Primary Prevention, 2016

Associated Study

Chicago RCT Study

Principal Investigator

Brian R. Flay

Academic Years Observed

2005-2010 (6 years)

Study Design

Matched-Pair Randomized Control Trial

Acknowledgements

Participating Schools, Principals, Students & Families, Chicago Public Schools, CPS Research Review Board, Office of Specialized Services, Institute of Education Sciences, Dr. Inez Drummond, Dr. Renee Grant-Mitchell, University of Illinois - Chicago; Institute for Health Research and Policy

Effects of a School-Based Social-Emotional and Character Development Program on Health Behaviors: A Matched-Pair, Cluster-Randomized Controlled Trial

Abstract

There is considerable research that suggests that school-based social-emotional programs can foster improved mental health and reduce problem behaviors for participating youth; in contrast, much less is known about the impact of these programs on physical healthy, even though some of these programs also include at least limited direct attention to promoting physical health behaviors.

We examined the effects of one such program, Positive Action (PA), on physical health behaviors and body mass index (BMI), and tested for mediation of program effects through a measure of social-emotional and character development (SECD). Participating schools in the matched-pair, cluster-randomized trial were 14 low-performing K-8 Chicago Public Schools. We followed a cohort of students in each school from grades 3 to 8 (eight waves of data collection; 1170 total students). Student self-reports of health behaviors served as the basis for measures of healthy eating and exercise, unhealthy eating, personal hygiene, consistent bedtime, and SECD.

We collected height and weight measurements at endpoint to calculate age- and gender-adjusted BMI z-scores. Longitudinal multilevel modeling analyses revealed evidence of favorable program effects on personal hygiene [effect size (ES) = 0.48], healthy eating and exercise (ES = 0.21), and unhealthy eating (ES = -0.19); in addition, BMI z-scores were lower among students in PA schools at endpoint (ES = -0.21). Program effects were not moderated by either gender or student mobility.

Longitudinal structural equation modeling demonstrated mediation through SECD for healthy eating and exercise, without a primary focus on health behavior promotion can have a modest impact on outcomes in this domain during the childhood to adolescence transition.

Published in Primary Prevention, Volume 37, Issue 1 2016.


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Authors

Niloofar Bavarian, Kendra Lewis, Alan Acock, David L. DuBois, Zi Yan, Samuel Vuchinich, Naida Silverthorn, Josephy Day, Brian R. Flay

Early Childhood, 2014

Associated Study

Northeast District Study

Principal Investigator

Brian R. Flay

Academic Years Observed

2009 (1 year)

Study Design

Randomized Trial

Acknowledgements

Participating Schools, Principals, Students & Families

Abstract

There is a definite need for effective intervention programmes that address the social–emotional, character and healthy development of preschool children. Strong social-emotional skills are necessary for successful transitions to formal schooling and for healthy developmental trajectories. The Positive Action (PA) programme has a long history of effectiveness in schools (K-12) and communities, but has only recently developed lessons for preschool settings. The current study reports the results of the first evaluation of these lessons. Children were randomly assigned to classrooms/instructors who had previously decided to offer PA lessons or not. Instructors in both PA and control classrooms rated children’s behaviour at pretest and immediate post- test. Results suggest that the PA prekindergarten lessons are effective at improving children’s skills and behaviours across all of the domains that the programme addresses.

Published in Early Child Development and Care, Volume 184, Issue 12 2014.


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Authors

Sara A.Schmitt, Brian R. Flay, Kendra Lewis

Adolescent Health, 2013

Associated Study

Chicago RCT Study

Principal Investigator

Brian R. Flay

Academic Years Observed

2005-2010 (6 years)

Study Design

Matched-Pair Randomized Control Trial

Acknowledgements

Participating Schools, Principals, Students & Families, Chicago Public Schools, CPS Research Review Board, Office of Specialized Services, Institute of Education Sciences, Dr. Inez Drummond, Dr. Renee Grant-Mitchell, University of Illinois - Chicago; Institute for Health Research and Policy

Effects of Positive Action on the Emotional Health of Urban Youth: A Cluster-Randomized Trial

Purpose

We examined the effects of Positive Action (PA), a school-based social-emotional learning and health promotion program, on the emotional health of predominately low-income and ethnic minority urban youth.

Methods

The study was a matched-pair, cluster-randomized controlled trial involving 14 Chicago public schools. Outcomes were assessed over a 6-year period of program implementation for a cohort of youth in each school, followed from grades 3 to 8.

