against Destructive Decision in high school. This study provides administrators, parents, and educators insight regarding the value of peer-to-peer prevention programs such as SADD, from the perspective of the participants themselves when addressing alcohol issues on college campuses. This could prove to be useful for leaders creating or evaluating prevention programs.

Subject Area

Higher education|Health education

Recommended Citation

Larson, Robert J, "Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) transition from high school to college: Northeast college freshmen and their experiences with alcohol" (2006). Dissertation & Theses Collection. AAI3234953.