evidence-based research

Evidence-Based Research - 2003/04

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The project involved student participants in 20 schools. These results are based on the 1184 (983 treatment, 201 control) students that had matched pretest/posttest scores. In this report the treatment students are considered in two groups depending on whether they attended public or Catholic schools. A 37-item questionnaire including three demographic items was administered before and after the treatment to both groups. Pretest/posttest gain scores for each item were compared by group and tested for significant (p< .05) differences using analysis of variance. These comparisons were followed up with an analysis by gender, to determine if the treatment was especially effective for young men or young women. Because three groups were compared, there are three pairs of comparisons: TCG – Public vs. Control, TCG – Catholic vs. Control and, TCG – Public vs. TCG – Catholic.

Student Demographics by Group


TCG-Public

TCG-Catholic

Control

N

%

N

%

N

%

Q01: Gender

Female

Male

 

348

218

 

61

39

 

143

272

 

35

65

 

102

99

 

51

49

Q02: Age

12

13

14

15

16

17

 

0

2

195

259

103

7

 

0

0

35

46

18

1

 

105

187

95

25

3

1

 

25

45

23

6

1

0

 

24

48

54

50

14

11

 

12

24

27

25

7

5

Q03: Ethnicity

White

Black

Hispanic or Latino

Asian

Pacific Islander

American Indian

Arabic

Other

 

33

316

166

7

2

3

1

35

 

6

56

30

1

0

1

0

6

 

17

286

40

30

8

4

2

28

 

4

69

10

7

2

1

1

7

 

27

43

73

33

2

1

3

16

 

14

22

37

17

0

1

1

8

Total

566

100

417

100

201

100


SIGNIFICANT FINDING

Q06: I make decisions without thinking about the consequences. (reverse scored)
          (1 = Strongly Agree / 4 = Strongly Disagree)

All Students

N

Pretest Mean

Posttest Mean

Significance

Increase/Decrease

TCG – Public

562

3.06

3.13

p = .041

Pub > Cath

2.3% increase

TCG – Catholic

413

2.98

2.87

4% decrease

Control

200

2.91

2.95

1.4% increase

Young women

TCG – Public

345

3.10

3.19

p = .08

3% increase

TCG – Catholic

141

3.09

2.96

4% decrease

Control

101

2.88

2.97

3.1% increase

Young men

TCG – Public

217

3.01

3.02

p = .59

.3% increase

TCG – Catholic

270

2.92

2.83

3% decrease

Control

99

2.94

2.93

.5% decrease

Graph of significant finding Q06

SIGNIFICANT FINDING

Q19: It is not a good idea for teenagers to have sex.
        (1 = Strongly Disagree / 4 = Strongly Agree)

All Students

N

Pretest Mean

Posttest Mean

Significance

Increase/Decrease

TCG – Public

556

2.82

3.09

p < .001

Pub > Cath

Pub > Ctrl

9.6% increase

TCG – Catholic

409

2.93

3.00

2.4% increase

Control

200

2.82

2.83

.4% increase

Young women

TCG – Public

339

2.99

3.26

p = .007

Pub > Ctrl

9% increase

TCG – Catholic

141

3.15

3.25

3.2% increase

Control

102

2.94

2.94

no change

Young men

TCG – Public

217

2.54

2.82

p = .008

Pub > Cath

Pub > Ctrl

11% increase

TCG – Catholic

266

2.82

2.88

2% increase

Control

98

2.69

2.71

.7% increase

Graph of significant finding Q19

SIGNIFICANT FINDING

Q21: Having sexual intercourse can cause a lot of emotional stress for people my age.
  
        (1 = Strongly Disagree / 4 = Strongly Agree)

All Students

N

Pretest Mean

Posttest Mean

Significance

Increase/Decrease

TCG – Public

559

3.14

3.35

p = .018

Pub > Cath

6.7% increase

TCG – Catholic

412

3.18

3.23

1.6% increase

Control

199

2.98

3.10

4% increase

Young women

TCG – Public

345

3.29

3.48

p = .28

5.8% increase

TCG – Catholic

140

3.32

3.39

2.1% increase

Control

102

3.16

3.23

2.2% increase

Young men

TCG – Public

214

2.89

3.13

p = .034

Pub > Cath

8.3% increase

TCG – Catholic

270

3.11

3.15

1.3% increase

Control

97

2.80

2.97

6% increase

Graph of significant finding Q21

SIGNIFICANT FINDING

Q27: I plan to avoid drugs and alcohol use because of STD risk.
  
        (1 = Strongly Disagree / 4 = Strongly Agree)

All Students

N

Pretest Mean

Posttest Mean

Significance

Increase/Decrease

TCG – Public

558

3.17

3.30

p = .044

4.1% increase

TCG – Catholic

410

3.42

3.43

.3% increase

Control

201

3.24

3.18

2% decrease

Young women

TCG – Public

341

3.14

3.35

p = .08

6.7% increase

TCG – Catholic

142

3.37

3.45

2.4% increase

Control

102

3.18

3.16

.6% decrease

Young men

TCG – Public

2.17

3.22

3.20

p = .73

.6% decrease

TCG – Catholic

2.66

3.45

3.42

.9% decrease

Control

99

3.31

3.20

3% decrease

CONCLUSION

As demonstrated through the highlights of some of our 2003-2004 findings in this, The Choice Game™ curriculum study produced significant gains in the treatment group in attitudes that having sex is not a good idea for teenagers, and in knowledge about the risks of sexually transmitted diseases. In addition, the results regarding intention to avoid drug and alcohol use may reflect an acquisition of new information regarding how substances increase risky behaviors and their inevitable consequences.

These results are promising for the future Character Development education via new computer modalities. The interactive nature of this curriculum on CD-ROM and also on DVD makes it highly attractive and accessible to youth in a variety of environments – one of the greatest challenges that any educational/ behavioral change program faces is reaching a large and diverse population of students. Positive results were gained in student populations in both public and parochial schools, which indicates that abstinence education based on values and decision making skills can serve all students. In addition, the game format allows for privacy and individualization, two important factors when dealing with either classroom environment or individual student session in possibly a guidance office or library setting.

The methodology in which this study was conducted and evaluated increases the significance of the findings. By matching students from pretest to posttest increases the confidence that changes over time are directly attributable to students participating in this curricular intervention. Through utilizing randomly selected treatment and control groups, differences attributed to this group possess great validity.  These differences signify that changes in the program outcomes were directly due to the intervention itself and suggest that results should generalize to similar populations.

The Choice Game curriculum can be implemented from 7th to 12th grades.  Booster classes have also been designed with the goal reinforcing the previous lessons and acquiring better decision making skills. Moreover, a DVD version is available for use in situations where computers are not accessible.

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