Exemplary and Promising
Safe, Disciplined and Drug-Free Schools Programs 2001

Safe, Disciplined, and Drug-Free Schools Expert Panel
Archived Information

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Promising Programs

Positive Action

Positive Action is recommended as a promising Safe, Disciplined, and Drug-Free Schools program.

Program Description

Positive Action (PA) was first developed in 1977 and has been revised since then based on process, monitoring, and outcome evaluations. It consists of integrated K-8 classroom curricula, school preparation, and teacher training, plus a schoolwide climate-change program, a family program, and a community involvement program. Although a high school component is also offered, adequate high school evidence of efficacy was not available. The goals of PA are to improve individuals, families, schools, and communities by teaching that acting positively helps them develop positive identities. Each goal has individual objectives: decreasing drug, alcohol, and tobacco use and decreasing incidents of violent behavior or misconduct.

PA is grounded in a broad theory of self-concept that postulates that people determine their self-concepts by what they do; that actions, more than thoughts or feelings, determine their self-concept; and that positive behavioral choices result in feelings of self-worth.

PA is a systematic, comprehensive program that uses active learning, positive classroom management, and a detailed curriculum. The grades K-6 portion of the curriculum consists of 1,200 or more 15- to 20-minute lessons delivered daily or almost daily. Activities include stories, role-playing, modeling, games, and questions/answers. As a holistic program, PA incorporates life skills into its curriculum and includes most subject areas, such as social studies, math, and science. The middle school curriculum continues with the same concepts as the elementary curriculum and focuses on middle school students' independence and emerging recognition of their responsibility for themselves. Lessons are taught two or three days a week.

Full implementation of PA in one school requires one Teacher's Kit of the appropriate grade level for each teacher, one Drug-Education Supplement Teacher's Kit for fifth grade (a Middle School Drug-Education Supplement Teacher's Kit for middle school is also desirable), Teacher's Kits of the appropriate grade levels for special education, one Principal's Kit, one Counselor's Kit, and one Community Kit. The implementing school principal can also refer to the Implementation Plan. Also available is a PA Family Kit.

Program Quality

Reviewers found that PA set clear, appropriate, and comprehensive goals for the intended population and setting and that it was reasonable to expect the program to achieve its goals. Reviewers noted that the program cited a great deal of research and that the rationale was based on a strong theoretical foundation. The program activities were found to align with the goals and the rationale. Reviewers stated that there was a high probability that if the activities were implemented with fidelity, the program's depth and quality would be likely to produce systemic changes in schools and communities.

Evidence of Efficacy

Reviewers found PA's overall evaluation design and methodology to be adequate with appropriate data analyses. They concluded that the cumulative effects of several of the studies showing statistically significant distal outcomes on discipline problems and self-concept confirmed the efficacy of the program. However, they agreed that no single recent evaluation of the program involved a rigorous study with well-defined, reliable, and valid measures, or had adequate controls for threats to internal validity. Reviewers cited one methodologically sound study that showed an impact on the protective factor of self-concept associated with some of the behavioral outcome variables of interest. They underscored that the evaluation studies involved elementary and middle school students only.

PA was extensively researched and evaluated in diverse schools and sites. Evaluations included a quasi-experimental matched comparison group, a pre-post-only case study, long-term follow-up, a time series, and percentile ranking comparison designs. Measures included self-concept scales, standardized tests, and reviews of official school and police records. The program reported favorable outcomes for PA students in the areas of substance use, violence, other crimes, truancy/absenteeism, academic achievement, and self-concept. Reviewers determined that there was sufficient evidence of program effects, primarily on self-concept and on some outcomes related to discipline problems.

Professional Development Resources and Program Costs

A three-hour orientation and implementation workshop is available through PA, but schools may also purchase training and professional development materials and use their own trainers. Several other workshops are offered through PA: a two-hour workshop for school personnel on how they can raise awareness of PA; a seven-series workshop that explores program components in depth; and a seven-part workshop that teaches how to apply PA concepts in all curriculum areas. Trainers from PA cost $600 per day in addition to travel expenses and $300 per day for travel time. The maximum group size is 30 participants per trainer. Training and professional development workshop materials cost $360 each.

Materials required in the full implementation of PA vary according to school size (i.e., number of teachers, counselors, and families). Costs for materials are as follows: Kindergarten Teacher's Kit, $400; grades 1 to 8 Teacher's Kit, $300; fifth-grade Drug-Education Supplement Teacher's Kit, $185; middle school Drug-Education Supplement Teacher's Kit, $300; elementary and secondary Principal's Kits, $360 each; Family Kit, $55; Community Kit, $300; Implementation Plan, $160; Rejuvenation Plan, $160; and Counselor's Kit, $60 each. Additional kits range from $150 to $400. The cost for consumables in subsequent years is approximately 20 percent of first-year costs. (Current costs need to be verified with the program.)

For Further Information

Carol Gerber Allred
Positive Action
Positive Action Inc.

264 4th Ave. South
Twin Falls, ID 83301

Telephone: 208-733-1328 or 1-800-345-2974
Fax: 208-733-1590

E-mail: info@positiveaction.net  or  paction@micron.net

Web site: http://www.positiveaction.net  or  http://www.positiveaction.net

Primary Mental Health Project

Primary Mental Health Project is recommended as a promising Safe, Disciplined, and Drug-Free Schools program.

Program Description

Primary Mental Health Project (PMHP) is a school-based early-intervention program for young children who show evidence of school adjustment difficulties. As an indicated prevention program, PMHP targets children deemed "at risk" and not those with already crystallized serious dysfunction. Through therapeutic interventions in a one-to-one setting, the program aims to address risk and protective factors of children in preschool through grade 3. The program endeavors to detect, reduce, and/or prevent social, emotional, and school adjustment difficulties. It also seeks to enhance learning and adjustment skills and other school-related competencies. PMHP accomplishes these goals through five structural components: a focus on young children (preschool through third-grade children are the primary recipients of services); early and systemic screening and selection; use of paraprofessionals for direct services; role change of school-based mental health professionals; and ongoing program evaluation.

