Tobacco use prevention education (TUPE) programs in the state of Florida: Teachers' perceptions of program structure and effectiveness

Rita Maribel Soza, Florida International University


This study described teacher perceptions of TUPE program effectiveness in Florida in an attempt to improve programs by identifying factors that might influence teacher motivation and performance. Very little work has been done to examine how teachers' perceptions are related to the effectiveness of TUPE programs. A statewide survey provided information about how teachers' perceptions of program effectiveness are affected by variables such as: program structure, barriers, tobacco use norms, and training variables. Data were obtained from a telephone survey conducted in Florida as part of the Tobacco Pilot Project (TPP). The sample included 296 middle school teachers and 282 high school teachers as well as 193 middle school principals and 190 high school principals. Correlational and hierarchical regression analyses identified correlates and predictors of teachers' ratings of effectiveness. Results suggest that use of peer leaders, more frequent evaluations, a higher degree of parent involvement, fewer barriers, greater student interest, and lower tolerance for tobacco use were correlated with higher ratings of program effectiveness. Furthermore, student interest, peer, staff, and community tolerance norms, peer leaders, program evaluation, and parent involvement predicted middle school teachers' perceptions. Parent tolerance, student interest, number of barriers, and more frequent program evaluation predicted high school teachers' perceptions. In addition, middle school teachers who reported a lower number of factors negatively associated with teacher receptivity were more likely to view TUPE programs more favorably than teachers who reported a greater number of these risk factors. This relationship was not as robust among the high school teacher sample. Differences between the middle and high school sample were found in the magnitude and number of significant correlations, the proportion of variance accounted for by predictor variables, and the strength of the relationship between the number of factors negatively associated with teacher receptivity and teachers' perceptions of TUPE effectiveness. These findings highlighted the importance of the timing, program features, and the external environment for enhancing or minimizing teachers' ratings of TUPE program effectiveness. In conclusion, significant increases in TUPE teachers' self-efficacy will occur through the participation of peers, parents, staff, and community leaders in different aspects of TUPE programs.

Subject Area

Social psychology|Health education|Teacher education

Recommended Citation

Soza, Rita Maribel, "Tobacco use prevention education (TUPE) programs in the state of Florida: Teachers' perceptions of program structure and effectiveness" (1999). ProQuest ETD Collection for FIU. AAI9952371.