On the Difference Between Statistical and Practical Significance in School-based Drug Abuse Prevention Academic Article uri icon


  • In recent years, a large number of research reports and review papers have claimed that effective school-based drug abuse prevention strategies have been developed and tested. 'Effectiveness' in these papers is generally assessed in terms of statistical significance. However, it cannot be assumed that a statistically significant difference observed at follow-up between an intervention group and a control group is necessarily of any practical significance. Two large scale evaluations of school-based social influence programs are used to illustrate this point, and suggestions made as to how researchers might assess and report on practical significance in future studies. © 1995 Informa UK Ltd All rights reserved: reproduction in whole or part not permitted.

author list (cited authors)

  • Gorman, D. M.

citation count

  • 12

publication date

  • January 1995