It is well known that patterns of school failure often begin in the first three years of school. A growing body of research strongly suggests the critical importance of providing fortifying school experiences at an early age. A rigorous screening procedure is first implemented to determine those children who would most benefit from PMHP services. Once children have been identified, the classroom teacher, in collaboration with parents and school counselors, completes an adjustment profile for each child. This profile is used to establish intervention goals before the children begin one-on-one counseling. Counseling sessions occur for 30 to 40 minutes each week and are centered on child-initiated expressive play activities that lead to the attainment of each child's individual needs and goals.

Program materials include a variety of informational booklets and manuals such as: School Based Prevention for Children at Risk; Primary Mental Health Project: Program Development Manual; The Primer: A Handbook for Establishing a PMHP Program; Behind These Young Faces: The Primary Mental Health Project; Screening and Evaluation Measures and Forms: Guidelines; and Supervision of Paraprofessionals: Guidelines for Mental Health Professionals.

Program Quality

Reviewers found the goals of the program to be clearly defined and carefully measured on both a short-term and a long-term basis. They also noted a consistency among the rationale, the goals, and the way each aspect of the program was measured. Students received the level of intervention appropriate to their risk factors, according to reviewers. The five structural components of the program drove the program to enhance learning and adjustment skills in a clear and organized way. Reviewers noted that the program materials were well developed and well utilized.

Evidence of Efficacy

PMHP presented evidence of improved school adjustment and a decrease in problem behaviors for treatment children based on a number of control group, comparison group, and long-term follow-up evaluation studies. Reviewers found that the program was well researched and addressed risk and protective factors for young children who were identified with school adjustment difficulties. Reviewers agreed that the outcome measures showed positive short- and long-term outcomes. They noted that the evaluation instruments were reliable and valid and that the data analyses were appropriate.

One control group study, with 600 children from 18 school sites randomly assigned into immediate intervention and delayed treatment groups, showed statistically significant decreases in adjustment problems for children receiving program services compared with children waiting for services. Another wait control group design, which employed a three-month follow-up measure, demonstrated a decline in teacher ratings of learning problems and shy-anxious behaviors and an increase in task orientation and peer social skills in favor of the treatment group. One of the matched comparison group evaluations showed a decrease in adjustment problems and an increase in adaptive competencies after one school year in favor of the treatment group. Long-term effects were found in a follow-up study of fourth- through sixth-graders two to five years after the intervention. Post-only results showed treatment children to be statistically significantly better adjusted than a demographically comparable group of current problem children based on teacher identifications and ratings.

Professional Development Resources and Program Costs

Support to districts and sites interested in implementing PMHP is available through multiple venues: consultation, training, program materials, and internship opportunities. Program consultants provide on-site consultation and support. Training videos are available on loan from the developer. Developers estimate that program costs annually per child can be less than $250 and that the cost of a single contact session with a child can be less than $10. (Current costs need to be verified with the program.)

For Further Information

Deborah B. Johnson
Primary Mental Health Project
Children's Institute
274 N. Goodman, Suite D103
Rochester, NY 14607

Telephone: 716-295-1000 or 1-877-888-7647
Fax: 716-295-1090

E-mail: djohnson@childrensinstitute.net

Web site: http://www.pmhp.org  or  http://www.childrensinstitute.net

Project STAR

Project STAR is recommended as a promising Safe, Disciplined, and Drug-Free Schools program.

Program Description

Project STAR, also called the Midwestern Prevention Project, is a comprehensive, community-based program to prevent or reduce adolescent substance abuse. Its primary goal is to prevent or reduce gateway substance use. The following program components are introduced in sequence to communities: school, parent, community organization, and health policy, with utilization of the mass media to publicize positive efforts for drug prevention.

The program has a social influences theory base. Early, middle, and late adolescence each have distinct developmental tasks and needs. Project STAR is geared primarily toward the early-adolescent period (ages 10 to 12) when youths are more likely to emulate older students and initiate attempts to break away from parental control.

The project integrates demand- and supply-reduction strategies by combining prevention programming (aimed at teaching youths drug resistance skills) with local school and community policy change (aimed at institutionalizing prevention programming and limiting youths' access to drugs). The program also teaches perceived norms for use and social support for nonuse.

Each of the five program components contains either activity guidelines or actual program materials. The school curriculum consists of 10 to 13 classroom sessions and five homework activities. Sessions are taught twice a week, and each session lasts less than 50 minutes. A teacher's manual is available. The school program focuses on increasing skills to resist and counteract pressures to use drugs and to change the social climate of the school to accept a drug-free norm. Methods of delivery include modeling, role-playing, and discussing related issues in groups led by peers. The other four components integrate with the school component to collectively encourage adolescents to resist drug use in the wider community.

Program Quality

According to reviewers, the goals of this program were clear and attainable and should result in a change in the entire community, not just a school. Additionally, reviewers noted that the focus on systemic issues was a positive attribute. Discussing supply-and-demand issues was found by reviewers to be an innovative approach that was supported by research. Reviewers noted that this program attended to policy-level change at the school and community levels, which reviewers found to be a long-term benefit of the program.

Evidence of Efficacy

Reviewers found that Project STAR's replication and distal outcomes made a strong case for the efficacy of the program. The program presented evidence from large-scale, longitudinal studies, using both quasi-experimental and fully randomized designs. Although high attrition rates were a concern, some of the studies addressed this concern by making maximal conservative adjustments and controlling for internal validity. Reviewers noted that issues of program replication and potential underreporting on self-report measures were adequately addressed also. Overall, they found that the program reported relevant evidence of efficacy based on a methodologically sound evaluation, despite selection criteria, reliability, and validity concerns. Reviewers added that the program appeared most effective at reducing adolescent smoking.

Project STAR used two evaluation designs. One design was a partially randomized study in one city. The second design was a fully randomized replication in another city three years later. Both studies used pre-post test measurement in the first year, with a post-test measurement administered each year thereafter. From sixth/seventh grade to the end of high school, 10,000 students were followed. Beyond high school, a smaller sample of about 2,200 was selected for continued follow-up. Standardized student and parent surveys and an expired-air CO measure were used to validate student responses. Statistically significant effects were found in favor of the treatment students, including net reductions in drug use ranging from 10 percent to 80 percent, depending on the specific drug and the year of measurement. Results also demonstrated, to a statistically significant degree, delays in onset and decreased prevalence on gateway (i.e., cigarettes, alcohol, and marijuana) and illicit drug use; decreased alcohol and marijuana use among parents; and increased positive parent-child communications about drug use prevention for the treatment group compared with the control group. The program also reported statistically significant outcomes related to health policy changes, long-term job retention, and the development of community prevention programs.

