Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Dr. Paul T. Mountjoy

Second Advisor

Dr. Roger Ulrich

Third Advisor

Dr. Neil Kent

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Ennis Berker


This study examined the effects of instructional strategies on the change of knowledge and attitude scores in mentally ill subjects with a history of substance abuse. Twenty subjects from a state psychiatric hospital were randomly divided into one control and three experimental groups. The study period was ten weeks with each session lasting forty five minutes, twice per week. Subjects studied issues relating to drug abuse outside scheduled sessions as they pleased. Pre- and post-test scores were measured by a drug abuse questionnaire developed at the Pennsylvania State University. Hypotheses formed were: (a) drug education improves knowledge and attitude in inpatient psychiatric population; (b) individual-group instruction is more effective strategy than either approach alone, in enhancing drug knowledge and improving attitude towards drugs; and (c) drug education brings about increased improvement in the interest area of the abuser for both knowledge and attitude. Analysis of variance procedure and Duncan’s Multiple Range Test were used to test the hypotheses.

The results showed the following: (a) Drug education significantly improves knowledge and attitude in most patients; (b) individual-group instruction combined is more effective in bringing positive changes than either method alone; (c) although subjects showed improvement in the knowledge of their interest area in post test, and also showed improved attitude in the areas of "health" and "social" attitudes, experimental subjects’ "general" attitude decreased in post test; (d) improved knowledge does not automatically result in improved attitude; and, (e) it was also derived that with no treatment, a patient’s substance abuse behavior and attitude can deteriorate over time.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access