Program

Mar 15, 2007

OVERVIEW

Reconnecting Youth is a school-based program designed to target high-risk students (9th-12th grade) who demonstrate multiple problems such as depression, aggression, and substance use. The program is designed to increase school performance, decrease drug involvement, and improve mood management. An experimental evaluation shows that participation in Reconnecting Youth decreased drop-out rates, substance use, anger control problems, and aggressive tendencies in teens.

DESCRIPTION OF PROGRAM

Target population: High-risk high school students with multiple socio-behavioral problems

Reconnecting Youth, a school-based program, was designed to target high-risk students in 9th through 12th grades who demonstrate multiple problems such as depression, aggression, and substance use (Eggert, Thompson, Herting, & Nicholas, 1995; Eggert, Thompson, Herting, Nicholas, Dickers, 1994). Program goals are to increase school performance, decrease drug involvement, and improve mood management. Reconnecting Youth’s components include promoting school bonds, healthy activities, and parent involvement, and teaching participants a crisis response plan.

EVALUATION(S) OF PROGRAM

Eggert, L. L., Thompson, E. A., Herting, J. R., & Nicholas, L. J. (1995). Reducing suicide potential among high-risk youth: Tests of a school-based prevention program. Suicide & Life-Threatening Behavior, 25, 276-296.

Eggert, L. L., Thompson, E. A., Herting, J. R., Nicholas, L. J., & Dickers, B. G. (1994). Preventing adolescent drug abuse and high school dropout through an intensive social network development program. American Journal of Health Promotion, 8, 202-215.

Evaluated population: High-risk high school students with multiple socio-behavioral problems

Results: At 5- and 10-month follow-ups, as compared to a randomly selected control group, the treatment group had a lower rate of school drop-out, a 7% decrease in alcohol and drug use (compared to a 14% increase among controls), a 54% decrease in hard drug use (compared to a 45% increase among controls), and a 24% decrease in drug use control problems (compared to an 18% increase among controls). Also at the follow-ups, the treatment group had a 48% decrease in anger control problems and aggressive tendencies as compared to a 30% decrease for controls as well as the treatment group having a significant decrease in depressive symptoms. However, the program did not affect suicidal behaviors (both groups had an 80% decline). Through additional analyses, the researchers suggest that teacher support, peer group support, monitoring school attendance, and skills training in self-esteem enhancement were all important components of the treatment plan.

SOURCES FOR MORE INFORMATION

Link to program curriculum:

http://www.solution-tree.com/Public/Media.aspx?parent=topic5&node=topic5All&ListProducts=true&Topic=HelpForYouthAtRisk&ProductType=allproducts

References:

Eggert, L. L., Thompson, E. A., Herting, J. R., & Nicholas, L. J. (1995). Reducing suicide potential among high-risk youth: Tests of a school-based prevention program. Suicide & Life-Threatening Behavior, 25, 276-296.

Eggert, L. L., Thompson, E. A., Herting, J. R., Nicholas, L. J., & Dickers, B. G. (1994). Preventing adolescent drug abuse and high school dropout through an intensive social network development program. American Journal of Health Promotion, 8, 202-215.

Program also discussed in the following Child Trends publication(s):

Zaff, J. F.
& Calkins, J. (2001). Background for community-level work on mental
health and externalizing disorders in adolescence: Reviewing the literature on
contributing factors
. Washington, DC: Child Trends.

Zaff,
J. F., Calkins, J., Bridges, L. J., & Margie, N. (2002). Promoting
positive mental and emotional health in teens: Some lessons from research

(Research brief). Washington , DC : Child Trends.

KEYWORDS: Adolescents, Youth, High School, Co-ed, School-Based, High-Risk, Aggression, Attendance, High School Completion/Dropout, Self-Esteem/Self-Concept, Alcohol Use, Tobacco Use, Marijuana/Illicit/Prescription Drugs, Academic Achievement/Grades, Academic Motivation/Self-Concept/Expectations/Engagement, Depression/Mood Disorders, Other Mental Health, Other Relationships, Manual is Available

Program information last updated 3/15/07