Evaluation (SPF Step 5)

Evaluation refers to collecting and analyzing information about program activities, strategies, and outcomes in a planful, systematic manner. Once the information has been analyzed and reviewed, it is then important to use that data to further inform and improve prevention efforts. Although the evaluation step is listed last in the strategic prevention framework, it is important to note that evaluation should be ongoing and occur throughout every step of the SPF.

As with the other SPF steps, it is important to continue to engage and include stakeholders throughout the evaluation and outcome communication process. Engaging stakeholders at this stage can greatly improve effective communication of evaluation results and ensure that the evaluation process is culturally relevant to the local community, thus increasing the likelihood that evaluation efforts will be effective in improving the prevention program and the health of the overall community.

Evaluation of community prevention and intervention efforts should ideally include measures to assess change in the participants themselves, as well as change in the community-at-large to assist in determining the overall impact of the programs on the community. As with any program evaluation, it is ideal to conduct a multi-modal assessment. Appropriately signed, written parental consent and student assent should be obtained prior to completion of the assessment measures.

Information about specific evaluation methods utilized in Rusk County for the Teen Intervene and Teen Leadership Academy are given below.

Evaluation of Teen intervene

Evaluation of our implementation of the Teen Intervene Program involved the following components:

  • Change from baseline on CTC student and community surveys
  • Overall teen substance use and mental health data for the community at large using the YRBSS

Evaluation of Teen Leadership Academy (TLA)

Evaluation of the TLA program involved the following components:

  • TLA Surveys completed at each TLA teaching session to obtain a baseline, mid-year, and post-intervention assessment, as well as a follow-up survey one-year after graduation from the TLA. Specific areas measured include: Substance use and other risk behaviors, Self-efficacy and Goal-orientation, Quality of relationships, and Engagement in constructive/positive activities. This survey was created specifically to evaluate this program; please see Appendix I.
  • Two teachers per participant were interviewed at the beginning and end of the academic year to obtain descriptive, qualitative information regarding each student. Participant survey and interview data were matched using an alpha-numeric code to allow for tracking of individual participants' development over time, as well as anonymity of the data. Please see Appendix II for further information regarding the teacher interviews
  • The Child and Youth Resilience Measure (CRYM) was administered to TLA participants at the beginning and end of the year. The CYRM has been found to be a reliable and valid self-report measure with good construct validity that assesses the youth's self-perception of three broad areas impacting resiliency: Individual factors (personal skills, peer support, social skills), Caregiving factors (physical and psychological caregiving), and Contextual factors (spiritual, educational and cultural). Please see Appendix III for more information about the CYRM.

In terms of data analysis, survey responses were analyzed and descriptive statistics generated, followed by paired sample T-tests of specific items and sub-test/content areas to assess for change over time. Statistical analyses were performed using the IBM SPSS Statistics program, version 24. Teacher interview data was transcribed and coded using the Delphi Survey Technique (Hasson, Keeney & McKenna, 2000), and analyzed for change in themes over time.

Outcome data was shared with stakeholders and community members via ongoing community meetings, as well as via an annual “data retreat” held with key stakeholders, and used to inform future programming as well as strengthen community support and program sustainability.

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