The history of drug abuse prevention campaigns suggests limitations in producing measurable changes in behavior. In the past, there was concern over the possibility of such publicity actually encouraging interest in drug use, rather than discouraging such behavior. Although little or no scientifically sound empirical evidence has been found to support such a view, several social science textbooks still refer to this as something of which to be wary.

Reviews of early research appear to indicate inadequate methods and a lack of rigor in theory testing. In recent years, however, research in communication and its uses in drug abuse prevention has become considerably more sophisticated, and communication is being used far more effectively. In this book, the editors bring together some of the most successful drug abuse prevention researchers in the country -- along with other experts in this field or in persuasive communication -- to address use and effects of both mass media and interpersonal strategies. This collection illustrates just how far the study of public influence through mass media has come, especially regarding such a vital, relevant issue as drug abuse prevention.

Contents: C.R. Schuster, Foreword. Preface. Part I:Drug Abuse Prevention: History and Perspectives. W.J. Bukoski, A Definition of Drug Abuse Prevention Research. C.G. Leukefeld, The Role of the National Institute on Drug Abuse in Drug Abuse Prevention Research. R.W. Pickens, D.S. Svikis, Prevention of Drug Abuse: Targeting Risk Factors. Part II:Communication: Past and Potential Roles. E. Wartella, S. Middlestadt, Mass Communication and Persuasion: The Evolution of Direct Effects, Limited Effects, Information Processing, and Affect and Arousal Models. R.E. Petty, S.M. Baker, F. Gleicher, Attitudes and Drug Abuse Prevention: Implications of the Elaboration Likelihood Model of Persuasion. Part III:Mass Communication, Social Systems, and Drug Abuse Prevention. L.D. Johnston, Toward a Theory of Drug Epidemics. J.G. Bachman, L.D. Johnston, P.M. O'Malley, How Changes in Drug Use Are Linked to Perceived Risks and Disapproval: Evidence From National Studies That Youth and Young Adults Respond to Information About the Consequences of Drug Use. G.S. Black, Changing Attitudes Toward Drug Use: The Effects of Advertising. Part IV:Mass Communication and the Individual: Targeting Messages and Programs at Sensation Seekers. M.T. Bardo, C.W. Mueller, Sensation Seeking and Drug Abuse Prevention From a Biological Perspective. L. Donohew, E. Lorch, P. Palmgreen, Sensation Seeking and Targeting of Televised Anti-Drug PSAs. Part V:Interpersonal, School, and Community Approaches. A.E. Beisecker, Interpersonal Approaches to Drug Abuse Prevention. E.R. Oetting, S. Spooner, F. Beauvais, J. Banning, Prevention, Peer Clusters, and the Paths to Drug Abuse. S.G. Forman, J.A. Linney, School-Based Social and Personal Coping Skills Training. J.D. Hawkins, R.F. Catalano, L.A. Kent, Combining Broadcast Media and Parent Education to Prevent Teenage Drug Abuse. R.R. Clayton, A. Cattarello, L.E. Day, K.P. Walden, Persuasive Communication and Drug Prevention: An Evaluation of the DARE Program. Part VI:An Overview of Communication and Drug Abuse Prevention. T.L. Thompson, L.P. Cusella, Muddling Through Toward Small Wins: On the Need for Requisite Variety.