Results

Students in PA schools, compared with those in control schools, had more favorable change over the course of the study in positive affect (standardized mean difference effect size [ES] ¼ .17) and life satisfaction (ES ¼ .13) as well as significantly lower depression (ES ¼ -.14) and anxiety (ES ¼ -.26) at study end point. Program effects for positive affect, depression, and anxiety were mediated by more favorable change over time in social-emotional and character development for students in PA schools.

Published in The Journal of Adolescent Health, Volume 53, Issue 6 2013.


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Authors

Kendra M. Lewis, David DuBois, Niloofar Bavarian, Alan Acock, Naida Silverthorn,Joseph Day, Peter Ji, Samuel Vuchinich, Brian R. Flay

School Health, 2013

Associated Study

Chicago RCT Study

Principal Investigator

Brian R. Flay

Academic Years Observed

2005-2010 (6 years)

Study Design

Matched-Pair Randomized Control Trial

Acknowledgements

Participating Schools, Principals, Students & Families, Chicago Public Schools, CPS Research Review Board, Office of Specialized Services, Institute of Education Sciences, Dr. Inez Drummond, Dr. Renee Grant-Mitchell, University of Illinois - Chicago; Institute for Health Research and Policy

Using Social-Emotional and Character Development to Improve Academic Outcomes: A Matched-Pair, Cluster-Randomized Controlled Trial in Low-Income, Urban Schools

Background

School-based social-emotional and character development (SECD) programs can influence not only SECD, but also academic-related outcomes. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the impact of one SECD program, Positive Action (PA), on educational outcomes among low-income, urban youth.

Methods

The longitudinal study used a matched-pair, cluster -randomized controlled design. Student-reported disaffection with learning and academic grades, and teacher ratings of academic ability and motivation were assessed for a cohort followed from grades 3 to 8. Aggregate school records were used to assess standardized test performance (for entire school, cohort, and demographic subgroups) and absenteeism (entire school). Multilevel growth-curve analyses tested program effects.

Results

PA significantly improved growth in academic motivation and mitigated disaffection with learning. There was a positive impact of PA on absenteeism and marginally significant impact on math performance of all students. There were favorable program effects on reading for African American males and cohort students transitioning between grades 7 and 8, and on math for females and low-income students.

Conclusions

A school-based SECD program was found to influence academic outcomes among students living in low-income, urban communities. Future research should examine mechanisms by which changes in SECD influence changes in academic outcomes.

Published in The Journal of School Health, Volume 83, Issue 11 2013.


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Authors

Niloofar Bavaarian, Kendra M. Lewis, David DuBois, Alan Acock, Samuel Vuchinich,Naida Silverthorn, Frank J. Snyder, Joseph Day, Peter Ji, Brian R. Flay

Health Promotion, 2013

Associated Study

Hawaii RCT Study

Principal Investigator

Brian R. Flay

Academic Years Observed

2001-2006 (6 years)

Study Design

Matched-Pair Randomized Control Trial

Acknowledgements

Participating Schools, Principals, Students & Families, Chicago Public Schools, Hawaii School District, Howard Humphreys, Jonathan Wang, Data Wise

Preventing Negative Behaviors Among Elementary-School Students Through Enhancing Students' Social-Emotional and Character Development

Purpose

Examine the effects of a comprehensive, school-wide social-emotional and character development program using a positive youth development perspective. Specifically, we examined a mediation mechanism whereby positive academic-related behaviors mediated the intervention effects on substance use, violence, and sexual activity.

Results

Students attending intervention schools reported significantly better academic behavior and significantly less substance use, violence, and sexual activity; boys reported more negative behaviors than girls. Intervention effects on student-reported substance use, violence, and sexual activity were mediated by positive academic behavior. Teacher reports corroborated these results, with rated academic behavior partially mediating the effects of the intervention on rated negative behaviors.

Results

PA significantly improved growth in academic motivation and mitigated disaffection with learning. There was a positive impact of PA on absenteeism and marginally significant impact on math performance of all students. There were favorable program effects on reading for African American males and cohort students transitioning between grades 7 and 8, and on math for females and low-income students.

Conclusions

This study (1) provides evidence that adds insight into one mechanism through which a social-emotional and character development program affects negative outcomes and (2) supports social-emotional and character development and positive youth development perspectives that posit that focusing on youths' assets may reduce negative behaviors.

