Assessing Media Campaigns Linking Marijuana Non-Use with Autonomy and Aspirations: “Be Under Your Own Influence” and ONDCP’s “Above the Influence”
Two media-based interventions designed to reduce adolescent marijuana use ran concurrently from 2005 to 2009. Both interventions used similar message strategies, emphasizing marijuana’s inconsistency with personal aspirations and autonomy. “Be Under Your Own Influence” was a randomized community and school trial replicating and extending a successful earlier intervention of the same name (Slater et al. Health Education Research 21:157–167, 2006). “Above the Influence” is a continuing national television, radio, and print campaign sponsored by the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP). This study assessed the simultaneous impact of the interventions in the 20 U.S. communities. Results indicate that earlier effects of the “Be Under Your Own Influence” intervention replicated only in part and that the most plausible explanation of the weaker effects is high exposure to the similar but more extensive ONDCP “Above the Influence” national campaign. Self-reported exposure to the ONDCP campaign predicted reduced marijuana use, and analyses partially support indirect effects of the two campaigns via aspirations and autonomy.