Multiple Levels of Intervention
The Environmental Management framework supports the development of a comprehensive approach to prevention. This approach incorporates the idea that behavior is influenced by factors at various levels of the environment. Using this framework, prevention efforts are focused on multiple environmental levels to have the greatest impact. This section outlines these environmental factors and levels of intervention.
Levels of Intervention
The Environmental Management approach addresses the institutional factors, community factors, and public policies that affect student decisions about alcohol and drug use. For example, small changes in students’ social environment may exert a large influence on individual drinking and drug use behaviors. This approach encourages the development of prevention efforts that work within multiple levels of the multifaceted student environment.
College student alcohol and other drug use is affected by a broad range of influences that operate through all levels of their environment. These influences can be divided into five levels that together create the environment within which students’ make decisions about their drinking behavior:
In designing a Strategic Plan for a campus’ prevention effort, such as a Campus Task Force or Campus-and-Community Coalition, program planners conduct a problem identification and analysis that identifies how each of these levels bears on the problems facing that particular campus.
Three Spheres of Action
The five levels of program and policy intervention (individual, group, institution, community, and policy) call for action within three different spheres: the campus, the community, and the state.
Creating participatory processes that involve all major sectors of the campus and community is critical to developing and implementing new policies.
There are key vehicles for change for developing successful programs within each sphere of action. The vehicles work to make alcohol and other drug prevention a priority on the campus, its surrounding community, and in state policy.
The campus task force, comprised of diverse stakeholders, is the principal prevention vehicle on campus
Members of the campus and its surrounding community can form coalitions to change the environment in which students make decisions about alcohol and other drugs.
Representatives from colleges and universities, state government, and community organizations can form statewide initiatives to work together to change aspects of the campus and community environment that contribute to student drinking and drug use.