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Prevention Needs Assessment Survey


Click Here to View the SURVEY


In spring 2009, MVPS sponsored the Prevention Needs Assessment Survey in all schools in which we provide programming. Students in grades 6 through 12 were surveyed from the following schools:

Adirondack Central School – Boonville, Oneida County

Beaver River Central School – Beaver Falls, Lewis County

Copenhagen Central School – Copenhagen, Lewis County

Harrisville Central School – Harrisville, Lewis County

Lowville Academy and Central School – Lowville, Lewis County

South Lewis Central School – Turin, Lewis County

The survey was designed to assess adolescent substance use, anti-social behavior, and the risk and protective factors that predict these adolescent problem behaviors.

Mountain View Prevention Services uses the results from this survey to prioritize areas of greatest need in our community. We are required by the NYS Office of Alcohol and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) to sponsor a prevention needs assessment survey every two to three years. Based on the results, we, as a licensed prevention provider, plan our activities and programs for the following year and submit this to OASAS for approval each September.

This prevention needs assessment survey also measures risk and protective factors in each community. The risk and protective factor Model of Prevention is based on the simple premise that to prevent a problem from happening, we need to identify the factors that increase the risk of that problem developing and then find ways to reduce the risks. Risk factors are characteristics of school, community, and family environments, as well as characteristics of students and their peer groups that are known to predict increased likelihood of drug use, delinquency, school dropout, teen pregnancy, and violent behavior among youth.

Protective factors exert a positive influence or buffer against the negative influence of risk, thus reducing the likelihood that adolescents will engage in problem behaviors.

Risk and protective factors are measured in four distinct domains which include:

  • Comunity

  • Family

  • School

  • Peer-Individual

  • The survey report was compiled by Bach Harrison, L.L.C., Survey Research & Evaluation Services, Salt Lake City, Utah.


    Common Survey Questions


    Who developed the prevention needs assessment?

    The original instrument was developed by social researchers over a three year period with six states by the Social Development Research Group at the University of Washington with funding from the Federal Center for Substance Abuse Prevention. It is approved for use by the Drug Free Communities Support Program of the federal government. It is currently administered by Bach Harrison, LLC, of Salt Lake City, Utah.

    What is the purpose of the prevention needs assessment survey?

    Bach Harrison designed the survey to gather information needed to plan prevention and intervention programs to combat such problems as alcohol, tobacco, other drug use, and antisocial behaviors in our schools and communities. It helps schools, districts, counties, and the community, judge the effectiveness of current efforts and plan new and continuing prevention programs.

    Is the survey valid and reliable?

    Yes, the survey has proven valid and reliable through rigorous testing. The survey measures what it says it will measure (validity) and has a high estimated reliability in the degree to which it measures the same way each time it is used under the same condition with the same subjects (consistency). It has been valid and reliable with students in grades 6 through 12.

    How was the survey administered?                                      

    The survey is administered by school officials in a classroom setting. Mountain View Prevention Services (MVPS) staff met with the school superintendent and other school personnel prior to the administration to review guidelines and instructions from the research firm for survey coordinators and proctors.

    How was the data controlled to prevent manipulation or compromise?

    MVPS, the school districts involved, and the research firm, maintain a strict “chain of custody” for survey distribution, completion, and return, insuring the security of the data throughout the administration of the survey.  MVPS and the research firm maintain a strict confidentiality policy, and do not release district-specific data to any individual or organization. All requests for district survey data are directed to the district superintendent.

    How does the survey identify exaggerated or dishonest responses?

    The research firm defines a number of indicators that determine whether a survey is included or eliminated from the data set. These indicators include the response “not honest at all” to the question about how honest the student was in responding, and internal inconsistencies between selected questions, among others. If the respondent fails any one of these indicators, the survey is eliminated.

    Are the results representative of the population surveyed?

    The degree to which the results are representative of the population surveyed depends upon the number of respondents who took the survey out of the total number of enrolled students in the population in question. If this figure is above 60%, the results should be considered representative. District survey reports indicate the number of respondents, and districts can compare these figures to enrollment data maintained by the schools.

    Why doe the survey ask about substance use in the “past 30 days” rather than another timeframe?

    Research in alcohol and other substance use is based on the standard of use during the “past 30 days” as this more reliably indicates a pattern of regular use than other timeframes.

    What is Monitoring the Future (MTF) data and why is it included in the results?

    Monitoring the Future (MTF) is an ongoing study of the behaviors, attitudes, and values of American secondary school students, college students, and young adults (www.monitoringthe Now in its 34th year, results from the survey provide a national data set with which to compare state or local data.  The most recent data set for alcohol and substance use is from the 2007 MTF survey.


7714 Number Three Rd
Lowville, NY 13367
Tel: 315-376-2321
Fax: 315-376-2347

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