Date Awarded


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Charles Gressard


Alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs are prevalent on American college and university campuses. The higher education literature is replete with research on prevalence rates (Presley, Meilman, and Cashin, 1998; Wechsler, Lee, Kuo, and Lee, 2000), substance abuse prevention theories (Gonzales, 1994), history of substance abuse prevention (O'Bryan and Daughtery, 1992), and descriptions of prevention programming (anderson and Milgram, 1996; Mills-Novoa, 1994). There is, however, little research on the substance abuse prevention professionals who are charged with developing and offering prevention programming in higher education.;This study is one of the first to examine the substance abuse prevention professional in higher education. It explored the relationships between substance abuse prevention professionals' conceptual level, moral development, substance abuse prevention education, and the delivery of comprehensive prevention programming. The theoretical framework for this study included: moral development as introduced by Lawrence Kohlberg (Kohlberg, 1969), conceptual development as introduced by David Hunt (Hunt, 1966), and comprehensiveness of programming from the Promising Practices: Campus Alcohol Strategies Task Force Planner (anderson and Milgram, 1998).;A national sample of 305 substance abuse prevention professionals was randomly drawn from member institutions of the Higher Education Center's Network for Colleges and Universities on the Elimination of Alcohol and Other Drug Problems. A total of 31% of the sample complete the Defining Issues Test, the Paragraph Completion Method, the Task Force Planner Survey and the Demographic Survey. The respondents were predominantly female, had a mean age of 41, an average of 3 years in the field and 6 years in higher education, and 90% held advanced degrees.;One hypothesis was supported; there was a significant relationship between substance abuse prevention workshops and conferences attended, professional certifications, and comprehensiveness of programming. No significant relationships were found between conceptual level, moral development, education of substance abuse prevention professionals and the comprehensiveness of substance abuse prevention programming by substance abuse prevention professionals.;The results support continued investigation into this profession. Continuing research on the substance abuse prevention professional may be the missing link for understanding prevention efficacy and comprehensiveness.



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