New Research Evaluating PPW Programs in Group Settings

Most Prevention Plus Wellness (PPW) programs come with scripts for implementation to youth and adults individually and in groups.  The group scripts include the same content, PowerPoint slides and steps for implementation as the individual scripts. 

Below are four new data analyses of PPW programs implemented in group settings.  

SPORT PPW Post-Program Outcomes for Groups of Young Adolescents

SPORT Prevention Plus Wellness (PPW) was implemented to 1057 youth in groups over a three-year period (2020-2023) at 11 middle school districts and one Boys & Girls Clubs region across five states (New York, Michigan, Washington, Nebraska, and Missouri). 

Most youth were between the ages of 11-13 years old. 

Confidential online posttest surveys evaluating the SPORT Prevention Plus Wellness (PPW) program were administered immediately after the program was presented to youth.

Healthy Behavior Intentions

Youth intentions (very likely and likely) to engage in health-promoting behaviors within the next year are shown below.

  • 88% to get physical activity most days
  • 67% to get 8 or more hours of sleep most nights
  • 79% to eat fruits & vegetables or mostly healthy foods most days
  • 59% to eat a healthy breakfast every morning (n=394)
  • 67% to set goals to improve health or fitness (n=739)

Substance Use Intentions

Youth intentions (very unlikely and unlikely) to use various substances within the next year are shown below.

  • 83% will not drink alcohol
  • 95% will not smoke cigarettes
  • 94% will not use marijuana
  • 93% will not use e-cigarettes
  • 82% will not use opioids (n=740)

Perceived Harmfulness of Substance Use

Youth perceived harmfulness of using specific substances often (a great deal, a lot, and a moderate amount) to health and healthy behaviors are shown below (n=691).

  • 82% think alcohol use is harmful
  • 97% think cigarette smoking is harmful
  • 96% think marijuana use is harmful
  • 95% think e-cigarette use is harmful
  • 96% think opioid use is harmful

Comparing National Health Behavior Data

Health behavior data from the most recent (2019) Youth Risk Behavior Survey of US 9th grade students are shown below compared with SPORT PPW posttest behavioral intentions (BI) data.  Middle school data were not available for the nation.  

  • 49% got physical activity 5 or more days a week vs. 88% BI for SPORT PPW
  • 29% got 8 or more hours sleep every night vs. 67% BI for SPORT PPW
  • 59% ate vegetables and fruit every day vs. 79% BI for SPORT PPW
  • 36% ate breakfast every morning vs. 59% BI for SPORT PPW

Comparing National Substance Use Data

Substance use data from the most recent (2021) Monitoring the Future (MTF) survey of 8th grade students are shown below compared with SPORT PPW posttest behavioral intentions (BI).

  • 78% never drank alcohol vs. 83% BI for SPORT PPW
  • 90% never used marijuana vs. 94% BI for SPORT PPW
  • 93% never smoked a cigarette vs. 95% BI for SPORT PPW
  • 83% never vaped nicotine vs. 93% BI for SPORT PPW

Perceived harmfulness from regular use of specific substances from the most recent (2021) Monitoring the Future (MTF) survey of 8th grade students are shown below compared with SPORT PPW posttest perceived harmfulness data.

  • 27% think drinking 1-2 drinks daily is harmful vs. 82% for SPORT PPW
  • 40% think smoking 1-5 cigarettes daily is harmful vs. 97% for SPORT PPW
  • 52% think marijuana use is harmful vs. 96% for SPORT PPW
  • 22% think e-cigarette use is harmful (2018) vs. 95% for SPORT PPW

Conclusions

Confidential online posttest surveys collected immediately after providing the SPORT Prevention Plus Wellness program to groups of middle school-aged youth across five states show most adolescents intend to engage in all five targeted health behaviors of physical activity, sleep, two healthy eating habits, and goal setting (ranging from 88%-59%).

Similarly, most youth participating in the one-session SPORT PPW program did not intend to use alcohol, cigarettes, e-cigarettes, marijuana or non-medical opioids in the next year (ranging from 95%-82%).

