Portland State University. School of Education
Walter G. Ellis
Date of Award
Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in Educational Leadership: Administration
Educational Leadership and Policy
3, iv, 211 leaves 28 cm.
Policy sciences -- Methodology, Substance abuse -- Government policy -- Oregon, Youth -- Substance abuse -- Oregon
Youth substance abuse in Oregon reached epidemic proportions in the early 1980s. A response to this social issue from the Governor's Office, the state legislature, and the Office of Alcohol and Drug Programs during 1983-1985 is the foundation of this case study. Oregon, a small state of three million, was faced with a growing problem of youth and adult substance abuse. Legislative leaders, agency staff, and Governor Atiyeh recognized an opportunity to create public policy to solve problems of substance abuse including crime. The focus on substance abuse included streamlining several budgets with substance abuse monies in various state agencies. The intent of this study was to recreate the development of public policy specifically in the area of youth substance abuse during the years 1983-1985. The final policy, Oregon House Bill 2124 (1985), represented the work budgets with alcohol and drug monies in various state agencies. The intent of this study is to recreate the development of public policy specifically in the area of youth substance abuse during the years 1983-1985. The final policy, Oregon House Bill 2124 (1985), represented the work of several political entities, and presented recommendations for substance abuse treatment, budget alignments among several agencies with alcohol and drug monies, and finally, prevention of youth substance abuse. This dissertation established that leadership and politics affected policy development more than the variables of economics, special interest groups, or research which were chosen from the literature in policy development. Research was the variable studied in depth to determine if policy developers utilized what was known about youth substance abuse to develop policy goals. Several barriers to the use of research and rational methods for policy development were uncovered. The study found that the use of research was regarded as important among policy developers, but their practice was not at all congruent with that belief. There were many studies on youth prevention and social competency training available to policy planners which may have supported more specific policy recommendations. No collaborations between researchers and policy developers occurred in this case study. The barriers to collaborative efforts with researchers and the use of policy analysis methods were uncovered in this study. The final policy document presented to the legislature lacked specific recommendations for well researched programs which appeared to be the result of political considerations rather than rational policy development. Finally, this case of policy development revealed a process that was inconsistent, politically driven, disregarded available research, and resulted in broad policy goals which have not been exceptionally successful in limiting or even addressing youth substance abuse over the nine years of implementation by the same administrator who significantly helped to develop them.
Grove, Sonja Carol, "A Case Study of the Development of Oregon's 1985 Public Policy in Youth Substance Abuse" (1995). Dissertations and Theses. Paper 1255.