The feasibility of a social norms intervention to prevent the uptake of smoking in secondary schools: Interim results
Elizabeth Eccles Research Assistant, Leeds Institute of Health Sciences, Academic Unit of Public Health, University of Leeds
Evidence suggests young people overestimate the extent of risk behaviours among their peers. Social norms interventions aim to redress these misconceptions, therefore reducing risk behaviours. Evidence is limited on whether such approaches can prevent the uptake of smoking among secondary school children.
Aim: Assess the feasibility of recruiting schools and conducting a social norms intervention to prevent the uptake of smoking in secondary schools.
Intervention: initial questionnaire completed by year 8s to assess actual and perceived smoking prevalence. Results used by year 8s, supported by 3rd sector creative organisations, to create social norms campaigns. Follow-up surveys are conducted after the campaign.
Participant Observation, focus Groups, interviews and reflective workshop.
Factors which encouraged the recruitment of schools included the specified creative intervention and link with the curriculum. The qualitative evidence highlights the multiplicity of ways the intervention has been delivered. Preliminary results will indentify how these differences influenced the effectiveness of the campaigns. Final results available by September 2012.
It is feasible to deliver this social norms intervention in secondary schools. Insights into the influence of different factors in making the intervention a success will be available for the conference.
Elizabeth is currently a research Assistant on the SNIPS project, Leeds Institute of Health Sciences, Academic Unit of Public Health, University of Leeds. Previously she was Masters Student in Nutrition, Health and Obesity, University of Leeds.
Her current research interests lie in applied global public health research and initiatives, in exploring the issues of socio economic disparities and different health promotion techniques and approaches such as that of the Social Norms approach.
I am also interested in health research surrounding nutrition and the development of different techniques and approaches to reduce risks to health in low income countries and areas.
Source of funding: The study is led by the University of Leeds, funded by the NHS Leeds and NHS Wakefield and supported by two arts organisations, Space2 in Leeds and HQ Arts in Wakefield. Each campaign group in Leeds is working with Space2 (a local charity using arts to promote positive change) and artists and designers from Leeds Metropolitan University. The campaign group in Wakefield is working with members of HQ Arts (young people and community projects specialists).