Most youth receiving SPORT PPW also perceived regular use of each of the measured five substances as harmful to their health or health habits (ranging from 97%-82%).

While not identical measures, comparing SPORT PPW posttest data to national survey data of youth health behaviors, substance use and perceived substance use harmfulness showed that youth receiving the SPORT PPW program were likely to engage in more healthy habits, avoid various substances and perceive substance use as more harmful than the general population of US youth.

Youth Reactions to Participating in the SPORT PPW Program

SPORT Prevention Plus Wellness (PPW) was implemented to 1057 youth in groups over a three-year period (2020-2023) at 11 middle school districts and one Boys & Girls Clubs region across five states (New York, Michigan, Washington, Nebraska, and Missouri). 

Most youth were between the ages of 11-13 years old. 

Confidential online posttest surveys evaluating the SPORT Prevention Plus Wellness (PPW) program were administered immediately after the program was presented to youth.

A content analysis was conducted using participating youth responses to a question about what they liked best about the program.

Responses were first coded, line-by-line.  The frequency of coded words and phrases were determined and those with 10 or more mentions were included in the analysis.

Content Analysis Themes

Coded words and phrases were then grouped into themes.

A total of seven themes were identified and are listed below, along with the number of coded works/phrases for each.

  1. Alcohol and Drug Use: 12 codes
  2. Motivation: 18 codes
  3. Goals: 4 codes
  4. Healthy Behaviors: 11 codes
  5. Program Effects: 27 codes
  6. Self: 6 codes
  7. Lesson Quality and Aspects: 7 codes

The number of codes ranged from a high of 27 for the theme “Program Effects” to a low of four codes for the theme “Goals”.

Alcohol and Drug Use

The theme Alcohol and Drug Use included 12 codes, with the most frequently used code words/phrases being: drugs (180), use (132), alcohol (59), real (58), and bad (54).

Two sub-themes emerged. One sub-theme was labeled “Drugs” and included codes like drugs, alcohol and smoke.  The other sub-theme was titled “Effects” and included codes such as use, bad and real (e.g., dangers of drugs).

Motivation

The theme Motivation included 18 codes, with the most frequently used code words/phrases being: do (229), more (90), made me (44), not to (44), and motivat(e)(34).

Goals

The theme Goals consisted of four codes, including goal (87), set (81), goal setting (29), and plan (11).

Healthy Behaviors

The theme Healthy Behaviors included 11 codes, with the most frequently used being: health (159), healthy (86), eat (67), sleep (53), and sports (30).

Program Effects

The theme Program Effects included 27 codes, with the most frequent being: help (142), what (e.g., to do)(92), more (e.g., energy)(90), learn (77), and know (75).

Self

The theme Self consisted of six codes, including me (363), to you (113), self (31), myself (15), for you (13), and fit (10).

Lesson Quality and Aspects

The theme Lesson Quality and Aspects was composed of seven codes, with the most frequent being: all (e.g., of it)(93), talk (57), and good (34).

Two sub-themes emerged.  One sub-theme was titled program “Quality” and included codes like all, good, nothing, and a lot. The second sub-theme was labeled program “Aspects” and included codes like talk, questions, and activities.

Summary

The content analysis of young adolescent post-program comments about participating in a group implemented SPORT Prevention Plus Wellness program across five states identified seven themes.

These themes reflect the content and aims of the SPORT PPW program, including increasing awareness of alcohol and drug use and their effects, as well as health and specific healthy behaviors such as eating, sleep and sports.

Youth reported a focus on themselves and their goals and goal setting after participating in the SPORT PPW program which also reflect key program elements.

Youth motivation was a major post-program theme and reflected participants actions to “do” “more” and “made me” were influenced, which supports SPORT PPW as a motivational intervention.

Another major theme was program effects, which indicated youth found the SPORT PPW lesson helped them to learn, know and do more.

Finally, all program quality was rated largely as good, and participants particularly liked the talk, questions, and activities in the SPORT PPW lesson.

