"I was surprised to learn that many alcohol and tobacco ads were targeted towards kids. With information from MD, I can help spread awareness to kids who were not in the program ."
--Media Detective Student
- Media Detective (MD) is an evidence-based program designed to delay or prevent alcohol and tobacco use. The program is considered to be evidence-based because it is built upon a conceptual model of how youth interpret media messages and how these interpretations result in the decision to use or not use alcohol and tobacco products.
- The goals and objectives of each activity included in the lesson plans are based upon the results of a growing body of literature on the types of learning experiences that have been effective in helping children make more informed decisions about substance use. Through participation in this program, students also develop more advanced critical thinking skills and learn to take the time to stop and think about whether they accept the messages being sent.
- The Media Detective Program was reviewed and accepted by the National Registry for Evidence-Based Programs and Practices (NREPP) and is now listed in its database. The government sponsored database lends credibility to research-based programs by evaluating and rating them in several areas including outcomes, quality of research, study population, readiness for dissemination and cost. Visit NREPP’s web site to review the entire listing for the Media Detective program.
- The effectiveness of the Media Detective program was evaluated in a randomized controlled study, the most rigorous type of research design for evaluating the effectiveness of an intervention program.
- The results of the study were published in the esteemed journal, Pediatrics. View the article.
- The Media Detective program results show significant:
- Improvement in critical thinking skills about media messages;
- Reduction in intent to use alcohol and tobacco products among students who reported previous use of an alcohol or tobacco product;
- Improvement in past alcohol and tobacco users’ self-reported ability to resist using these products in the future; and
- Reduction in boys’ interest in toys, clothing, and household objects showing beer brand names and logos on them.
- The program was found to be equally effective when taught in 3rd, 4th, and 5th grades.