Professional Development Resources and Program Costs

Training is provided for each component, including a two-day teacher training for part 1 of the school curriculum. A one-day teacher training for part 2, training of a parent committee, training of community leaders, and training of the local media are all available. Examples of each of the components are presented in a video. A curriculum package is commercially available. (Current costs need to be verified with the program.)

For Further Information

Karen Bernstein
Project STAR
University of Southern California

Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center
1441 Eastlake Ave., Room 3415
Los Angeles, CA 90089-9175

Telephone: 323-865-0325
Fax: 323-865-0134

E-mail: karenber@usc.edu

Promoting Alternative Thinking Strategies

Promoting Alternative Thinking Strategies is recommended as a promising Safe, Disciplined, and Drug-Free Schools program.

Program Description

The Promoting Alternative Thinking Strategies (PATHS) curriculum is a comprehensive program that promotes the development of social and emotional competencies in children during the elementary school years to achieve its goal of reducing aggression and other behavior problems. A second broad program goal is to enhance the classroom atmosphere to facilitate learning and the internalization of pro-social values. PATHS was developed for use in a classroom setting for children just entering school to those in grade 6. The curriculum is designed for use by educators and counselors in a multiyear, universal prevention model.

PATHS combines a focus on the promotion of optimal developmental growth for each individual; an emphasis on the manner in which teachers use the curriculum model to generalize the skills to build a healthy classroom atmosphere; a focus on the developmental process of the brain; an enhancement of developmental growth and mental health and the prevention of emotional distress; and a focus on psychological issues related to the role of emotional awareness.

PATHS is divided into three major units: Readiness and Self-Control (12 lessons), Feelings and Relationships (56 lessons), and Interpersonal Cognitive Problem-Solving (33 lessons). A 30-lesson supplementary unit is also part of the curriculum. PATHS lesson topics include identifying and labeling feelings, expressing and managing feelings, controlling impulses, reducing stress, interpreting social cues, understanding the perspectives of others, problem-solving and decision-making, and nonverbal and verbal communication skills. The 131 lessons are designed for delivery three times per week, every year over a five-year period.

The PATHS Curriculum Kit contains six volumes of lessons for students, a manual for teachers that addresses process and parent involvement issues, photographs and posters, and additional materials.

Program Quality

Reviewers found the goals of the PATHS program clearly stated, supported by research, and followed by measurable, achievable objectives. Reviewers also rated highly the rationale, including the sequence of the material's delivery, its well-researched foundations, and its alignment with its goals and expected outcomes. The activities were also found to elicit interaction and to be free of bias and gender inequality. According to reviewers, the materials appeared to be age-appropriate and of particular interest to the needs of the youths addressed.

Evidence of Efficacy

Reviewers found that the evaluation used an excellent research design, random sampling, and reliable and valid measures, although attrition issues were not addressed. They determined that the research studies presented by PATHS provided evidence that the program was effective in improving protective factors (e.g., social and emotional competency) and reducing risk factors (e.g., early and persistent antisocial and aggressive behavior). Reviewers, however, found the evidence of actual changes in behavior among students in regular classrooms insufficient. Research was conducted in regular and special education classrooms.

The program presented four clinical trials: Two studies involved students with special needs and two involved regular education students. One study involved 200 regular education students in grades two and three from four schools with random assignment by school; a second study involved 108 children with special needs in grades one to three randomly assigned by classrooms to the intervention or control group. Measures for both studies included affective and social problem-solving interviews, a teacher-rated child behavior checklist, student reports of conduct problems administered at the post-test, and one- and two-year follow-ups. A third study involved 5,000 first-graders in 48 schools in four sites with random assignments by school. Measures included peer sociometric ratings of aggression and disruptive-hyperactive classroom behavior and blind observations of the quality of the classroom atmosphere. The fourth study involved 57 deaf children in grades one to six, with random assignments by school to the intervention or wait-list control group. Measures included a teacher-rated health resources inventory, emotion inventory, social problem-solving interview, and teacher and parent ratings of social competence.

Professional Development Resources and Program Costs

Initial training of teachers, support personnel, and administrative staff requires a two- to three-day workshop. Costs for a workshop for up to 30 participants is $3,000. At the beginning of the second year of implementation, a half-day or one-day booster session is provided. Additionally, ongoing consultation/ supervision once a week is highly recommended in the first year.

In the second year, consultation/supervision twice a month is sufficient. Consultation/supervision is provided by a full- or part-time curriculum consultant, depending on the number of PATHS classrooms. The costs are as follows: $550 for the Basic curriculum (grades 1-6), including an instructor manual, five volumes of lessons, and visual aids; $145 for Readiness and Self-Control (Turtle unit) for K-1, including an instructor manual, puppet, and visual aids; $640 for the complete curriculum, both the Basic and the Turtle units. (Current costs need to be verified with the program.)

For Further Information

Carol A. Kusché
Promoting Alternative Thinking Strategies
PATHS Training, LLC

927 10th Ave. East
Seattle, WA 98102

Telephone: 206-323-6688 (for training),
1-800-736-2630 (for curriculum)
Fax: 206-323-6688

E-mail: ckusche@attglobal.net

Evaluation Information

Mark T. Greenberg, Prevention Research Center
Human Development and Family Studies
Pennsylvania State University

110 Henderson Building South, University Park, PA 16802-6504

Telephone: 814-863-0112
Fax: 814-865-2530

E-mail: mxg47@psu.edu

Web site: http://www.channing-bete.com/positiveyouth/index.html   or  http://www.prevention.psu.edu/projects/middle.html

Responding in Peaceful and Positive Ways

Responding in Peaceful and Positive Ways is recommended as a promising Safe, Disciplined, and Drug-Free Schools program.

Program Description

Responding in Peaceful and Positive Ways (RIPP) is a primary prevention program grounded in social-cognitive learning theory, which states that both women and men and the environment are involved in and responsible for the occurrence of an aggressive act, and is designed for use in middle and junior high schools. The goal of the program is to implement strategies that reduce problem behaviors by addressing specific risk factors and increasing protective factors. RIPP achieves its goal by creating opportunities in the school environment and by creating changes in attitudes inside individuals.

