Sexual Abuse Prevention Concept Knowledge: Low Income Children Are Learning but Still Lagging.
ABSTRACT: School-based child sexual abuse (CSA) prevention programs have proliferated since beginning over 30 years ago. Research on program effectiveness has emphasized summative outcomes while under-reporting implementation and process fidelity, limiting reliable comparisons across programs and populations. External validity is further limited by racially and economically homogenous samples, or a failure to report such demographics. This article presents data from a CSA prevention program delivered to 2nd and 3rd grade public school children. A formative concept and item level analysis on the Children's Knowledge of Abuse Questionnaire at baseline and four week follow-up, as well as fidelity and implementation data, are reported. Results show that children learn and retain certain concepts, but vary widely in knowledge across items. This sample of low-income, minority children also show lower baseline and "learned" abuse prevention knowledge compared to published norms, which is not attributed to implementation variability. These data give critical insight into workshop effectiveness that is masked in summative reporting, yet essential to adapting and strengthening school-based CSA programs. Knowing the long-term consequences of adverse childhood experiences and disparate health outcomes linked to race and socioeconomic status, it is imperative to adequately assess CSA prevention program impact across diverse populations.
Project description:Previous research has demonstrated the importance of ensuring that programs are implemented as intended by program developers in order to achieve desired program effects. The current study examined implementation fidelity of Pathways to Health (Pathways), a newly developed obesity prevention program for fourth- through sixth-grade children. We explored the associations between self-reported and observed implementation fidelity scores and whether implementation fidelity differed across the first 2 years of program implementation. Additionally, we examined whether implementation fidelity affected program outcomes and whether teacher beliefs were associated with implementation fidelity. The program was better received, and implementation fidelity had more effects on program outcomes in fifth grade than in fourth grade. Findings suggest that implementation in school-based obesity programs may affect junk food intake and intentions to eat healthfully and exercise. School support was associated with implementation fidelity, suggesting that prevention programs may benefit from including a component that boosts school-wide support.
Project description:Childhood sexual abuse (CSA) is highly prevalent and associated with a wide variety of negative mental and physical health outcomes. School-based CSA education and prevention programs have shown promise, but it is unclear to what extent community-level characteristics are related to their effectiveness. The present cluster randomized controlled trial evaluated community-level moderators of the Safe@Lastprogramcomparedtoawaitlistcontrolcondition.(*) Knowledge gains from pre- to post-intervention were assessed in 5 domains: safe versus unsafe people; safe choices; problem-solving; clear disclosure; and assertiveness. Participants were 1177 students (46% White, 26% African American, 15% Hispanic, 4% Asian American, 6% Other) in grades 1 through 6 from 14 public schools in Tennessee. Multilevel models accounting for the nesting of children within schools revealed large effect sizes for the intervention versus control across all knowledge domains (d's ranged from 1.56 to 2.13). The effectiveness of the program was moderated by mean per capita income and rates of substantiated cases of child abuse and neglect in the community. Intervention effects were stronger for youth living in lower as compared to higher income counties, and for youth attending schools in counties with lower as compared to higher abuse/neglect rates. Child characteristics (sex, race) did not moderate intervention effects. This research identified two community-level factors that predicted the effectiveness of a CSA education and prevention program designed to improve children's knowledge of personal safety skills. School-based CSA prevention programs may require modification for communities with higher rates of child abuse and neglect.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Increasing children's physical activity (PA) at school is critical to obesity prevention and health promotion. Implementing novel, low-cost PA programs offers potential to contribute to children's in-school PA, particularly in resource-constrained schools. This evaluation describes implementation fidelity, reach, and dose of two PA programs in the Fueling Learning through Exercise (FLEX) Study. METHODS:Thirteen diverse, low-income Massachusetts elementary schools were recruited and randomized to the 100 Mile Club walking/running program (n?