Heres Looking At

The "Here's Looking at You'' (HLAY) program grew out of the work done by Clay Roberts and Douglas Goodlett for their master's degrees in the 1970s. By 1978, Mr. Roberts and other health-education specialists at Seattle's Educational Service District No. 121 (ESD-121) had created a full alcohol-education curriculum for kindergarten through twelfth grades, designed mainly for delivery in fifteen to twenty class presentations each year, complete with multimedia support materials.

From the beginning, HLAY has been based on an educational theory involving both cognitive and affective elements: knowledge (information), attitudes, self-esteem, decision-making skills, and other social skills (Mooney et al., 1979). In subsequent versions of the program (HLAY-2 and HLAY-2000, with updates of the latter), strenuous efforts have been made to improve the educational strategy in light of ongoing psychosocial research and program evaluations. The program components fall into three basic categories: information, social skills, and "bonding." A two-pronged "inoculation" strategy—stressing both "risk factors'' and "protective factors''—runs through these three categories. In both design and delivery, HLAY is one of the most thorough and sophisticated school-based programs in the United States, as well as one of the most widely used.

The underlying theoretical basis that has evolved for this program is recognizable by social scientists as combining elements of both ''rational choice'' and ''control'' theories. In layman's terms, the program rests on the assumption that schoolchildren will be far less likely to use alcohol or other drugs if they are (1) given full and reliable information about the properties of chemical substances and the consequences of using them; (2) trained in self-control, decision making, and other social skills (including refusal); and (3) assisted in feeling positive about themselves and in bonding with friends, families, schools, and communities. Many of these outcomes would obviously be desirable in other arenas of youth and health as well.

One evaluation of HLAY-2000 has measured positive program impact on reported actual use of alcohol or other drugs (DuBois et al., 1989). This evaluation, covering grades 1 to 6, found evidence of positive impact on knowledge, self-esteem, and refusal skills but no evidence of impact on actual substance use, except in the case of chewing tobacco in grades 1 to 3. Other unpublished evaluations of HLAY-2000 (Bubl, 1988; Barrett, 1989) have not measured program impact on actual use of drugs or alcohol but have shown some evidence of impact at various grade levels on knowledge, self-esteem, coping, decision-making and refusal skills, and making friends.

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