Objective This study aimed to examine the effects of a school-based alcohol education intervention.
Design Two-arm three-wave cluster-randomized controlled trial, with schools as the unit for randomization. Surveys were conducted prior to intervention implementation, then 4 and 12 months after baseline.
Setting A total of 30 public schools in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany.
Participants Baseline data were obtained from 1686 7th graders. The retention rate was 85% over 12 months.
Intervention The intervention consisted of four interactive lessons conducted by teachers, booklets for students and booklets for parents.
Measures Knowledge, attitudes, life-time alcohol consumption (ever use alcohol without parental knowledge, ever been drunk and ever binge drinking) and past-month alcohol use.
Results Intention-to-treat analyses revealed that intervention status was associated with more general knowledge about alcohol and lower levels of life-time binge drinking. No effects were found with respect to students' self-reported attitudes, intentions to drink, life-time alcohol use and past-month alcohol use.
Conclusions The results indicate that this brief school-based intervention had a small short-term preventive effect on alcohol misuse.