SPORT© Prevention Plus Wellness
SPORT Prevention Plus Wellness (PPW) is an easy to use, single-session prevention with wellness program for professionals who want to promote active, healthy and substance-abuse free lifestyles among youth. SPORT PPW was developed with funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and is listed as an evidence-based program on the federal government’s National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices (NREPP).
SPORT PPW targets naturally motivating positive images to increase personal goal setting to improve multiple health habits and positive self-identity. SPORT PPW is highly flexible and can be used as a stand-alone program, or as an add-on component to other prevention, health or intervention programs. It can also be repeated over time, providing a sustained intervention.
The SPORT PPW Program was designed to help youth look and feel more active, fit and healthy by having them:
- Identify wellness enhancing behaviors, along with risk habits that interfere with reaching wellness behavior goals and positive self-images;
- Become aware of positive images of youth engaged in wellness promoting behaviors, and desired images of themselves in the future; and
- Make a commitment to set and monitor multiple goals to increase wellness promoting behaviors, while avoiding wellness harming habits.
The SPORT PPW Manual contains the following materials:
- Step-by-step implementation directions and tips;
- Brief self-administered youth health and fitness behavior screen;
- Tailored scripts for providing an individual youth or optional group lesson;
- Set of colorful slides to present during the lesson;
- Goal plan for motivating multiple behavior change;
- Group exercise to increase classroom interaction during the group lesson;
- Feedback survey for participating youth to evaluate the quality of the lesson;
- Implementer’s chart to assess the quality of the lesson presentation;
- Fidelity checklist to increase implementation reliability;
- Pre-posttest behavior outcome evaluation survey;
- Letter introducing the optional follow-up parent flyers in English and Spanish;
- Set of four parent flyers in English and Spanish;
- Phone protocol to ensure reception and use of parent flyers;
- Optional follow-up youth and parent web resources addressing increasing physical activity, eating healthy, getting adequate sleep, managing stress, and avoiding alcohol, tobacco, marijuana and other drug use; and
- Online PPW Program Implementer’s Training.
SPORT PPW is available in three versions for: 1) Children (age’s 7-10/3rd-5th grade school), 2) Young adolescents (age’s 10-14/middle school), and 3) Older adolescents (age’s 14-18/high school).
SPORT Prevention Plus Wellness programs with program manual, downloadable reproducible materials, online training with certification, and telephone and email program support. Certification is required to implement the SPORT PPW program. See a sample here.
Published Research Findings
SPORT PPW has been evaluated in several research studies funded by the NationalInstitutes of Health (NIH). An overview of these studies described below were published in the Journal of School Health, Prevention Science, Journal of Child and Adolescent Substance Abuse, and Journal of Behavioral Medicine.
SPORT PPW Study I: Young Adolescents
An initial study published in the Journal of School Health evaluated SPORT PPW with 465 middle school students showed that over time, young adolescents given the brief wellness-based prevention lesson significantly (http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1746-1561.2003.tb04181.x/references):
- reduced initiation of alcohol use,
- reduced alcohol problems,
- improved protective factors like self-control,
- reduced risk factors like perceived peer use of alcohol,
- increased moderate physical activity,
- increased vigorous exercise, three months after intervention, and
- increased parent-youth communication for parents receiving mailed communication materials.
SPORT PPW Study II: Older Adolescents
A second study published in Prevention Science tested SPORT PPW among 604 high school students showed that compared to youth in a health education control group, the brief wellness-based prevention lesson and flyer significantly (http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs11121-005-0012-3):
- reduced quantity of alcohol use,
- reduced frequency of alcohol use,
- reduced binge drinking,
- reduced the length of drinking,
- reduced the stage of initiating drinking,
- reduced frequency of cigarette smoking, and
- increased moderate physical activity three months after intervention.
In addition, one year after baseline, adolescents receiving SPORT PPW who were using drugs prior to intervention, compared to youth in a control group who were using drugs, showed significant:
- reductions in binge drinking,
- reductions in frequency of cigarette smoking,
- reductions in marijuana use,
- reductions in the initiation of cigarette use,
- reductions in initiation of marijuana use,
- increases in vigorous exercise, and
- increases in moderate physical activity.
The effect sizes of behavior outcomes from the brief wellness-based prevention intervention ranged from small to large. Effects were small to medium for youth in the entire sample, and were generally medium to large for the drug using subgroup.
SPORT PPW Study III: Parent Materials
A third study published in the Journal of Child & Adolescent Substance Abuse examined the stand-alone parent SPORT PPW print materials program among 684 high school students showed that compared to youth given health flyers, three parent postcards/flyers significantly (http://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ835065):
- reduced frequency of alcohol use,
- reduced alcohol-related problems,
- improved adolescent self-control and parental monitoring, and among drug using youth
- reduced frequency of alcohol use,
- reduced frequency of marijuana use,
- reduced initiation of alcohol use, and
- reduced initiation of marijuana use four months after intervention.
