The update includes analysis for Substance Use, Social-Emotional Mental Health, Problem Behavior, Academic Achievement and Absenteeism outcomes. This complements the intervention summary completed in 2006 and the Pre-Kindergarten summary completed in 2014. Positive Action was among the first programs to be reviewed prior to the NREPP website launch in 2007. The updated summary includes high-marks for the quality of research with each outcome receiving a 3.0 (0.0 – 4.0 scale) or greater.
Social-Emotional Mental Health, Academic Achievement and Absenteeism all achieved a 3.2 rating. Problem Behavior achieved a 3.1 rating and Substance Use achieved a 3.0 rating. Each outcome has achieved a higher rating when compared to the 2006 report. The implementation materials indicator remains unchanged at 4.0. The reviewers found no dissemination weaknesses and credited the detail of the materials as a strength. The quality-of-research indicator is a composite rating with six underlying variables.
These variables include reliability of measures, validity of measures, intervention fidelity, missing data and attrition, potential confounding variables, and appropriateness of analysis. A panel of reviewers independently evaluates the quality of each study and the outcomes. The average score among the reviewers is used to represent the quality-of-research indicator.
Carol Allred, Ph.D., developer of Positive Action, said that she is proud to see the program had achieved improved ratings. “We are pleased that NREPP reviewers have reaffirmed their confidence in our research. The growing body of evidence for the program’s outcomes is remarkable for its breadth”.
“The Departments of Education, Justice, and Health and Human Services, as well as an inter-agency working group have each produced their own independent reviews affirming the validity of the research. This comes on the heels of two independent analyses that found that the benefits of implementing Positive Action far outweigh the costs,” Allred added. “These cost-benefit analyses are really significant. It’s hard to argue with economists. They tend to be conservative with their estimates, and the numbers are impressive”.
NREPP is a publicly searchable database of interventions developed by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Its purpose is to help the public identify effective evidence-based interventions. SAMHSA is an agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.