Conclusion

Together, the themes, sub-themes, codes and their frequencies highlight the SPORT Prevention Plus Wellness program as an effective motivational intervention that increased youth reflection on self and goal setting aimed as avoiding alcohol and drug use and increasing healthy habits.

Vaping PPW Post-Program Outcomes for Groups of Middle School Students

Vaping (E-Cigarette) Prevention Plus Wellness (PPW) was implemented to 623 youth in groups over a two-year period (2020-2022) at middle schools in South Carolina and Ohio.   

Most youth were between the ages of 12-13 years old. 

Confidential online posttest surveys evaluating the Vaping Prevention Plus Wellness (PPW) program were administered immediately after the program was presented to youth.

Healthy Behavior Intentions

Youth intentions (very likely and likely) to engage in health-promoting behaviors within the next year are shown below.

  • 88% to get physical activity most days
  • 63% to get 8 or more hours of sleep most nights
  • 78% to eat fruits and vegetables or mostly healthy foods most days
  • 59% to eat a healthy breakfast every morning (n=458)
  • 78% to set goals to improve health or fitness (n=458)

Substance Use Intentions

Youth intentions (very unlikely and unlikely) to use various substances within the next year are shown below.

  • 90% will not drink alcohol
  • 94% will not smoke cigarettes
  • 92% will not use marijuana
  • 88% will not use e-cigarettes
  • 95% will not use opioids or illegal drugs

Perceived Harmfulness of Substance Use

Youth perceived harmfulness of using specific substances often (a great deal, a lot, and a moderate amount) to health and healthy behaviors are shown below (n=458).

  • 85% think alcohol use is harmful
  • 88% think cigarette smoking is harmful
  • 85% think marijuana use is harmful
  • 87% think e-cigarette use is harmful
  • 88% think opioid use is harmful

Comparing National Health Behavior Data

Health behavior data from the most recent (2019) Youth Risk Behavior Survey of US 9th grade students are shown below compared with SPORT PPW posttest behavioral intentions (BI) data.  Middle school data were not available for the nation.  

  • 49% got physical activity 5 or more days a week vs. 88% BI for SPORT PPW
  • 29% got 8 or more hours sleep every night vs. 63% BI for SPORT PPW
  • 59% ate vegetables and fruit every day vs. 78% BI for SPORT PPW
  • 36% ate breakfast every morning vs. 59% BI for SPORT PPW

Comparing National Substance Use Data

Substance use data from the most recent (2021) Monitoring the Future (MTF) survey of 8th grade students are shown below compared with SPORT PPW posttest behavioral intention (BI) data.

  • 78% never drank alcohol vs. 90% BI for SPORT PPW
  • 90% never used marijuana vs. 92% BI for SPORT PPW
  • 93% never smoked a cigarette vs. 94% BI for SPORT PPW
  • 83% never vaped nicotine vs. 88% BI for SPORT PPW

Perceived harmfulness from regular use of specific substances from the most recent (2021) Monitoring the Future (MTF) survey of 8th grade students are shown below compared with SPORT PPW posttest perceived harmfulness.

  • 27% think drinking 1-2 drinks daily is harmful vs. 85% for SPORT PPW
  • 40% think smoking 1-5 cigarettes daily is harmful vs. 88% for SPORT PPW
  • 52% think marijuana use is harmful vs. 85% for SPORT PPW
  • 22% think e-cigarette use is harmful (2018) vs. 87% for SPORT PPW

Conclusions

Confidential online posttest surveys collected immediately after providing the Vaping Prevention Plus Wellness program to groups of middle school youth in two states show most adolescents intend to engage in all five targeted health behaviors of physical activity, sleep, two healthy eating habits, and goal setting (ranging from 88%-59%).

Similarly, most youth participating in the one-session Vaping PPW program did not intend to use alcohol, cigarettes, e-cigarettes, marijuana or non-medical opioids in the next year (ranging from 95%-82%).

Most youth receiving Vaping PPW also perceived regular use of each of the measured five substances as harmful to their health or health habits (ranging from 95%-88%).