SPORT PPW Study IV: Cross-Cultural Evaluation
A fourth study evaluating SPORT PPW translated into Turkish language and implemented among 215 high school students in Istanbul, Turkey showed that compared to youth in a control group, the brief wellness-based prevention lesson significantly:
- increased vigorous and moderate physical activity,
- increased vegetable and fruit consumption,
- increased the duration of sleep,
- improved exercise self-efficacy,
- improved dietary self-efficacy,
- reduced the number of days in an unhealthy mental condition, and
- reduced the number of days youth were unable to do school activities three months after intervention.
Together, research published in refereed scientific journals show that the SPORT PPW wellness-based prevention intervention has a positive effect on both substance use and wellness behaviors among young and older adolescents in a single-lesson in-person format, and substance use behaviors among older adolescents in a print format. The brief in-person lesson was found to both prevent and reduce substance use behaviors and problems, with some behavior outcomes lasting up to year.
The study evaluating SPORT PPW in Turkey highlights the viability and strength of the wellness-based prevention approach for impacting multiple health behaviors among youth from diverse cultures. Additional recent research has supported findings that brief wellness-based prevention interventions can increase health-enhancing habits like fruit and vegetable consumption and stress management, while reducing substance use among American adolescents.
SPORT PPW Success Stories
“Materials are well organized, concise, and easy to follow with step-by-step instructions for implementers. Program materials are designed for implementation in a variety of settings (i.e., schools, communities, health centers, recreational centers) and include engaging handouts and other materials appropriate for younger and older adolescents. Program materials and additional resources can be found on the program Web site. Several levels of training are offered by the developer, and individual consultation is also available. For implementers interested in becoming certified, the developer offers trainings. Fidelity is strengthened by implementation guidelines that are clear and succinct and include scripts for teachers and coaches. Feedback sheets for use after each session, an outcome evaluation survey, and a follow-up phone call protocol for use when calling parents further support quality assurance.”
National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices (NREPP)
“The SPORT Prevention Plus Wellness program provides a whole body experience, where youth focus on improvements in their lives instead of drugs. Additionally, based on my observations a light bulb goes on when they connect the future self with the lifestyle they want to obtain of being healthy and happy.”
Barry Schmidt, Neighborhood Resource Center, Bay City, MI
“CUSD staff and students completed the SPORT Prevention Plus Wellness program training on Wednesday this week. All four of our high schools participated (1 teacher, and several students from each school). Through this training, I learned even more about SPORT – the theoretical underpinnings the program was developed to address, it’s cohesiveness, and holistic approach to the integration of prevention with wellness. I came away from this training with a clear understanding of why SPORT is an Evidence-Based program – it just works!
I am so very grateful that CUSD chose to include SPORT as the prevention program in our TUPE grant. Students and staff are enthusiastic and eager to implement, and the beauty of a single lesson format ensures that for the first time in a very long time, fidelity will be a breeze.
I just wanted to share my thoughts about Dr Werch’s program and his engaging training workshop. I understand that, although students have been involved in the past with implementation of SPORT across the nation, CUSD students are the very first ones that have ever been included as participants in the implementation training. Another great Youth Development activity! If you have any questions or would like to hear more, please let me know. Thank you!”
Ann E Brodsky, Tobacco Use Prevention Education Coordinator, Chico Unified School District, Chico, CA
“The SPORT Prevention Plus Wellness program has had a very positive influence on the students in our program. They all set goals for themselves along with making sure they try to live a healthier life style with good nutrition and plenty of exercise.”
Earl Washington, OASAS Program Manager, Boys & Girls Harbor, New York, NY
“The nice thing about SPORT Prevention Plus Wellness is that it touches on numerous topics. So for youth who have participated in many of our ATOD prevention work, SPORT brings a new approach to looking at substance use by incorporating overall wellness concepts. Especially for the youth who are actively involved in athletic activity, it aids in the discussion of how use can affect their athletic performance. Many prevention programs discuss the negativity of drug use, but this one reaches youth in a different way while also discussing topics of the benefits of sleep, breakfast, and the media.”
Kate Kinsley, MA, Prevention Specialist, Holcomb Behavioral Health Systems, Media, PA
“We have been implementing the SPORT Prevention Plus Wellness Program now for two years and it is great! Staff are finding that it is simple and easy to implement, and kids are responding with engagement.”
Bhavana Pahwa, MA, LCSW-R, PhD, White Plains Youth Bureau, White Plains, NY
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Prevention Plus Wellness, LLC
3595 Forest Bend Terrace
Jacksonville, FL 32224