SPORT PPW Effects on Multiple Adolescent Health Risks

SPORT PPW Effects on Multiple Adolescent Health Risks

The one-lesson evidence-based SPORT (Alcohol/Drug) Prevention Plus Wellness (PPW) program was provided to students in New York City high schools by school counselors during the 2023-2024 academic year.

Students were provided with an online pretest survey before the SPORT PPW lesson and a posttest after the lesson.

A total of 729 students completed a pretest survey and 565 completed a posttest survey.  At pretest, most youth were male (57%), 14 years of age (53%), and were Hispanic (38%), Black (27%), or White (26%).

Healthy Behaviors

The percentage of students who intend to engage in healthy behaviors most days increased from pretest to posttest, including:

  • Get physical activity: 5%
  • Get 8 or more hours sleep: 12%
  • Eat fruits and vegetables: 6%
  • Eat breakfast: 8%
  • Practice stress control or relaxation skills: 11%
  • Set health goals: 6%

In addition, the percentage of youth who said they were unlikely or very unlikely to feel so sad or hopeless that they’d stop doing their usual activities increased 6% from pretest to posttest.

Perceived Harmfulness of Substance Use

Perceived harmfulness of using substances to health or healthy habits increased from pretest to posttest, including:

  • Alcohol: 12%
  • Cigarettes: 6%
  • Marijuana: 10%
  • E-Cigarettes: 8%
  • Opioids: 7%

At posttest, most students were unlikely or very unlikely to try the following substances:

  • Alcohol: 82%
  • Cigarettes: 97%
  • Marijuana: 87%
  • E-Cigarettes: 93%
  • Opioids: 95%

Most youth also reported at posttest that they liked the SPORT PPW lesson at least a little (96%) and that it will help them avoid drug use and increase their healthy habits (94%).

Student Comments

A sample of actual written comments students made about what they liked about the program are listed below.

  • The thing I liked most about this lesson was how it helped inform me about how harmful drugs can be to my mental health.
  • It helps with giving me valid reasons to not use any substances.
  • It made me think about my choices.
  • I liked the lesson because it made me do a self revision on my health
  • It allowed me to set a goal to improve physical fitness
  • it affected me by motivating me with new goals
  • Helps me reflect on my actions
  • It is inspiring and sending out messages to not do drugs or drink alcohol.
  • I think this reminded me that I have to eat a healthy breakfast and get enough sleep.
  • It helped me noticed that I need to better my diet a bit more as well as get more sleep
  • It can not only help me but my peers
  • It made me more concerned with my health and made me become more conscious.
  • it helped me with goal setting
  • I liked how the lesson made sure I had healthy habits, while also asking about bad habits.
  • What I liked the most is how this lesson raised awareness about how both alcohol and marijuana affect many things, like your sleep schedule, your physical and mental health, and your


The single-session SPORT Prevention Plus Wellness intervention had positive effects on increasing intentions to engage in multiple key healthy lifestyle behaviors while increasing perceived harmfulness of using common substances of abuse.

These findings, along with the increase in the proportion of youth not feeling sad or hopeless, indicate the effects of the program on improving mental as well as physical health of participants.

Over 9 in 10 students both liked the SPORT PPW program and found it helpful for improving their health habits.  Student comments provide further evidence of the positive impact of the program across health risk and health promoting behaviors of adolescents.

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