Use of a social and character development program to prevent substance use, violent behaviors, and sexual activity among elementary-school students in Hawaii

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Author(s)

  • Michael W. Beets
  • Brian R. Flay
  • Samuel Vuchinich
  • Frank J. Snyder
  • Alan Acock
  • Kate Burns
  • Isaac J. Washburn
  • Joseph Durlak

Detail(s)

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1438-1445
Journal / PublicationAmerican Journal of Public Health
Volume99
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2009
Externally publishedYes

Abstract

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) selfreported 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.

Citation Format(s)

Use of a social and character development program to prevent substance use, violent behaviors, and sexual activity among elementary-school students in Hawaii. / Beets, Michael W.; Flay, Brian R.; Vuchinich, Samuel; Snyder, Frank J.; Acock, Alan; Li, Kin-Kit; Burns, Kate; Washburn, Isaac J.; Durlak, Joseph.

In: American Journal of Public Health, Vol. 99, No. 8, 01.08.2009, p. 1438-1445.

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review