The curriculum is taught to sixth- or seventh-grade students in 25 weekly classes, with each session lasting 50 minutes. The curriculum uses three basic strategies: behavioral repetition and mental rehearsal of a social-cognitive, problem-solving model; experiential learning techniques; and guided discussion. Students perform role-plays, resolve conflicts, and observe positive social norms. They also learn a seven-step problem-solving model called SCIDDLE (stop, calm down, identify the problem and your feelings, decide among your options, do it, look back, and evaluate). In addition, students learn and practice violence prevention skills involving four pro-social options: resolve, avoid, ignore, and diffuse. The program contains a strong peer mediation component. Peer mediators are trained to provide their services to the entire school. Peer mediators complete 16 hours of training. A curriculum manual provides the material and information to implement the program.

Program Quality

The program goals and time frame for accomplishing them were found by reviewers to be appropriate and well thought out. Reviewers stated that prevention efforts clearly supported the goals of the program and helped the goals to be achieved. The program was also cited for its excellent research base and its continual updates to stay current with research.

Evidence of Efficacy

Reviewers agreed that RIPP presented a well-designed randomized clinical trial using reliable and valid measures. Although attrition was a problem, especially at the one-year follow-up, the evaluation tried to minimize the impact by analyzing pre-, post-, and follow-up data separately. Reviewers found that the study showed positive outcomes at post-test and follow-up, although the majority of the measures did not produce statistically significant effects and some of the effects present at post-test did not remain statistically significant at follow-up. A key positive outcome that remained statistically significant at follow-up was a face-valid measure of in-school suspensions based on administrative data.

The evaluation used a pre-post clinical trial with random assignments of students to intervention and control groups at three urban middle schools. The intervention group consisted of 305 sixth-graders, and the control group consisted of 321 sixth-graders at the same schools. Evaluators collected data on students from school disciplinary code violation records, a violent behavior scale, attitude and belief scales, and other self-report measures. Statistically significant positive program effects favoring the intervention group for weapons possession, suspensions, and fight-related injuries were maintained at post-test; and statistically significant positive effects favoring the intervention group on in-school suspensions and threats to teachers were maintained at the one-year follow-up. Statistically significant positive results also were observed for the intervention group on measures of knowledge and use of peer mediation.

Professional Development Resources and Program Costs

The major requirement for implementing this program is the hiring and training of a full-time violence prevention facilitator for each school. The prevention facilitator is responsible for teaching RIPP and supervising and coordinating the peer mediation. A four-day intensive training program is available at a cost of $600 per participant and includes the curriculum manual. (Current costs need to be verified with the program.)

For Further Information

Melanie McCarthy
Responding in Peaceful and Positive Ways
Youth Violence Prevention Project
Virginia Commonwealth University

808 W. Franklin St., Box 2018
Richmond, VA 23284-2018

Telephone: 804-828-8793
Fax: 804-827-1511

E-mail: mkmccart@saturn.vcu.edu

Web site: http://www.wkap.nl/

Say It Straight Training

Say It Straight Training is recommended as a promising Safe, Disciplined, and Drug-Free Schools program.

Program Description

Say It Straight (SIS) Training promotes wellness, self-awareness, personal and social responsibility, good communication skills, positive self-esteem, and positive relationships. At the same time, it attempts to prevent risky or destructive behaviors, such as alcohol, tobacco, and other drug use; violence; teen pregnancy; and behavior leading to HIV/AIDS. SIS is action oriented and utilizes visual, auditory, and kinesthetic modalities to involve people with different learning styles. The learning is cognitive, affective, and psychomotor and creates opportunities for people to discover their internal resources; connect to their deepest wishes for pro-social behavior; and develop the skills to express and implement these wishes in appropriate ways, even in difficult situations. The training is cocreated by the participants, which gives them ownership and responsibility for their training.

SIS has been implemented in schools and in other community settings. It has been used with youths on probation, in detention, and in chemical dependency treatment centers, as well as with chemically dependent mothers in residential treatment and their children. Within schools it is conducted in five to 10 regular sessions of approximately 50 minutes each. Participants cocreate their individual training through activities such as body-sculpting and guided visualizations; role-playing difficult interpersonal situations; and participating in and learning how to do group feedback sessions. Training can be done on consecutive days or at least twice a week to accommodate school needs. Program materials consist of a trainer's manual, workbooks for younger and older students and adults, questionnaires used in the training, and three optional videotapes. A condensed trainer's manual, workbooks for student and adults, and a student questionnaire are available in Spanish.

Program Quality

Reviewers found that the program clearly outlined its goals and objectives and correlated them with the activities of the participants. Extensive documentation of the program's theoretical base, which was found to support soundly the goals of the program, was noted by reviewers. The program clearly demonstrated its relevance to the intended population, and its implementation methods were highly rated by reviewers for involving youths in the program content and delivery.

Evidence of Efficacy

SIS was evaluated through four studies. Research results were available for students in grades five through 12, parents, and other adults. Three studies used pre-post, quasi-experimental designs, and one study used a pre-post, randomized design. Reviewers concluded that the program's replication of behavioral outcomes using quasi-experimental studies and objective measures (e.g., suspensions and police records) helped overcome problems resulting from the lack of a true experimental design controlling for differences between treatment and control groups in all of the four studies. Reviewers reported that the program also showed positive outcomes for assertiveness/attitudinal skills, and that the attitudinal measure had good internal consistency and seemed valuable as a measure related to a risk factor. They agreed that program outcomes were consistently positive, although the best studies using the best outcome measures were short-lived.

In the experimental study, one out of three schools was randomly selected to participate in the program. The experimental school had 799 students in grades six to eight, and the control schools had 1,539 students in the same grades. Results showed statistically significant behavioral and attitudinal outcomes in favor of the experimental group in terms of 1) reductions in the number of students who incurred AOD-related school suspensions or referrals, and 2) increases in student willingness to implement constructive decisions in difficult situations and to feel more at ease doing so.

