Fitzgerald N, Stewart D & Mackie CA (2002) A qualitative study of drug education in secondary schools in north-east Scotland: background and methodology. Drugs: Education, Prevention, and Policy, 9 (3), pp. 253-265. https://doi.org/10.1080/09687630210129510
Previous research indicates that intensive, interactive drug education programmes based on social influence theory and involving families and communities can be effective in reducing drug use among young people. Although there have been a number of recent developments in drug education in Scottish schools, much work is needed to investigate how closely it matches the above criteria for effectiveness and to illuminate the factors that hinder or assist the provision of drug education of high quality. This paper describes how a recent study used qualitative in-depth interviews to study current practice in drug education in secondary schools in north-east Scotland. The choice of methodology and the strengths and weaknesses of the procedures used in the study are discussed in terms of their impact on the reliability, transferability and truthfulness of findings. In particular, issues such as the position of the researcher, the selection of schools and the experience of respondents are considered, together with the strategies used to deal with them. These include the use of theoretical sampling, studying the leading edge of change, careful complete transcription, independent experts and a pilot study. The paper concludes with an indication of future work.
Drugs: Education, Prevention, and Policy: Volume 9, Issue 3