Published in The American Journal of Health Promotion, Volume 28, Issue 1 2013.


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Authors

Frank J. Snyder, Alan Acock, Samuel Vuchinich, Michael W. Beets, Isaac Washburn,Brian R. Flay

Preventative Medicine, 2013

Associated Study

Chicago RCT Study

Principal Investigator

Brian R. Flay

Academic Years Observed

2005-2010 (6 years)

Study Design

Matched-Pair Randomized Control Trial

Acknowledgements

Participating Schools, Principals, Students & Families, Chicago Public Schools, CPS Research Review Board, Office of Specialized Services, Institute of Education Sciences, Dr. Inez Drummond, Dr. Renee Grant-Mitchell, University of Illinois - Chicago; Institute for Health Research and Policy

Problem Behavior and Urban, Low-Income Youth: A Randomized Controlled Trial of Positive Action in Chicago

Background

Youth problem behaviors remain a public health issue. Youth in low-income, urban areas are particularly at risk for engaging in aggressive, violent, and disruptive behaviors.

Purpose

To evaluate the effects of a school-based social-emotional learning and health promotion program on problem behaviors and related attitudes among low-income, urban youth.

Results

PA significantly improved growth in academic motivation and mitigated disaffection with learning. There was a positive impact of PA on absenteeism and marginally significant impact on math performance of all students. There were favorable program effects on reading for African American males and cohort students transitioning between grades 7 and 8, and on math for females and low-income students.

Design

A matched-pair, cluster RCT.

Setting/ Participants

Participants were drawn from 14 Chicago Public Schools over a 6-year period of program delivery with outcomes assessed for a cohort of youth followed from Grades 3 to 8. Data were collected from Fall 2004 to Spring 2010, and analyzed in Spring 2012.

Intervention

The Positive Action program includes a scoped and sequenced K-12 classroom curriculum with six components: self-concept, social and emotional positive actions for managing oneself responsibly, and positive actions directed toward physical and mental health, honesty, getting along with others, and continually improving oneself. The program also includes teacher, counselor, family, and community training as well as activities directed toward schoolwide climate development.

Mbin Outcome Measurbs

Youth reported on their normative beliefs in support of aggression and on their bullying, disruptive, and violent behaviors; parents rated youths' bullying behaviors and conduct problems; schoolwide data on disciplinary referrals and suspensions were obtained from school records.

Results

Multilevel growth-curve modeling analyses conducted on completion of the trial indicated that Positive Action mitigated increases over time in (1) youth reports of normative beliefs supporting aggressive behaviors and of engaging in disruptive behavior and bullying (girls only) and (2) parent reports of youth bullying behaviors (boys only). At study end-point, students in Positive Action schools also reported a lower rate of violence-related behavior than students in control schools. Schoolwide findings indicated positive program effects on both disciplinary referrals and suspensions. Program effect sizes ranged from 0.26 to 0.68.

Conclusions

These results extend evidence of the effectiveness of the Positive Action program to low-income, minority, urban school settings, and to middle school-aged youth.

Published in The American Journal of Preventive Medicine, Volume 44, Issue 6 2013.


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Authors

Kendra M. Lewis, Marc B.Schure, Niloofar Bavarian, David L. DuBois, Joseph Day,Peter Ji, Naida Silverthorn, Alan Acock, Samuel Vuchinich, Brian R. Flay

Education and Treatment of Children, 2012

Associated Study

Rural Southeast Study

Principal Investigator

Oakes & Lane

Academic Years Observed

2011 (1 year)

Study Design

Case Study

Acknowledgements

Participating Schools, Principals, Students & Families

Tier 2 Supports to Improve Motivation and Performance of Elementary Students with Behavioral Challenges and Poor Work Completion

We offer a methodological illustration for researchers and practitioners of how to conduct a development study consistent with the parameters delineated by the Institute of Education Sciences (IES; U.S. Department of Education [USDE], 2010) to explore the utility of an existing Tier 1 intervention applied as a Tier 2 support within a three-tiered model.

Youth problem behaviors remain a public health issue. Youth in low-income, urban areas are particularly at risk for engaging in aggressive, violent, and disruptive behaviors.

Published in Education and Treatment of Children, Volume 35, Issue 4 2012.