Professional Development Resources and Program Costs

Training occurs through a train the trainer model. Trainers receive a manual that contains a step-by-step description of their work with students, parents, and other community members. On-site support is available in some areas, and trainers can receive support via e-mail. The cost estimate for the first year for a school of 600 to 1,000 students is $2,600, including training and support. Parent workbooks are $6.50 each. The cost of workbooks for students or adults can be minimized by obtaining rights to copy workbooks for 15 to 30 cents per workbook, depending on the workbook. The cost in the second year of the program is just the price of the workbooks for incoming students. (Current costs need to be verified with the program.)

For Further Information

Paula Englander-Golden or David E. Golden
Say It Straight Foundation

6254 Paseo Elegancia
Carlsbad, CA 92009

Telephone: 760-431-1147
Fax: 509-278-7009

E-mail: sayitstraight-info@sayitstraight.org

Web site: http://www.sayitstraight.org

SCARE Program

The SCARE Program is recommended as a promising Safe, Disciplined, and Drug-Free Schools program.

Program Description

The SCARE Program is an anger and aggression management program for children and adolescents. The primary goals of the program are to teach young people about emotions, including anger and aggression, and to help them recognize alternatives to violent behavior and aggressive responses. It also aims to encourage young people to make good decisions in response to provocative situations.

This program was developed to focus exclusively on violence and aggression beginning in early adolescence, because a growing body of evidence has consistently indicated that early adolescence can be a critical developmental period. The SCARE Program adopts the perspective that the reattribution of perceived offenses and the control and management of resulting anger are of prime importance in preventing violent and aggressive acts from occurring. Literature has indicated that therapeutic intervention can effectively reduce anger. The SCARE Program was constructed as a treatment package focusing on anger management and coping skills for children and adolescents.

The program involves a total of 15 different sessions clustered into three distinct yet related sections: 1) recognizing anger and violence in the community, 2) managing and reducing self-expressions of anger, and 3) defusing anger and violence in others. The program is delivered weekly, twice a week, or daily in 45- to 50-minute sessions. The curriculum was designed for broad-scale implementation by teachers, counselors, law enforcement officers, graduate or undergraduate students, or adult volunteers.

Program Quality

This program received high marks for its focus and clear goals. According to reviewers, the program's activities consistently reinforced the application of acquired knowledge and contributed to the likelihood of attaining the stated goals. Additionally, the program materials were found to contain all the necessary information to achieve those goals. Reviewers noted that the body of literature cited sustained the program's theoretical foundation.

Evidence of Efficacy

Reviewers found the SCARE Program study design and data analysis to be adequate, despite attrition issues, the absence of behavioral measures, and the lack of distal measurement of outcomes beyond the eight-week post-test. They noted that the study's statistically significant outcome related to anger, and that the causal link between anger and substance use, violence, and conduct program behaviors was not addressed.

Participants in the SCARE Program demonstrated statistically significant decreases in state anger and trait anger and increases in anger control when compared with the control group on a self-report measure. The evaluation used a pre-post experimental design with random assignment of individual students to the treatment group. The study involved a multiethnic sample of male and female middle school adolescents in grades six to eight, and program effects were measured through the use of a self-report inventory assessing the experience and expression of anger.

Professional Development Resources and Program Costs

The SCARE Program is presented in an easy step-by-step format that assumes the leader has no formal training in teaching or counseling. Although not required, practice training by group leaders may result in greater treatment gains. Program materials consist of a leader's manual and a reproducible student workbook. Everything necessary to conduct the program is contained in the leader's manual. The current cost of the SCARE Program is $49.99. It is available through Kendall/Hunt Publishing, 1-800-542-6657, ext. 3087. (Current costs need to be verified with the program.)

For Further Information

Alan Vincent
SCARE Program
Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company

4050 Westmark Dr.
P.O. Box 1840
Dubuque, IA 52004-1840

Telephone: 1-800-542-6657, ext. 3087

Evaluation Information
D. Scott Herrmann
Department of Counseling Psychology
Faculty of Education
University of British Columbia

Vancouver, BC
Canada V6T 1Z4


J. Jeffries McWhirter
Arizona State University

P.O. Box 870611
Tempe, AZ 85287-0611

Telephone: 480-965-4876
Fax: 480-965-0300

E-mail: mcwhirter@asu.edu

Skills, Opportunity, and Recognition

Skills, Opportunity, and Recognition is recommended as a promising Safe, Disciplined, and Drug-Free Schools program.

Program Description

Skills, Opportunity, and Recognition (SOAR), formerly know as the Seattle Social Development Program, is a three-part intervention for teachers, parents, and students in grades one through six. It is a universal prevention program with interventions designed to reduce specific, empirically identified risk factors and to increase protective factors at the individual, peer, family, and school levels. The three major components to the intervention, each with its own age-appropriate skill set, are Teacher Training in Classroom Instruction and Management, Child Social and Emotional Skill Development, and Parent Training.

The package of interventions is guided theoretically by the social development model. Research has shown that teachers can improve children's attitudes toward school, behavior at school, and academic achievement through effective methods of instruction and management. This program provides a way to organize risk and protective factors into causal pathways. It hypothesizes that children learn patterns of behavior, whether pro-social or antisocial, through a process that involves four constructs: perceived opportunities for involvement with others, the degree of involvement, the skills to participate in these involvements, and the rewards and costs they perceive from their performance in involvements.

In the teacher-training component of the program, teachers receive 10 days of in-service training to learn proactive classroom management skills, interactive teaching strategies, and cooperative learning techniques. In the child skill development component, students receive four hours of training in problem-solving, conflict resolution, and communication, in addition to skills in recognizing and resisting social influences to engage in problem behaviors. The parent training component teaches parents behavior management skills, academic support skills, and skills to reduce their child's risks for drug use. Parents receive 15 days of training in three workshops over two years.

Program Quality

Reviewers found that the program clearly outlined the goals to teach pro-social skills to students through the implementation of a multiple-component intervention. The goals also were found to be strongly correlated to the research about promoting a child's attachment to school and family. Reviewers stated that the research and theoretical foundation of the program provided particularly strong support for improving children's behavior at school. Skills for both the teachers and parents were found to be appropriate for the varying age groups of youths addressed in this program.

Evidence of Efficacy

Reviewers found that the program presented well-designed multiple evaluation studies using random assignment of subjects and controls as well as quasi-experimental designs. Reviewers summarized that the evaluation was excellent in terms of strong design, reliable and valid measures, appropriate data analysis, and statistically significant outcomes. The program has conducted evaluations since the mid-1980s, and interventions have focused on different age groups for different lengths of time. All of the interventions were carefully evaluated. Reviewers found evidence of statistically significant effects in favor of the experimental group, as well as some mixed results.

