community effects

In April, two local students came to share their RY experiences with our community and City Councilors. The kids spoke about their challenges and successes and were utterly captivating and attributed their changes to their involvement in RY. These two students are among dozens of others who have learned new skills and have turned their lives around because of their participation in RY. I will continue to cheerlead for this program!


RY Coordinator, Portland, ME

More testimonials


RY Studies

The documents listed below were reviewed for Quality of Research by SAMHSA’S National Registry of Evidence-Based Programs and Practices (NREPP).

Eggert, L. L., & Herting, J. R. (1991). Preventing teenage drug abuse: Exploratory effects of network social support. Youth and Society, 22(4), 482-524.

Eggert, L. L., Seyl, C. D., & Nicholas, L. J. (1990). Effects of a school-based prevention program for potential high school dropouts and drug abusers. International Journal of the Addictions, 25(7), 773-801. [View/Close Abstract]

This study tested the effects of a prevention program based on an integrated social support and psycho educational model. A semester-long Interpersonal Relations (IPR) class was predicted to deter school drop-out problems and drug abuse among adolescents. Quasi-experimental designs were used to field test the IPR program with 264 high-risk students in one of two conditions: (1) pretest, treatment, and posttest; (2) pretest and posttest. All hypotheses were supported. Significantly more potential dropouts were retained in the treated (74%) versus the comparison group (61%); differences in daily attendance (F = 12.88) and GPA, school achievement (F = 16.89), were significantly better in the treatment group (p less than .0001); drug involvement declined significantly from pre- to post-treatment for IPR program participants (t = 4.61, p less than .0001). Implications for treatment and recommendations for future research are discussed.

For more information, visit the webpage discussing this study.

Eggert, L. L., Thompson, E. A., Herting, J. R., Nicholas, L. J., & Dicker, B. G. (1994). Preventing adolescent drug abuse and high school dropout through an intensive school-based social network development program. American Journal of Health Promotion, 8(3), 202-215. [View/Close Abstract]

Purpose: The hypothesis tested was that experimental subjects, relative to controls, would demonstrate significant increases in school performance and decreases in drug involvement at program exit (5 months) and at follow-up (10 months).
Design: A two-group, repeated-measures, intervention trial was the design used.
Setting: The study involved four urban Northwest high schools.
Subjects: Participants included 259 youth at high risk of potential school dropout, 101 in the experimental group and 158 in the control group.
Intervention: The Personal Growth Class experimental condition was a one-semester, five-month elective course taken as one of five or six regular classes. It had a 1:12 teacher-student ratio, and integrated group support and life-skills training interventions. The control condition included a regular school schedule.
Measures: School performance measures (semester GPA, class absences) came from school records. Drug use progression, drug control, and adverse consequences were measured by the Drug Involvement Scale for Adolescents. Self-esteem, school bonding, and deviant peer bonding were measured using the High School Questionnaire: Inventory of Experiences. All multi-item scales had acceptable reliability and validity.
Results: As predicted, trend analyses revealed significantly different patterns of change over time between groups in drug control problems and consequences; in GPA (but not attendance); and in self-esteem, deviant peer bonding, and school bonding. The program appeared to stem the progression of drug use, but group differences only approached significance.
Conclusion: Program efficacy was demonstrated particularly for decreasing drug control problems and consequences; increasing GPA and school bonding; and desired changes in self-esteem and deviant peer bonding. Program effects on progression of drug use were less definitive.

For more information, visit the webpage discussing this study.

Eggert, L. L., Thompson, E. A., Herting, J. R., & Nicholas, L. J. (1995). Reducing suicide potential among high-risk youth: Tests of a school-based prevention program. Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior, 25(2), 276-296. [View/Close Abstract]

This study tested the efficacy of a school-based prevention program for reducing suicide potential among high-risk youth. A sample of 105 youth at suicide risk participated in a three-group, repeated-measures, intervention study. Participants in (1) an assessment plus 1-semester experimental program, (2) an assessment plus 2-semester experimental program, and (3) an assessment-only group were compared, using data from preintervention, 5-month, and 10-month follow-up assessments. All groups showed decreased suicide risk behaviors, depression, hopelessness, stress, and anger; all groups also reported increased self-esteem and network social support. Increased personal control was observed only in the experimental groups, and not in the assessment-only control group. The potential efficacy of the experimental school-based prevention program was demonstrated. The necessary and sufficient strategies for suicide prevention, however, need further study as the assessment-only group, who received limited prevention elements, showed improvements similar to those of the experimental groups.

For more information, visit the webpage discussing this study.

Thompson, E. A., Eggert, L. L., & Herting, J. R. (2000). Mediating effects of an indicated prevention program for reducing youth depression and suicide risk behaviors. Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior, 30(3), 252-271. [View/Close Abstract]

This study explored the intervention processes of an indicated prevention program for high-risk youth. It was hypothesized that intervention effects would be influenced by the direct and mediating effects of teacher social support on both peer group support and perceived personal control. In turn, personal control was hypothesized to mediate between teacher and peer group support, contributing to reductions in depression and suicide risk behaviors. The hypotheses were tested using a three-wave, longitudinal design incorporating data from preintervention, 5-month follow-up, and 10-month follow-up assessments of 106 high-risk youth divided into three comparison groups: two experimental, one control. For the two intervention groups, there were direct and/or indirect effects of teacher and peer group support on personal control, depression, and suicide risk behaviors. The general hypothesis that personal control mediates between support resources and reductions in depression and suicide risk behaviors received partial support across the study groups.

For more information, visit the webpage discussing this study.

Eggert, L. L., & Kumpfer, K. L. (1997). Drug abuse prevention for at-risk individuals (NIH Publication No. 97-4115). Rockville, MD: Office of Science Policy and Communication, National Institute on Drug Abuse.