Assessing Ghanaian Teachers' Perceptions and Beliefs Regarding Substance Use Among School-Aged Children in Ghana
International Journal of School Health
Substance use among school-aged children is an international public health concern. Rates of tobacco, alcohol, and illicit drug use among school children in Ghana have been increasing. Objectives: The objective of this study was to assess Ghanaian teachers' beliefs and perceptions regarding substance use among school children in Ghana. Methods: A cross-sectional design was used. A sample of teachers from the Central and Ashanti Regions of Ghana completed a survey questionnaire assessing their
... e assessing their perceptions of substance use among Ghanaian school children. Data were analyzed using SPSS statistical software version 23.0. T-tests and chi-square tests were used to identify associations between participants' demographic factors and beliefs regarding drug use among school-aged children. Results: The sample consisted of 289 teachers with over half (57.7%) of them being male, and ages ranging from 20-66 years old. The majority of the teachers (50.9%) indicated that they believed alcohol was the most common substance used by school-aged children in Ghana. Over 90% of them m indicated that they believe school children in Ghana will first use alcohol before they are 13 years old. Only 54.3% of teachers indicated that they are aware of drug policies in the schools where they teach. Conclusions: The results from this study should encourage the development and implementation of school policies on substance use and health education programs that discuss the risks and circumstances of substance use.