Evaluation studies included an experimental pre-post control group design with 285 first- and second-grade students from seven schools in the experimental group and 173 first- and second-grade students from six of the same seven schools in the control group. After two years of intervention, experimental group males were rated less aggressive and externalizing-antisocial than those in the control group and females were rated less self-destructive, to a statistically significant degree. A longitudinal comparison group study with 199 fifth-grade experimental students and 709 fifth-grade control students showed that the intervention group students reported statistically significant less initiation of alcohol use and delinquency compared with the control students. Additional longitudinal comparison group studies following students who received full intervention at grades one through six up to the age of 18 demonstrated statistically significant outcomes in favor of experimental students on measures of childhood and adolescent problem behaviors such as aggression, violence, alcohol and drug use, delinquency, and school misbehavior.

Professional Development Resources and Program Costs

Professional development and training to implement this program include several parts: 1) a curriculum in cognitive and social skill training, 2) teacher training in classroom management and interactive teaching strategies, and 3) parent training through a seven-session "Catch 'em Being Good" workshop, a five-session "Preparing for the Drug-Free Years" workshop, and a five-session "How to Help Your Child Succeed in School" workshop. There is a six-day leader training to prepare teachers to facilitate the parent workshops. There is a six-day principal/facilitator training to facilitate the teacher training. The estimated cost of the combined SOAR intervention for six years is $2,991 per student, or about $80,000 per school for a two-year installation with all training, workshops, and ongoing technical assistance. (Current costs need to be verified with the program.)

For Further Information

Channing Bete Company
Skills, Opportunity, and Recognition

One Community Place
South Deerfield, MA 01373-0200

Telephone: 1-877-896-8532
Fax: 1-800-499-6464

E-mail: PrevSci@channing-bete.com

Web site: http://www.channing-bete.com

Evaluation Information

J. David Hawkins
Social Development Research Group
School of Social Work
University of Washington

9725 3rd Avenue NE, Suite 401
Seattle, WA 98115

Telephone: 206-543-7655
Fax: 206-543-4507

Web site: http://depts.washington.edu/sdrg/

Students Managing Anger and Resolution Together Team

Students Managing Anger and Resolution Together Team is recommended as a promising Safe, Disciplined, and Drug-Free Schools program.

Program Description

Students Managing Anger and Resolution Together (SMART) Team is a multimedia program for students in grades five to nine. It is a universal violence prevention program designed for use in schools by students using the Macintosh software independently, either alone or in pairs. The program's goals are to increase students' repertoire of nonviolent conflict resolution strategies and anger management strategies, to decrease the incidents of violent behavior, and to increase acts of pro-social behavior.

Skills taught through the program increase in difficulty level from novice to expert. The authors consulted with a panel of 10 teenage advisers throughout the development of the program. The input of this panel shaped the composite four characters that appear throughout the modules as advisers.

SMART Team's computer instruction program uses the four teenage characters to give advice and feedback to students as they interact with scenarios and questions. Interactive interviews, cartoons, game shows, and animation are used to teach anger management, dispute resolution, and perspective taking. The modules can be used in sequence or independently, because key concepts are reinforced throughout each module of the program. The software accommodates students' learning needs at various stages of mastery. The content of SMART Team is similar to commonly used conflict mediation curricula and can be integrated with other violence prevention strategies a school may implement.

Program Quality

This program was found to have clearly stated goals and a well-founded rationale. The computer format was considered by reviewers to be appropriate for delivery to the specified age group. The format of the modules, allowing individual or paired use, was also identified by reviewers as a positive attribute of the program. Additionally, reviewers noted that the characters in the materials positively represented many types of people.

Evidence of Efficacy

SMART Team presented evidence of efficacy from two evaluation studies. The first study was an intervention-only pilot test with 81 seventh-graders using a four-week pre-post test design and a teen conflict survey instrument. The results were replicated in a second evaluation study using a 13-week pre-post test, matched intervention and control group design with 321 sixth-, seventh-, and eighth-graders who had access to the SMART Team software and a control group of 195 students in the same school who did not have access. This evaluation used a survey, with scale reliability, assessing student self-reports of use of aggressive and violence-related behaviors. Evidence from the matched control group study showed that the program diminished sixth-, seventh-, and eighth-grade students' beliefs supportive of violence and increased their awareness of how to handle anger situations to a statistically significant degree for the intervention group. Results of both the matched control group study and the intervention-only pilot test showed that the program increased middle school students' intentions to use nonviolent strategies to a statistically significant degree for the intervention group. The intervention-only pilot test also yielded statistically significant evidence of decreased student self-reports of incidents of getting into trouble; and increased student declarative knowledge about conflict management terms and principles, self-reports of altruistic behavior, and self-knowledge of how certain behaviors could contribute to the escalation of a conflict situation.

Reviewers found that SMART Team presented an excellent evaluation, specifically in reference to overall design, outcome measures, and data analysis procedures. Reviewers concluded there were overall statistically significant effects in the long-term control group study on targeted risk and protective factors, but not on violence, although there was evidence of short-term reduction in getting into trouble in the intervention-only pilot test.

Professional Development Resources and Program Costs

Training needs are minimal. Students receive an initial introduction to the software and are capable of using the system independently. The major cost incurred for this program is the computer hardware necessary to run the program, but many schools already have compatible systems in place. A single-user site license, permitting the installation of the program on one stand-alone computer, is available for $195. A multiuser license, permitting installation on any number of stand-alone systems, costs $395. A network license is also available for $595. The special-edition SMART/Cool CD, from American Guidance Service, is available in sets of three CDs for $300 or 10 CDs for $595. (Current costs need to be verified with the program.)

For Further Information

Kris Bosworth
Students Managing Anger and Resolution Together Team
University of Arizona, Department of Educational Leadership
Smith Prevention Initiatives, College of Education

P.O. Box 210069
Tucson, AZ 85721-0069

Telephone: 520-626-4964; 1-800-362-7323 to order materials directly from Learning Multi Systems
Fax: 520-626-6005

E-mail: boswortk@u.arizona.edu

Web site: http://drugstats.org

Social Decision Making
and Problem Solving

Social Decision Making and Problem Solving is recommended as a promising Safe, Disciplined, and Drug-Free Schools program.

