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Alcohol intervention workshops to become part of curriculum in North West school study

Thursday 10 November 2016

A RESEARCHER FROM  The University of Salford is inviting schools across the North West to take part in a study to assess the benefits of an intervention to improve well-being and address alcohol misuse being made part of the school curriculum.

Following an extremely positive pilot study at Manchester Enterprise Academy in Wythenshawe, it is hoped the intervention will be further tested in up to thirty schools across the North West from January 2017.

The study will involve schools taking part in a research project over a period of 6 weeks. Year seven pupils will take part in intervention classes as part of their PHSE classes.

Initial research suggests that intervention workshops to address alcohol consumption might be most effective when delivered to year seven pupils. According to a 2012 study, approximately 11% of eleven year olds in the UK have drunk alcohol at least once. However by the time children reach their thirteenth birthday - in school year nine - it is estimated that 34% will have consumed alcohol at least once - a big jump.

The intervention has been developed by University of Salford PhD student Joanna Bragg and will be delivered by teachers, who will receive training and support from Joanna.

“The sessions are designed as a holistic package and are highly interactive.  For example there will be role play, which has been proven to improve cognitive learning. There will also be motivational interviewing and a peer learning focus.

“One of the reasons why adolescents drink alcohol is pressure from their peer groups to just try it out. What makes this method of intervention different is that all children in the year group will be taking part. They will be encouraged through the use of motivational interviewing and role play to collaborate and make their own decisions to develop healthier alcohol habits. The aim of the intervention is to facilitate a group motivation to adopt healthier attitudes towards drinking.”

The research is part of the ESRC Festival of Social Science, which is a week-long celebration of the social sciences and social science research, taking place from 5-12 November across the UK.

Find out more

Victoria Barker

0161 295 4779