=?7) or CHALK/Just Move classroom activity break PA program (n?=?6). Intervention programs were delivered across two school years. Surveys with program champions/teachers and children, in-session measurement of children's PA by accelerometry (Actigraph GT3X) in a subset of schools, and key informant interviews were used to collect information on implementation, including fidelity, dose, reach, and sustainability, and to calculate an implementation score. RESULTS:Six CHALK/Just Move schools implemented the program in both years. Two schools randomized to 100 Mile Club did not implement at all, and only three schools implemented both years. Implementing schools had similar implementation scores (range?=?0-3; 100 Mile Club?=?2.0 vs. CHALK/Just Move?=?1.9) but fidelity to core and enhanced elements differed between programs. In 100 Mile Club schools, dose of program delivered was greater than in CHALK/Just Move schools (34.9 vs. 19.7?min per week). Dose of PA received per session was also greater in 100 Mile Club schools (n?=?55, 2 schools) compared with CHALK/Just Move schools (n?=?160, 2 schools) (13.6?min vs. 2.7?min per session). A slightly higher proportion of eligible children participated in CHALK/Just Move compared to 100 Mile Club (54.0% vs. 31.2%). Both programs were well received by champions/teachers and students. CONCLUSIONS:Program implementation varied across programs and schools, and erosion in delivery was seen over the two years. However, among implementing schools, additional PA was delivered and received, and the programs were generally well-received. Although school resource issues remain barriers to implemention, this evaluation demonstrates that low-cost programs may enhance PA opportunities. Future research should evaluate how multiple programs can be implemented to increase children's PA at school. TRIAL REGISTRATION:ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT02810834 . Registered May 11, 2015.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Sustained implementation of school-based prevention programs is low. Effective strategies are needed to enhance both high-level implementation fidelity and sustainability of prevention programs. OBJECTIVE:This proposed study aims to determine if the provision of either biweekly monitoring and feedback and site-based assistance and mentorship or both to at-risk and moderate-performing teachers with monitoring through an enhanced decision-making platform by the Ministry of Education (MOE) and Ministry of Health (MOH) based on the real-time implementation data will increase national implementation fidelity and result in sustained implementation over time. METHODS:This study will target government schools including 200 grade 6 teachers in 80 primary schools and 100 junior/middle high school teachers (and their classes) on 12 Bahamian islands. Teacher and school coordinator training will be conducted by the MOE in year 1, followed by an optimization trial among teachers in the capital island. Informed by these results, an implementation intervention will be conducted to train using different levels of educational intensity all at-risk and moderate-performing teachers. Subsequently selected training and implementation strategies will be evaluated for the national implementation of Focus on Youth in the Caribbean and Caribbean Informed Parents and Children Together in years 2 to 5. RESULTS:It is hypothesized that a more intensive training and supervision program for at-risk and moderate-performing teachers will enhance their implementation fidelity to the average level of the high-performing group (85%), an HIV prevention program delivered at the national level can be implemented with fidelity in grade 6 and sustained over time (monitored annually), and student outcomes will continue to be highly correlated with implementation fidelity and be sustained over time (assessed annually through grade 9). The proposed study is funded by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development from August 1, 2018, through May 31, 2023. CONCLUSIONS:The study will explore several theory-driven implementation strategies to increase sustained teacher implementation fidelity and thereby increase the general public health impact of evidence-based interventions. The proposed project has potential to make significant contributions to advancing school-based HIV prevention research and implementation science and serve as a global model for the Fast Track strategy. INTERNATIONAL REGISTERED REPORT IDENTIFIER (IRRID):PRR1-10.2196/14816.