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Authors

Wendy Peia Oakes, Kathleen Lynne Lane, Meredith Cox, Ashley Magrane, Abbie Jenkins,Katy Hankins

School Health, 2012

Associated Study

Hawaii RCT Study

Principal Investigator

Brian R. Flay

Academic Years Observed

2001-2006 (6 years)

Study Design

Matched-Pair Randomized Control Trial

Acknowledgements

Participating Schools, Principals, Students & Families, Chicago Public Schools, Hawaii School District, Howard Humphreys, Jonathan Wang, Data Wise /Improving Elementary School Quality Through the Use of a Social-Emotional and Character Development Program: A Matched-Pair, Cluster-Randomized, Controlled Trial in Hawaii

Background

School safety and quality affect student learning and success. This study examined the effects of a comprehensive elementary school-wide social-emotional and character education program, Positive Action, on teacher, parent, and student perceptions of school safety and quality utilizing a matched-pair, cluster-randomized, controlled design. The Positive Action Hawaii trial included 20 racially/ethnically diverse schools and was conducted from 2002-2003 through 2005-2006.

Methods

School-level archival data, collected by the Hawaii Department of Education, were used to examine program effects at 1-year post-trial. Teacher, parent, and student data were analyzed to examine indicators of school quality such as student safety and well-being, involvement, and satisfaction, as well as overall school quality. Matched-paired tests were used for the primary analysis, and sensitivity analyses included permutation tests and random-intercept growth curve models.

Results

Analyses comparing change from baseline to 1-year post-trial revealed that intervention schools demonstrated significantly improved school quality compared to control schools, with 21%, 13%, and 16% better overall school quality scores as reported by teachers, parents, and students, respectively. Teacher, parent, and student reports on individual school-quality indicators showed improvement in student safety and well-being, involvement, satisfaction, quality student support, focused and sustained action, standards-based learning, professionalism and system capacity, and coordinated team work. Teacher reports also showed an improvement in the responsiveness of the system.

Conclusions

School quality was substantially improved, providing evidence that a school-wide social-emotional and character education program can enhance school quality and facilitate whole-school change.

Published in Education and Treatment of Children, Volume 82, Issue 12 2012.


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Authors

Frank J. Snyder, Sam Vuchinich, Alan Acock, Isaac Washburn, Brian R. Flay

Emotional Education, 2012

Associated Study

Chicago RCT Study

Principal Investigator

Brian R. Flay

Academic Years Observed

2005-2010 (6 years)

Study Design

Matched-Pair Randomized Control Trial

Acknowledgements

Participating Schools, Principals, Students & Families, Chicago Public Schools, CPS Research Review Board, Office of Specialized Services, Institute of Education Sciences, Dr. Inez Drummond, Dr. Renee Grant-Mitchell, University of Illinois - Chicago; Institute for Health Research and Policy

Direct and Mediated Effects of a Social-Emotional and Character Development Program on Adolescent Substance Use

Mitigating and preventing substance use among adolescents requires approaches that address the multitude of factors that influence this behavior. Such approaches must be tested, not only for evidence of empirical effectiveness, but also to determine the mechanisms by which they are successful.

The aims of the present study were twofold: 1) To determine the effectiveness of a school-based social-emotional and character development (SECD) program, Positive Action (PA), in reducing substance use (SU) among a sample of U.S. youth living in a low-income , urban environment, and 2) to test one mechanism by which the program achieves its success.

We used longitudinal mediation analysis to test the hypotheses that: 1) students attending PA intervention schools engage in significantly less SU than students attending control schools, 2) students attending PA intervention schools show significantly better change in SECD than students attending control schools, and 3) the effect of the PA intervention on SU is mediated by the change in SECD.

Analyses revealed program effects on both SECD and SU, a relationship between SECD and SU, and the effects of PA on SU were completely mediated by changes in SECD. Future research directions and implications for school-based social-emotional and character development efforts and substance use prevention are addressed.

Published in The International Journal of Emotional Education, Volume 4, Number 1 2012.


