Published Research Evaluating SPORT PPW


SPORT PPW has been evaluated in several research studies funded by the National Institutes 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 (

  • 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 (

  • 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 Abuseexamined 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 (

  • 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.