Project description:School-based programs seem promising for child abuse prevention. However, research mainly focused on sexual child abuse and knowledge is lacking on how individual program components contribute to the effectiveness of school-based prevention programs for any form of child abuse. This study aimed to examine the overall effect of these school-based programs on (a) children's child abuse-related knowledge and (b) self-protection skills by conducting two three-level meta-analyses. Furthermore, moderator analyses were performed to identify how program components and delivery techniques were associated with effectiveness. A literature search yielded 34 studies (158 effect sizes; N = 11,798) examining knowledge of child abuse and 22 studies (99 effect sizes; N = 7804) examining self-protection skills. A significant overall effect was found of school-based programs on both knowledge (d = 0.572, 95% CI [0.408, 0.737], p < 0.001) and self-protection skills (d = 0.528, 95% CI [0.262, 0.794], p < 0.001). The results of the first meta-analysis on children's child abuse knowledge suggest that program effects were larger in programs addressing social-emotional skills of children (d = 0.909 for programs with this component versus d = 0.489 for programs without this component) and self-blame (d = 0.776 versus d = 0.412), and when puppets (d = 1.096 versus d = 0.500) and games or quizzes (d = 0.966 versus d = 0.494) were used. The second meta-analysis on children's self-protections skills revealed that no individual components or techniques were associated with increased effectiveness. Several other study and program characteristics did moderate the overall effects and are discussed. In general, school-based prevention programs show positive effects on both knowledge and self-protection skills, and the results imply that program effectiveness can be improved by implementing specific components and techniques.
Project description:This randomized trial tested a strategy originally developed for school settings, the Pax Good Behavior Game (PAX GBG), in the new context of afterschool programs. We examined this approach in afterschool since 70% of all juvenile crime occurs between the hours of 3-6 pm, making afterschool an important setting for prevention and promotion. Dual-career and working families need monitoring and supervision for their children in quality settings that are safe and appropriately structured. While substantial work has identified important features of afterschool programs, increasing attention is being given to how to foster quality. PAX GBG, with its focus on shared norms, cooperative teams, contingent activity rewards, and liberal praise, could potentially enhance not only appropriate structure and supportive relationships, but also youth self-regulation, co-regulation, and socio-emotional development. This study examined the PAX GBG among 76 afterschool programs, serving 811 youth ages 5-12, who were diverse in race-ethnicity, socio-economic status, and geographic locale. Demographically matched pairs of afterschool programs were randomized to PAX GBG or treatment-as-usual. Independent observers conducted ratings of implementation fidelity and program quality across time; along with surveys of children's problem and prosocial behavior. Interaction effects were found using hierarchical linear models such that experimental programs evidencing higher implementation fidelity demonstrated better program quality than controls, (i.e., less harshness, increased appropriate structure, support, and engagement), as well as reduced child-reported hyperactivity and intent-to-treat effects on prosocial behavior. This study demonstrates that best practices fostered by PAX GBG and implemented with fidelity in afterschool result in higher quality contexts for positive youth development.
Project description:Smoking prevention among adolescents is a public health challenge that is even more significant in low- and middle-income countries where local evidence is limited and smoking rates remain high. Evidence-based interventions could be transferred to low- and middle-income country settings but only after appropriate cultural adaptation. This paper aims to describe the process of the cultural adaptation of two school-based smoking prevention interventions, A Stop Smoking in Schools Trial and Dead Cool, to be implemented in Bogotá, Colombia. A recognized heuristic framework guided the cultural adaptation through five stages. We conducted a concurrent nested mixed-methods study consisting of a qualitative descriptive case study and a quantitative pre- and post quasi-experiment without a control. Contextual, content, training, and implementation modifications were made to the programs to address cultural factors, to maintain the fidelity of implementation, and to increase the pupils' engagement with the programs. Modifications incorporated the suggestions of stakeholders, the original developers, and local community members, whilst considering the feasibility of delivering the programs. Involving stakeholders, original program developers, and community members in the cultural adaptation of evidence-based interventions is essential to properly adapt them to the local context, and to maintain the fidelity of program implementation.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Widespread replication of effective prevention programs is unlikely to affect the incidence of adolescent delinquency, violent crime, and substance use until the quality of implementation of these programs by community-based organizations can be assured.<h4>Methods</h4>This paper presents the results of a process evaluation employing qualitative and quantitative methods to assess the extent to which 432 schools in 105 sites implemented the LifeSkills Training (LST) drug prevention program with fidelity. Regression analysis was used to examine factors influencing four dimensions of fidelity: adherence, dosage, quality of delivery, and student responsiveness.