Program Description

Social Decision Making and Problem Solving (SDM/PS) aims to establish a multiyear program of classroom-based training in social and emotional skills as part of an existing elementary school curriculum. The primary goal of this program is to prevent elementary school students from making unhealthy life decisions by teaching them the skills that form the foundation necessary to think clearly under stress and in emotional and socially complex situations. The program targets the following competency areas: 1) skills needed for self-control, 2) behaviors linked with peer acceptance and the ability to work cooperatively in groups, 3) problem-solving and decision-making skills, and 4) the ability to apply social and emotional capacities in response to changing social situations and demands.

The curriculum is based on empirical evidence predictive of a wide range of later-life outcomes and is used as a vehicle for integrating social and emotional learning into formal and regulated school operations.

SDM/PS instruction is organized into three domains: readiness skills for decision-making, instruction in social decision-making and social problem-solving, and application of social decision-making skills. The Curriculum Guide has operationalized a set of skills linked empirically with social competence and peer acceptance, and systematic skill-building procedures are used to teach course objectives. The curriculum contains a set of coordinated, sequenced, and scripted lesson materials and follow-through activities for elementary grades. Materials include a set of procedures for staff development activities, ongoing program monitoring, feedback gathering, parent and whole school involvement, and methods for evaluating effectiveness.

Program Quality

Reviewers found the goals of the program compelling and appropriate to the population. The repetition of skills reinforced the lessons. A wide variety of real-life and academic applications were made to promote internalization of skills and the transfer and generalization of skills to situations linked with the prevention of substance abuse, violence, teenage pregnancy, tobacco use, and more. Reviewers found the developmental stages of students effectively addressed, especially in the videotape materials.

Evidence of Efficacy

Reviewers found that the program evaluation showed positive changes in teachers' use of questioning to facilitate problem-solving thinking; children improved their social decision-making skills; and, upon follow-up, program students reported lower use of alcohol and a decrease in several areas of conduct problem behavior. The evaluation was a quasi-experimental design study, using nonexposed students as a comparison group. Reviewers agreed that the design and data analysis were appropriate and that the measures were reliable and valid for testing this program, despite attrition-related validity issues.

SDM/PS presented several evaluation studies demonstrating evidence of efficacy, including a pre-post, control group design that was replicated across three different districts with consistent results. The within-district control group study consisted of 101 experimental and 99 control fourth-grade students. The comparison-district group comprised 224 experimental and 120 comparison fourth-grade students. Students who received the intervention showed increases in their ability to give competent, pro-social solutions to problem situations; to name characteristics of friendships; and to know when they are upset and how to approach someone else who is upset. They also demonstrated statistically significant increases in problem-solving abilities of interpersonal sensitivity, problem analysis, and planning.

A delayed control design compared groups that had no, partial, and full implementation one year after the intervention, which was held in the fifth grade. Students in the full-implementation group showed statistically significant improvement based on frequency and problem intensity measures over those in the groups that received partial or no implementation. A control group design followed up at grades nine through 11 on students who had received the treatment in grades four and five. Results demonstrated statistically significant improvements, compared with no-treatment controls, in a variety of behavioral domains, including reduction in antisocial behavior (e.g., substance use, vandalism, interpersonal violence, and self-destructive behavior), improved peer relations, and higher levels of self-efficacy.

Professional Development Resources and Program Costs

The Curriculum Guide, which includes all reference and background information, evaluation materials, and master reproducible worksheets (only one copy needed per building), costs $75. The individual teacher curriculum is $35. The extent of training ranges from program "awareness" to multi-day sessions and ongoing multiyear program- and school-based consultations. Fees vary between $750 and $1,550 per day, depending on time, number of trainers needed, and the specifics of the school's training needs. When trainers must travel to the adoption site, their expenses for transportation, meals, and lodging must be added to training costs. Teachers participating in the in-service training are assessed a $50 materials fee, which covers a teacher's guide, training packet, and set of classroom posters for a standard introductory-level training. (Current costs need to be verified with the program.)

For Further Information

Linda Bruene Butler
Social Decision Making and Problem Solving
University of Medicine and Dentistry
University Behavioral Health Care
Institute for Quality Research and Training

335 George St.
New Brunswick, NJ 08901

Telephone: 732-235-9280 or 1-800-642-7762
Fax: 732-235-9277

E-mail: spsweb@umdnj.edu

Evaluation Information

Maurice Elias
Department of Psychology
Rutgers University

53 Avenue E, Livingston Campus
Piscataway, NJ 08854-8046

E-mail: melias@rci-rutgers.edu

Web site: http://www.EQParenting.com

Teenage Health Teaching Modules

Teenage Health Teaching Modules is recommended as a promising Safe, Disciplined, and Drug-Free Schools program.

Program Description

Teenage Health Teaching Modules (THTM) is a comprehensive health curriculum for grades six through 12. Students learn and practice seven essential skills for adopting and maintaining healthy behaviors: communication, decision-making, goal-setting, risk assessment, self-assessment, health advocacy, and healthy self-management.

The overall goal of THTM is to provide adolescents with the knowledge, attitudes, and practices necessary to improve and maintain their health and well-being. The hallmark of THTM is its student-centered, interactive approach to health instruction. The program also attends to students' previous knowledge and beliefs about health. THTM helps students to uncover, examine, and evaluate their own misconceptions and beliefs, and to reconcile them with accurate information, healthy behaviors, and their goals for the future. Unlike single-topic health curricula, THTM provides a consistent framework for all critical adolescent health topics, including violence prevention and alcohol, tobacco, and other drug use.

THTM was created in response to the pressing need for a comprehensive approach to secondary school health education. Single-topic health curricula tend to require several weeks or a full semester to implement, resulting in the neglect of other critical health content areas.

The THTM curriculum is a series of 23 modules grouped at three grade levels: six to eight, nine and 10, and 11 and 12. Each module consists of a teacher's guide with detailed instructions for conducting classroom activities. Although modules are designed to complement and reinforce one another, they may be used individually.

