Reconnecting Youth: A Peer Group Approach to Building Life Skills

Date: 2009
(For resources, this is the publication date. For programs, this is the date posted.)

Information

Type:  Program/Practice, Education/Training Program, Program with Evidence of Effectiveness
Organization:  Reconnecting Youth Inc.
Costs: 

See the NREPP Listing.

Contact

Reconnecting Youth Inc.
(425) 861-1177
info@reconnectingyouth.com

Reconnecting Youth: A Peer Group Approach to Building Life Skills (RY) is a school-based prevention program for students ages 14-19 years that teaches skills to build resiliency against risk factors and control early signs of substance abuse and emotional distress. RY targets youth who demonstrate poor school achievement and high potential for school dropout. Eligible students must have either (1) fewer than the average number of credits earned for all students in their grade level at their school, high absenteeism, and a significant drop in grades during the prior semester or (2) a record of dropping out of school. Potential participants are identified using a school's computer records or are referred by school personnel if they show signs of any of the above risk factors. Eligible students may show signs of multiple problem behaviors, such as substance abuse, aggression, depression, or suicidal ideation.

RY also incorporates several social support mechanisms for participating youth: social and school bonding activities to improve teens' relationships and increase their repertoire of safe, healthy activities; development of a crisis response plan detailing the school system's suicide prevention approaches; and parent involvement, including active parental consent for their teen's participation and ongoing support of their teen's RY goals.

The course curriculum is taught by an RY Leader, a member of the school staff or partnering agency who has abilities as a "natural helper," has healthy self-esteem, is motivated to work with high-risk youth, and is willing to comply with implementation requirements.

Designation as a "Program with Evidence of Effectiveness"

SPRC designated this intervention as a “program with evidence of effectiveness” based on its inclusion in SAMHSA’s National Registry of Evidence-Based Programs and Practices (NREPP).

Outcome(s) Reviewed (Overall Quality of Research Rating-scale of 0 to 4)*

1: School performance (3.3)

2: Drug involvement (3.2)

3: Mental health risk and protective factors (3.3)

4: Suicide risk behaviors (3.3)

Read more about this program’s ratings.

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* NREPP changed its review criteria in 2015. This program is a “legacy program,” meaning that it was reviewed under the previous criteria. The evidence for each outcome was reviewed and scored on a scale of 0-4, with 4 indicating the highest quality of evidence and 0 indicating very poor quality of evidence. The overall rating was based on ratings of six criteria: 1) reliability of measures, 2) validity of measures, 3) intervention fidelity, 4) missing data and attrition, 5) potential confounding variables, and 6) appropriateness of analysis.  Over time, all legacy programs will be re-reviewed using the current criteria. When considering programs, we recommend (a) assessing whether the specific outcomes achieved by the program are a fit for your needs; and (b) examining the strength of evidence for each outcome.

2012 NSSP Objectives Addressed: 

Objective 3.1: Promote effective programs and practices that increase protection from suicide risk.
Objective 5.2: Encourage community-based settings to implement effective programs and provide education that promote wellness and prevent suicide and related behaviors.
Objective 5.3: Intervene to reduce suicidal thoughts and behaviors in populations with suicide risk.
Populations:  Adults, Young Adults Ages 18 to 25 Years, Youth, Adolescents, American Indians and Alaska Natives
Settings:  American Indian/Alaska Native Settings, Schools, High School
Strategies:  Life Skills and Resilience, Connectedness