<h4>Results</h4>Although most sites faced common barriers, such as finding room in the school schedule for the program, gaining full support from key participants (i.e., site coordinators, principals, and LST teachers), ensuring teacher participation in training workshops, and classroom management difficulties, most schools involved in the project implemented LST with very high levels of fidelity. Across sites, 86% of program objectives and activities required in the three-year curriculum were delivered to students. Moreover, teachers were observed using all four recommended teaching practices, and 71% of instructors taught all the required LST lessons. Multivariate analyses found that highly rated LST program characteristics and better student behavior were significantly related to a greater proportion of material taught by teachers (adherence). Instructors who rated the LST program characteristics as ideal were more likely to teach all lessons (dosage). Student behavior and use of interactive teaching techniques (quality of delivery) were positively related. No variables were related to student participation (student responsiveness).<h4>Conclusion</h4>Although difficult, high implementation fidelity by community-based organizations can be achieved. This study suggests some important factors that organizations should consider to ensure fidelity, such as selecting programs with features that minimize complexity while maximizing flexibility. Time constraints in the classroom should be considered when choosing a program. Student behavior also influences program delivery, so schools should train teachers in the use of classroom management skills. This project involved comprehensive program monitoring and technical assistance that likely facilitated the identification and resolution of problems and contributed to the overall high quality of implementation. Schools should recognize the importance of training and technical assistance to ensure quality program delivery.
Project description:Childhood obesity is a complex, worldwide problem. Significant resources are invested in its prevention, and high-quality evaluations of these efforts are important. Conducting trials in school settings is complicated, making process evaluations useful for explaining results. Intervention fidelity has been demonstrated to influence outcomes, but others have suggested that other aspects of implementation, including participant responsiveness, should be examined more systematically. During Food, Health & Choices (FHC), a school-based childhood obesity prevention trial designed to test a curriculum and wellness policy taught by trained FHC instructors to fifth grade students in 20 schools during 2012-2013, we assessed relationships among facilitator behaviors (i.e., fidelity and teacher interest); participant behaviors (i.e., student satisfaction and recall); and program outcomes (i.e., energy balance-related behaviors) using hierarchical linear models, controlling for student, class, and school characteristics. We found positive relationships between student satisfaction and recall and program outcomes, but not fidelity and program outcomes. We also found relationships between teacher interest and fidelity when teachers participated in implementation. Finally, we found a significant interaction between fidelity and satisfaction on behavioral outcomes. These findings suggest that individual students in the same class responded differently to the same intervention. They also suggest the importance of teacher buy-in for successful intervention implementation. Future studies should examine how facilitator and participant behaviors together are related to both outcomes and implementation. Assessing multiple aspects of implementation using models that account for contextual influences on behavioral outcomes is an important step forward for prevention intervention process evaluations.
Project description:Invest in Kids (IIK) is a Denver, Colorado, USA-based intermediary organization that works to bridge the research-to-practice gap for programs that support Colorado's youngest children and their families. IIK supports evidence-based programs (EBPs) including three universal, prevention programs from The Incredible Years® (IY)-Dinosaur School (a classroom curriculum), Teacher Classroom Management (teacher professional development training), and Parent Program (parent training). IIK employs staff (the IIK-IY Team) to deliver implementation supports such as training, coaching, and managing implementation teams with professionals at schools and community agencies who deliver IY programs throughout Colorado. The COVID-19 pandemic presented challenges and opportunities for practitioners using EBPs, and for the IIK-IY Team. The Framework for Reporting Adaptations and Modifications-Expanded, known as the FRAME (Stirman et al., 2019), was identified as a useful tool for documenting information about COVID-19-related adaptations to local sites' delivery of the programs, IIK's implementation supports, and IIK's annual statewide evaluation of IY. This case study includes an in-depth description of the various adaptations made by the IIK-IY Team, highlighting specific examples that demonstrate how the FRAME can be used to support adaptations for numerous sites in a geographic region or state. This case study provides important lessons about what successful IY delivery and implementation supports looked like in the context of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, including a description of IY fidelity and program outcomes.<h4>Supplementary information</h4>The online version contains supplementary material available at 10.1007/s43477-022-00048-1.