Program

Dec 03, 2015

OVERVIEW

The Rainbow Days Curriculum-Based Support Group is a preventive intervention that uses an educational support group process to deliver a coping and social skills curriculum to small groups of children. The program is directed to children assessed to be at risk for substance abuse, delinquency, and violence. An experimental study of elementary school children in Grades 2-5 found that the intervention resulted in significant improvements in anti-substance use attitudes and intentions, substance use, rebellious behavior, and anti-social attitudes.

DESCRIPTION OF PROGRAM

Target population: Elementary school students, ages 8 to 11 years old

The Rainbow Days Curriculum-Based Support Group is a 12-week curriculum that provides a combination of substance abuse prevention, youth development, and coping and social skills education for children who are assessed to be at high risk for substance abuse, delinquency, and violence. Each weekly meeting consists of a one-hour support group session, and groups are led by trained adult facilitators. Topics covered in the curriculum include self-concept, feelings, anger, dreams and goal-setting, healthy choices, friends, peer pressure, and family chemical dependency.

EVALUATION OF PROGRAM

Hedl, J. J. (2009). Reducing interrelated risks for substance abuse, delinquency and violence: Effects of the Rainbow Days’ Curriculum-Based Support Group Program. National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices.

Evaluated population: A total of 661 elementary school students were randomized into the intervention group (n=164) or the control group (n=497). There were a total of 497 males and 164 females. The sample included 47 percent Hispanic, 35 percent African American, 11 percent white, 3 percent Asian, and 4 percent other.

Approach: Participants were elementary school students in grades 2-5. All students in five urban schools participated in the study. The intervention groups in each school were randomly selected from groups of students identified by school counselors and faculty as being at risk for early substance use and future delinquency and violence. The randomization method for participants used computer-generated random numbers. The four outcome measures used in this study were: 1) substance use, 2) rebellious behavior, 3) anti-social attitudes, and 4) anti-substance use attitudes and intentions. A 28-item questionnaire was administered to all students prior to and after the 12-week small group intervention. The attrition rate was 9.3%

Results: Positive and significant results were found for all the outcome measures, including: 1) a reduction in self-reported 30-day use of inhalants, 2) improved anti-substance use attitudes and intentions, 3) reduced anti-social attitudes, and 4) reduced rebellious behavior. The impact was most effective for students at the extremes of the pretest score distributions (for example, students who pretested with greater rebellious behavior).

SOURCES FOR MORE INFORMATION

References

Hedl, J. J. (2009). Reducing interrelated risks for substance abuse, delinquency and violence: Effects of the Rainbow Days’ Curriculum-Based Support Group Program. National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices.

Contact Information

John J. Hedl, Jr., Ph.D.

Health Care Education & Research

The University of Texas

Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas

5323 Harry Hines Blvd.

Dallas, TX 75390-9089

Email: John.Hedl@UTSouthwestern.edu

KEYWORDS: Children (3-11), Males and Females (Co-ed), White/Caucasian, Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino, Urban, School-based, Counseling/Therapy, Social Skills/Life Skills, Marijuana/Illicit/Prescription Drugs, Delinquency, Aggression

Program information last updated on 12/3/15

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