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Authors

Kendra M. Lewis, Niloofar Bavarian, Frank J. Snyder, Alan Acock, Joseph Day,David L. DuBois, Peter Ji, Marc B. Schure, Naida Silverthorn, Samuel Vuchinich,Brian R. Flay

Psychology & Health, 2011

Associated Study

Chicago RCT Study

Principal Investigator

Brian R. Flay

Academic Years Observed

2005-2010 (6 years)

Study Design

Matched-Pair Randomized Control Trial

Acknowledgements

Participating Schools, Principals, Students & Families, Chicago Public Schools, CPS Research Review Board, Office of Specialized Services, Institute of Education Sciences, Dr. Inez Drummond, Dr. Renee Grant-Mitchell, University of Illinois - Chicago; Institute for Health Research and Policy

Effects of the Positive Action programme on problem behaviours in elementary school students: A matched-pair randomised control trial in Chicago

This study examined the effects of the Positive Action (PA) programme in Chicago Public Schools on problem behaviours among a cohort of elementary school students from grade three through grade five. Using a matched-pair, randomised control design with 14 elementary schools, approximately 510 fifth-graders self-reported lifetime substance use, serious violence-related behaviour, and current bullying and disruptive behaviours.

Three-level (i.e. students nested within schools within school pairs) overdispersed Poisson models were used to examine programme effects on the number of items endorsed for each of the four outcomes. Findings indicated that students in the intervention endorsed 31% fewer substance use behaviours (incidence rate ratio IRR = 0.69), 37% fewer violence-related behaviours (IRR = 0.63) and 41% fewer bullying behaviours (IRR = 0.59), respectively, compared to students in the control schools.

Reduction in reported disruptive behaviours was of a similar magnitude (27%, IRR = 0.73), but was not statistically significant. These results replicate findings of an earlier randomised trial of the PA programme and extend evidence of its effectiveness to youth attending large urban school systems.

Published in Psychology & Health, Number 2, 2011.


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Authors

Kin-Kit Li, Isaac Washburn, David DuBois, Samuel Vuchinich, Peter Ji,Vanessa Brechling, Joseph Day, Michael W. Beets, Alan C. Acock, Michael Berbaum,Frank Snyder, Brian R. Flay

Prevention Science, 2011

Associated Study

Hawaii RCT Study & Chicago RCT Study

Principal Investigator

Brian R. Flay

Academic Years Observed

2001-2006 (6 years) & 2005-2010 (6 years)

Study Design

Matched-Pair Randomized Control Trial

Acknowledgements

Participating Schools, Principals, Students & Families, Chicago Public Schools, Hawaii School District, Howard Humphreys, Jonathan Wang, Data Wise & Participating Schools, Principals, Students & Families, Chicago Public Schools, CPS Research Review Board, Office of Specialized Services, Institute of Education Sciences, Dr. Inez Drummond, Dr. Renee Grant-Mitchell, University of Illinois - Chicago; Institute for Health Research and Policy

Effects of a Social-Emotional and Character Development Program on the Trajectory of Behaviors Associated with Social-Emotional and Character Development: Findings from Three Randomized Trials

The effects of a school-based social-emotional and character development program, Positive Action, on the developmental trajectory of social-emotional and character-related behaviors was evaluated using data from three school-based randomized trials in elementary schools.

Results come from 1) 4 years of data from students in 20 Hawaii schools, 2) 3 years of data from students in 14 schools in Chicago and 3) 3 years of data from students in 8 schools in a southeastern state. Random intercept, multilevel, growth -curve analyses showed that students in both control and Positive Action schools exhibited a general decline in the number of positive behaviors associated with social-emotional and character development that were endorsed.

However, the Positive Action intervention significantly reduced these declines in all three trials. Taken together, these analyses 1) give insight into the normative trajectory of behaviors associated with social-emotional and character development and 2) provide evidence for the effectiveness of Positive Action in helping children maintain a relatively beneficial developmental trajectory.

Published in The Journal of Prevention Science, Volume 12, Issue 314. 2011


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Authors

Isaac Washburn, Alan Acock, Sam Vuchinich, Frank Snyder, Kin-Kit Li,Peter Ji, Joseph Day, David DuBois, Brian R. Flay

Family Program, 2010

Associated Study

Rural West Study

Principal Investigator

Brian R. Flay

Academic Years Observed

2005 (1 year)

Study Design

Randomized Trial

Acknowledgements

Participating Schools, Principals, Students & Families, Bach Harrison LLC, Judge Steele, Kris Gerber, Paris Anderton, Michael Slagel

The Positive Action Family Program: A Pilot Randomized Trial

We report results from the first randomized trial of the Positive Action intensive family program. We randomly assigned approximately 1/3rd of 29 families who were court mandated to attend a family program to a wait-listed control condition. Eighteen families (parents and teens) attended 7 weekly meetings, with parents and teens attending separate sessions for the first half of each session and then attending a joint session for the second half.

