The University of Southampton
University of Southampton Institutional Repository

In a class of its own: Introducing a new tool for understanding adolescents' perceptions of the world of drugs

McWhirter, J.M., Young, A.J. and Wetton, N. (2004) In a class of its own: Introducing a new tool for understanding adolescents' perceptions of the world of drugs Health Education Journal, 63, (4), pp. 307-323.

Record type: Article


Objective To describe the use of 'draw, describe and write', a tool for exploring how adolescents perceive and explain their understanding of the world of drugs, as used in the development of the Blueprint project.
Design A cross-sectional study using a specifically designed research tool, including drawing and open-ended questions, used with young people aged 11-13 years to record their understanding of drug use.
Setting Eight secondary schools in four areas of England.
Method Open-ended questionnaire: 'Draw, describe and write' is an illuminative method based on constructive/interpretivist approaches. Respondents were invited to 'describe or draw' a young person who uses drugs. Further open-ended questions explored the drugs used, the context of drug use and the risks and benefits to the young person and the respondent.
Results A response rate of 85 per cent was achieved. A random sample were analysed. The results provide a valuable insight into how 11-13 year olds perceive and understand drug use by young people. The method is acceptable to young people and their teachers and is strongly inclusive. This tool will be useful in curriculum development and in evaluation of drug education intervention studies for pupils of secondary school age range.
Conclusion The method could be used in further studies whether it is important to understand young people's perceptions of the complex context of the drug using world in which they are growing up.

Full text not available from this repository.

More information

Published date: 2004
Keywords: draw, describe and write, draw and write, illuminative research, drug education


Local EPrints ID: 42930
ISSN: 0017-8969
PURE UUID: d2036b94-ca78-46e8-9d5d-7acad1a96a35

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 21 Dec 2006
Last modified: 17 Jul 2017 15:20

Export record


Author: J.M. McWhirter
Author: A.J. Young
Author: N. Wetton

University divisions

Download statistics

Downloads from ePrints over the past year. Other digital versions may also be available to download e.g. from the publisher's website.

View more statistics

Atom RSS 1.0 RSS 2.0

Contact ePrints Soton:

ePrints Soton supports OAI 2.0 with a base URL of

This repository has been built using EPrints software, developed at the University of Southampton, but available to everyone to use.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.