10.1111/phn.12706 ">

Feasibility and acceptability of a future-oriented empowerment program to prevent substance use and school dropout among school-disengaged youth

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Public Health Nursing


© 2020 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Objective: To evaluate the feasibility and acceptability of a health promotion program to prevent school dropout and substance use among middle school-aged youth who display early warning signs of school disengagement. Intervention: Youth Empowerment Solutions for Positive Futures (YES-PF), an intensive, theoretically driven, 5-week summer enrichment program, aims to prevent school dropout and substance use by promoting youth empowerment, school engagement, and future orientation. Design and Sample: Using a pre–post-intervention design, we test feasibility and acceptability with 6th and 7th grade students (n = 43) who exhibited early warning signs for school disengagement (e.g., chronic absenteeism) in two school districts. Measures: Program evaluation components included: (a) program session forms completed by facilitators; (b) post-program interviews with facilitators; (c) post-intervention program evaluation surveys with youth; (d) attendance; and (e) baseline and post-intervention surveys with youth to assess behavioral and psychosocial outcomes. Results: Facilitators routinely delivered core component lesson activities. Acceptability and program satisfaction were evidenced in strong program attendance by youth. Youth participants reported higher levels of leadership efficacy (p <.05) and a greater sense of control over their lives and potential problems (p <.01). Conclusions: YES-PF was feasible and acceptable to school personnel and youth. Program refinement, based on implementation findings, is discussed.

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