We surveyed parents before the program and at immediate posttest with 16 items assessing family conflict, family cohesion and parent-child bonding (alphas between .74 and .79).

Data was also collected from 45 and 96 additional parents who participated in two subsequent rounds of the program and 24 youth participated in one of those rounds. Results suggest that the PA intensive family program had immediate positive effects on all three outcomes with effect sizes between .34 and .59.

Conclusions

Significant interactions with pretest scores for conflict and cohesion indicated stronger effects for those families at highest risk among this high-risk sample. Data from subsequent pretest-posttest only groups replicated these results. We conclude that this first randomized trial of the Positive Action intensive family program and the pretest-posttest replications provide results worthy of further follow-up.

Published by Oregon State University, Volume 12, Issue 314. 2011


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Authors

Brian R. Flay

Educational Effectiveness, 2010

Associated Study

Rural West Study

Principal Investigator

Brian R. Flay

Academic Years Observed

2005 (1 year)

Study Design

Randomized Trial

Acknowledgements

Participating Schools, Principals, Students & Families, Hawaii School District, Howard Humphreys, Jonathan Wang, Data Wise

Impact of a Social-Emotional and Character Development Program on School-Level Indicators of Academic Achievement, Absenteeism, and Disciplinary Outcomes: A Matched-Pair, Cluster-Randomized, Controlled Trial

This article reports the effects of a comprehensive elementary school-based social-emotional and character education program on school-level achievement, absenteeism, and disciplinary outcomes utilizing a matched-pair, cluster-randomized, controlled design.

The Positive Action Hawai‘i trial included 20 racially/ethnically diverse schools (M enrollment = 544) and was conducted from the 2002–03 through the 2005–06 academic years. Using school-level archival data, analyses comparing change from baseline (2002) to 1-year posttrial (2007) revealed that intervention schools scored 9.8% better on the TerraNova (2nd ed.) test for reading and 8.8% on math, that 20.7% better in Hawai‘i Content and Performance Standards scores for reading and 51.4% better in math, and that intervention schools reported 15.2% lower absenteeism and fewer suspensions (72.6%) and retentions (72.7%).

Overall, effect sizes were moderate to large (range = 0.5–1.1) for all of the examined outcomes. Sensitivity analyses using permutation models and random-intercept growth curve models substantiated results. The results provide evidence that a comprehensive school-based program, specifically developed to target student behavior and character, can positively influence school-level achievement, attendance, and disciplinary outcomes concurrently.

Published by The Journal of Research on Educational Effectiveness, Volume 19, Issue 37. 2010


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Authors

Frank J. Snyder, Brian R. Flay, Sam Vuchinich, Alan Acock, Isaac Washburn,Michael Beets, Kin-Kit Li

Public Health, 2009

Associated Study

Hawaii RCT Study

Principal Investigator

Brian R. Flay

Academic Years Observed

2001-2006 (6 years)

Study Design

Matched-Pair Randomized Control Trial

Acknowledgements

Participating Schools, Principals, Students & Families, Chicago Public Schools, Hawaii School District, Howard Humphreys, Jonathan Wang, Data Wise

Use of a Social and Character Development Program to Prevent Substance Use, Violent Behaviors, and Sexual Activity Among Elementary-School Students in Hawaii

Objectives

We assessed the effectiveness of a 5-year trial of a comprehensive school-based program designed to prevent substance use, violent behaviors, and sexual activity among elementary-school students.

Methods

We used a matched-pair, cluster-randomized, controlled design, with 10 intervention schools and 10 control schools. Fifth-graders (N=1714) self-reported on lifetime substance use, violence, and voluntary sexual activity. Teachers of participant students reported on student (N=1225) substance use and violence.

Results

Two-level random-effects count models (with students nested within schools) indicated that student-reported substance use (rate ratio [RR]=0.41; 90% confidence interval [CI]=0.25, 0.66) and violence (RR=0.42; 90% CI=0.24, 0.73) were significantly lower for students attending intervention schools. A 2-level random-effects binary model indicated that sexual activity was lower (odds ratio=0.24; 90% CI=0.08, 0.66) for intervention students. Teacher reports substantiated the effects seen for student-reported data. Dose-response analyses indicated that students exposed to the program for at least 3 years had significantly lower rates of all negative behaviors.