Program Quality

Reviewers found the holistic nature of the program to be an asset in achieving its clearly outlined goals. This comprehensive program was also highly rated by reviewers for its rationale and its ability to integrate diversity issues into the curriculum, a real plus for overall effectiveness. The program's emphasis on the association among cognition, affect, and behavior was found to be particularly relevant to both violence prevention and substance use prevention.

Evidence of Efficacy

The evaluation study of the THTM program used a quasi-experimental, pre-post, randomized control group design, with 1,291 students in the THTM treatment group and 1,132 students in the control group. Reviewers agreed that the THTM study represented a massive evaluation of the program that used a methodologically sound design and appropriate data analysis techniques, including the use of multiple data analytic strategies to strengthen the study's findings.

Reviewers found sufficient evidence to conclude that the THTM program had the potential for long-term effectiveness. Positive results were observed at treatment plus four months, which was approximately one year post-baseline. Statistically significant results were demonstrated for high school students. THTM students demonstrated statistically significant increases in the percentage of seniors who did not smoke cigarettes or use smokeless tobacco for 30 days, and a statistically significant reduction in the mean number of cigarettes smoked and incidents of illegal drug use over a period of 30 days. Despite some concern about the attrition rate, reviewers noted that the overall numbers of participants in the study lent credence to the positive findings.

Professional Development Resources and Program Costs

The program strongly recommends that teachers receive THTM training, which is available through certified trainers. Approximately 50 certified trainers are currently located throughout the country. Training costs for teachers range from free to $150 per teacher per workshop. Technical assistance for THTM users is available through the developer's toll-free telephone line.

A complete copy of THTM for grades six to 12 costs $999.95, but packages can be purchased separately for grades six to eight ($409.95), grades nine and 10 ($359.95), and grades 11 and 12 ($284.95). Individual modules are available for $25 to $80. Photocopying student handouts averages $7.20 per student per year. (Current costs need to be verified with the program.)

For Further Information

Erica Macheca
Teenage Health Teaching Modules
Center for School Health Programs
Education Development Center, Inc.

55 Chapel St.
Newton, MA 02458

Telephone: 617-969-7100
Fax: 617-244-3436

E-mail: EMacheca@edc.org

Web site: http://www.thtm.org/

The Think Time Strategy

The Think Time Strategy is recommended as a promising Safe, Disciplined, and Drug-Free Schools program.

Program Description

The Think Time Strategy addresses disruptive behaviors in a manner that alleviates many of the problems associated with traditional classroom management approaches used in elementary schools. Although the Think Time Strategy was designed as a universal prevention intervention for K-9 populations, adequate evidence of efficacy was presented only for seriously emotionally disturbed (SED) populations. The Think Time Strategy requires that two or more teachers work together and helps teachers catch disruptive behavior early. Teachers send a disruptive student to a Think Time classroom, where a different teacher directs the student to a Think Time desk, which is located in an area free from distractions. That teacher initiates a debriefing process after the student has had "thinking time." The process includes a number of steps: for example, having the student fill out a form, having the teacher check the form, and returning the student to the original classroom.

The Think Time Strategy has five interrelated goals: to enable teachers and students to cut off a negative social exchange or power struggle over disruptive behaviors; to eliminate coercive interaction patterns between teachers and students; to initiate a positive social exchange between teachers and students; to include students in the process of addressing their disruptive behavior; and to decrease the variability in teachers' responses to disruptive behavior.

This strategy was developed due to a concern that many of the classroom management systems or strategies that teachers use to deal with students who exhibit disruptive behaviors do not work well. Research has shown that attempts to stop disruptive behavior sometimes aggravate the problem and often play a key role in establishing ongoing coercive family interactions.

Program Quality

The reviewers rated this program highly for its goals, which were identified as explicit, appropriate for the intended population, and supported by research. The skills taught were found by reviewers to be congruent with the protective factors indicated by the program. According to the reviewers, the program's rationale was both clearly stated and substantially documented in research and literature.

Evidence of Efficacy

Reviewers found that the evaluation used a methodologically sound research design, established the reliability and validity of the measures, used statistical analysis when possible, and tried to control for many variables in the test design, such as gender and attrition. Reviewers commented primarily on one of the three studies provided by the program. They noted that the study of highly disruptive behaviors of children with severe emotional or behavioral disorders was applicable not to all student populations, but only to the seriously emotionally disturbed (SED) population. They agreed that the evaluation results demonstrated positive effects for the SED population.

The program's three research studies used several evaluation designs, including pre-post quasi-experimental, continuous intervention time series, and multiple baseline across classrooms. Reviewers determined that convincing evidence of efficacy was found only in the multiple baseline study. The multiple baseline study was conducted across three fully self-contained special education classrooms serving 25 students classified as seriously emotionally disturbed. The sample comprised three female and 22 male students ranging in academic levels from first to sixth grades. Results showed that the average number of critical events (e.g., verbal and physical aggression) decreased by 77 percent weekly across all three classrooms and that two of the three classrooms continued to show decreases in the number of critical events during follow-up. In addition, the average duration of estimated on-task time that students spent increased by 34 percent weekly across all three classrooms, and all three classrooms continued to demonstrate increases in on-task performance during follow-up.

The pre-post comparison study conducted in elementary schools serving large numbers of students at risk for school failure showed statistically significant increases in the behavioral adjustment, school survival skills, and academic performance of the experimental students. However, reviewers determined that it was difficult to attribute these effects to the Think Time Strategy, which was one of four main components in the study, when just the implementation of a schoolwide effort, regardless of strategy, may have accounted for the effects.

Professional Development Resources and Program Costs

The Think Time Strategy offers a 35-minute, video-based training to ensure a high degree of fidelity to the program. The cost is $49 from Sopris West. (Current costs need to be verified with the program.)

For Further Information

Sopris West
The Think Time Strategy

4093 Specialty Place
Longmont, CO 80504

Telephone: 1-800-547-6747
Fax: 1-888-819-7767

Web site: http://www.sopriswest.com

Evaluation Information

J. Ron Nelson
University of Nebraska, Lincoln
Center for At Risk Student Services, Barkley Center

Lincoln, NE 68583-0738

Telephone: 402-472-0283
Fax: 402-472-7697

E-mail: rnelson8@unl.edu

Office of Educational Research and Improvement
Office of Elementary and Secondary Education
U.S. Department of Education

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Last Modified: 10/19/2009