Reaching Youth Through MADD Canada’s School Assembly Program
MADD Canada’s School Assembly Program presents students with solid information and best practices to help them understand the issue of alcohol and/or drug-impaired driving. Following MADD Canada’s 2015-2016 School Assembly Program, titled 24 Hours, surveys were conducted with 6,548 students to assess the program’s effectiveness in influencing students’ attitudes and behaviours around alcohol and/or drug consumption and driving. A follow-up survey was completed by 846 students three months later to track how opinions and behaviours may have changed in that time. The survey results indicate that MADD Canada’s School Assembly Program continues to be impactful and informative.
- The majority of students (87%) said it is not okay to drink any amount before driving.
- After watching the program, most students agreed that serious consequences could occur if they drank and drove, including getting into a car crash (89%), getting injured or killed (88%), harming relationships with family (85%), the police finding out (84%) and harming relationships with friends or social lives (76%). In the follow-up survey, these levels remained the same or slightly higher, indicating the messages have a lasting effect.
- The testimonials from real-life victims at the end of the presentation were identified as the most influential part of the presentation.
- Nearly all students (97%) supported their school having a similar program the following year.
- Two-thirds (66%) of students believe the presentation will be effective at changing behaviours regarding impaired driving.
- Immediately following the presentation, 75% said they always plan how to get home after parties where drinking or drugs was involved. In the follow-up survey, that increased to 82%.
- The survey results show that attitudes towards marijuana remain a challenge. While most students understood that smoking marijuana would impair a driver’s abilities, they perceived it to be less impairing than other drugs such as cocaine or ecstasy.
Generating Thoughtful Discussion
- Post assembly, three quarters (75%) said they would be likely to discuss the presentation with family or friends. In the follow-up survey three months later, two-thirds (68%) said they had discussed it with family and friends.
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The survey was conducted by Environics Research Group, a leading Canadian public affairs and market research company, with offices in Toronto, Ottawa and Calgary. For more information about Environics, you can visit their website at www.environics.ca. If you have any questions regarding the research study, please contact Dawn Regan, Chief Operating Officer for MADD Canada at 905-829-8805 or 1-800-655-6233, ext 223 (firstname.lastname@example.org).
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