Conclusions

Risk-related behaviors were substantially reduced for students who participated in the program, providing evidence that a comprehensive school-based program can have a strong beneficial effect on student behavior.

Published in The American Journal of Public Health, Volume 99, Number 8. 2009


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Authors

Michael Beets, Brian R. Flay, Sam Vuchinich, Frank J. Snyder, Alan Acock,Kin-Kit Li, Kate Burns, Isaac Washburn, Joseph Durlak

Character Education, 2005

Associated Study

Rural West Study

Principal Investigator

Brian R. Flay

Academic Years Observed

2005 (1 year)

Study Design

Randomized Trial

Acknowledgements

Schools, Principals, Students & Families, Bach Harrison LLC, Judge Steele, Kris Gerber, Paris Anderton, Michael Slagel

A Measurement Model of Student Character as Described by the Positive Action Program

This article measures a model of student character as defined by the Positive Action (PA) program, that posits that students’ characters are based on their behaviors and how they feel about themselves when they engage in those behaviors.

The program consists of a teacher-led curriculum of 9 units and components that represent different aspects of student character (physical, intellectual, social, and emotional). Using structural equation modeling, we constructed a measurement model of the behavior and feeling domains and the 9 units and components as described by the PA theory.

The model was a good fit and a replication sample produced similar results. The results supported that the set of constructs that describe student character, as described in PA’s theory, could be measured and distinguished from each other.

Published in The Journal of Research in Character Education, Volume 3, Issue 2. 2005.


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Authors

Peter Ji, Eisuke Segawa, James Burns, Richard T. Campbell, Carol G. Allred,Brian R. Flay

Health Behavior, 2002

Positive Youth Development Requires Comprehensive Health Promotion Programs

Objective

Explore relationships among problem and positive youth behaviors, commonalities among their predictors, and implications for prevention.

Methods

Review etiology and prevention literatures.

Results

Risky/unhealthy/antisocial behaviors, poor mental health, and poor academic achievement are highly prevalent and pose critical dilemmas for parents and educators. All behaviors are highly correlated with, and predict, each other, have many of the same risk and protective factors, and strongly influence success and happiness in life. Some examples of comprehensive programs with positive results in multiple domains are provided.

Conclusions

We need to prevent problem behaviors and promote positive behaviors with comprehensive, coherent, and integrated approaches.

Published in The American Journal of Health Behavior, Volume 26, Issue 6. 2002


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Authors

Brian R. Flay

Prevention Science, 2001

Associated Study

Hawaii RCT Study & Chicago RCT Study

Principal Investigator

Brian R. Flay

Academic Years Observed

2001-2006 (6 years) & 2005-2010 (6 years)

Study Design

Matched-Pair Randomized Control Trial

Acknowledgements

Participating Schools, Principals, Students & Families, Chicago Public Schools, Hawaii School District, Howard Humphreys, Jonathan Wang, Data Wise & CPS Research Review Board, Office of Specialized Services, Institute of Education Sciences, Dr. Inez Drummond, Dr. Renee Grant-Mitchell, University of Illinois - Chicago; Institute for Health Research and Policy

Effects of a Social-Emotional and Character Development Program on the Trajectory of Behaviors Associated with Social-Emotional and Character Development: Findings from Three Randomized Trials

The effects of a school-based social-emotional and character development program, Positive Action, on the developmental trajectory of social-emotional and character-related behaviors was evaluated using data from three school-based randomized trials in elementary schools.

Results come from 1) 4 years of data from students in 20 Hawaii schools, 2) 3 years of data from students in 14 schools in Chicago and 3) 3 years of data from students in 8 schools in a southeastern state. Random intercept, multilevel, growth -curve analyses showed that students in both control and Positive Action schools exhibited a general decline in the number of positive behaviors associated with social-emotional and character development that were endorsed.

However, the Positive Action intervention significantly reduced these declines in all three trials. Taken together, these analyses 1) give insight into the normative trajectory of behaviors associated with social-emotional and character development and 2) provide evidence for the effectiveness of Positive Action in helping children maintain a relatively beneficial developmental trajectory.

Published in The Journal of Prevention Science, Volume 12, Issue 314. 2011


View Article


Authors

Isaac Washburn, Alan Acock, Sam Vuchinich, Frank Snyder, Kin-Kit Li,Peter Ji, Joseph Day, David DuBois, Brian R. Flay