While not identical measures, comparing Vaping PPW posttest data to national survey data of youth health behaviors, substance use and perceived substance use harmfulness showed that youth receiving the Vaping PPW program were likely to engage in more healthy habits, avoid various substances and perceive substance use as more harmful than the general population of US youth.

SPORT PPW Post-Program Outcomes for Groups of High School Students

SPORT Prevention Plus Wellness (PPW) was implemented to 504 youth in groups over a two-year period (2021-2023) at high schools in Georgia and New Jersey.   

Most youth were between the ages of 14-15 years old. 

Confidential online posttest surveys evaluating the SPORT Prevention Plus Wellness (PPW) program were administered immediately after the program was presented to youth.

Healthy Behavior Intentions

Youth intentions (very likely and likely) to engage in health-promoting behaviors within the next year are shown below.

  • 87% to get physical activity most days
  • 57% to get 8 or more hours of sleep most nights
  • 77% to eat fruits & vegetables or mostly healthy foods most days
  • 75% to set goals to improve health or fitness

Substance Use Intentions

Youth intentions (very unlikely and unlikely) to use various substances within the next year are shown below.

  • 75% will not drink alcohol
  • 92% will not smoke cigarettes
  • 80% will not use marijuana
  • 87% will not use e-cigarettes
  • 94% will not use opioids

Perceived Harmfulness of Substance Use

Youth perceived harmfulness of using specific substances often (a great deal, a lot, and a moderate amount) to health and healthy behaviors are shown below.

  • 88% think alcohol use is harmful
  • 91% think cigarette smoking is harmful
  • 81% think marijuana use is harmful
  • 88% think e-cigarette use is harmful
  • 91% think opioid use is harmful

Comparing National Health Behavior Data

Health behavior data from the most recent (2019) Youth Risk Behavior Survey of US high school students are shown below compared with posttest SPORT PPW behavioral intentions (BI) data.     

  • 44% got physical activity 5 or more days a week vs. 87% BI for SPORT PPW
  • 22% got 8 or more hours sleep every night vs. 57% BI for SPORT PPW
  • 59% ate vegetables and fruit every day vs. 77% BI for SPORT PPW

Comparing National Substance Use Data

Substance use data from the most recent (2021) Monitoring the Future (MTF) survey of 10th grade students are shown below compared with posttest SPORT PPW behavioral intentions (BI) data.

  • 65% never drank alcohol vs. 75% BI for SPORT PPW
  • 78% never used marijuana vs. 80% BI for SPORT PPW
  • 90% never smoked a cigarette vs. 92% BI for SPORT PPW
  • 72% never vaped nicotine vs. 87% BI for SPORT PPW

Perceived harmfulness from regular use of specific substances from the most recent (2021) Monitoring the Future (MTF) survey of 10th grade students are shown below compared with posttest SPORT PPW perceived harmfulness data.

  • 35% think drinking 1-2 drinks daily is harmful vs. 88% for SPORT PPW
  • 46% think smoking 1-5 cigarettes daily is harmful vs. 91% for SPORT PPW
  • 41% think marijuana use is harmful vs. 81% for SPORT PPW
  • 53% think vaping e-liquid with nicotine vs. 88% for SPORT PPW

Conclusions

Confidential online posttest surveys collected immediately after providing the SPORT Prevention Plus Wellness program to groups of high school youth in two states show most adolescents intend to engage in all five targeted health behaviors of physical activity, sleep, two healthy eating habits, and goal setting (ranging from 87%-57%).

Similarly, most youth participating in the one-session SPORT PPW program did not intend to use alcohol, cigarettes, e-cigarettes, marijuana, or non-medical opioids in the next year (ranging from 94%-75%).

Most youth receiving SPORT PPW also perceived regular use of each of the measured five substances as harmful to their health or health habits (ranging from 91%-81%).

While not identical measures, comparing SPORT PPW posttest data to national survey data of youth health behaviors, substance use and perceived substance use harmfulness showed that youth receiving the SPORT PPW program were likely to engage in more healthy habits, avoid various substances and perceive substance use as more harmful than the general population of US youth.