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Evidence-Based Programs

All Evidence-Based Programs

Raising Healthy Children

Overview of the Curriculum

Raising Healthy Children (formerly known as SSDP, or the Seattle Social Development Project) is a multiyear (grades 1 – 6), school-based youth development program that seeks to reduce childhood risk factors for school failure, drug abuse, and delinquency. Targeted risk factors include children's bonding with their families and schools, academic achievement, interpersonal problem-solving skills, refusal skills, and positive classroom behaviors.

The Raising Healthy Children program is a social development approach to positive youth development. The approach incorporates school, family and individual programs to promote key elements that research has shown are critical for creating strong connections and bonds that children need to succeed in school and life; opportunities, skills, and recognition.

Curriculum Sessions

Component 1: Interpersonal Problem Solving Curriculum
In this component, first-graders receive lessons focused on interpersonal problem solving skills, such as communication skills, decision-making, negotiation, and conflict resolution.

Component 2: Refusal-Skills Training Curriculum
In this component, sixth-graders receive a four-hour refusal-skills training curriculum focused on helping students resist social influences to engage in problem behaviors, such as drug use and sex, and to identify and develop positive alternatives to these behaviors.

Component 3: Catch 'Em Being Good Curriculum
In this component, parents of first- and second-grade students are offered behavior management training in a seven-session curriculum called Catch 'Em Being Good, which teaches parents to convey expectations for behavior in an effective way, to identify and reinforce positive behaviors, and learn and develop appropriate responses to negative behavior. This component seeks to reduce risk factors such as poor and inconsistent family management and family conflict.

Component 4: How to Help Your Child Succeed in School Curriculum:
Parents of third-grade students are offered a four-session, academic support curriculum intended to improve parent-child communication and help parents become more involved in their children's education.

Component 5: Guiding Good Choices:
Parents of fifth- and sixth-grade students are offered a five-session curriculum to help them discourage their children from using substances. It seeks to reduce family conflict and improve communication.

Component 6: Training on Instructional Strategies and Classroom Behavior:
Teachers are trained in methods relating to proactive classroom management, interactive teaching, and cooperative learning.

Unique Features of the Curriculum

The school program is based on the belief that every teacher makes a difference in the life of a child, that every child can succeed, and that the family is an important partner in learning. In short, Raising Healthy Children focuses on creating a caring community of learners. This program creates strong connections in students' lives by committing to comprehensive school-wide action to strengthen instructional practices and family involvement. No single entity can ensure the positive development of a community's young people. That's why Raising Healthy Children involves the school, the family, and peers to promote the positive development of students.

Theoretical Framework

The Social Development Model is an integration of social control theory and social learning theory. The model asserts that the most important units of socialization, family, schools, peers, and community, influence behavior sequentially. Positive socialization is achieved when youth have the opportunity to be involved in conforming activities, when they develop skills necessary to be successfully involved, and when those with whom they interact consistently reward desired behaviors.

Ordering and Training Information

Ordering: The costs of this program vary based upon the number of teachers, classrooms, parents and students participating. To purchase Raising Healthy Children, contact Jenna Elgin at 206-616-8303 or jennae2@u.washington.edu.

Training: The cost of staff development training varies depending on the number of teachers, the number of schools, etc. On average, the cost per teacher for the first and second year of training and coaching is about $950 and $500 for the third year. This includes training, travel and materials.

Evaluation Fact Sheet

Intervention

The original Seattle Social Development Project (SSDP) is a multiyear, school-based youth development program that seeks to reduce childhood risk factors for school failure, drug abuse, and delinquency. Targeted risk factors include children's bonding with their families and schools, academic achievement, interpersonal problem-solving skills, refusal skills, and positive classroom behaviors. The intervention is now being implemented under the name Raising Healthy Children.

Behavioral Findings

Follow-up at age 18: youth participating in the intervention were significantly less likely to report ever having had sexual intercourse and reported significantly fewer lifetime sexual partners.

Follow-up at age 21: youth participating in the intervention reported significantly fewer lifetime sexual partners, and females participating in the intervention were significantly less likely to report a lifetime pregnancy or birth.

Follow-up at age 24: youth participating in the intervention were significantly less likely to report having ever been diagnosed with an STD.

Follow-up at age 27: youth participating in the intervention were significantly less likely to report having ever been diagnosed with an STD.

Research Design

The Seattle Social Development Project (SSDP) is a long-term study that originally began in 1981 with the goal of studying the developmental pathways to both positive and problem behavior. The study was expanded in 1985 to include 808 fifth grade students from 18 Seattle area schools. Participants and parents have been interviewed annually since 1985, and they have recently finished the interviews of participants at age 33! The information gathered in the interviews is used to examine many aspects of youth development such as substance use, delinquency, violence, school dropout, risky sexual behavior, and changes in health status. The SSDP is based at the University of Washington in the School of Social Work.

The original study participants included urban male and female students enrolling in an evaluation of the full (six-year) intervention in the first grade, 46% white, 26% African American, 26% Asian American, 6% Native American.

References

Hawkins, J. D., Catalano, R. F., Kosterman, R., Abbott, R., & Hill, K. G. (1999). Preventing adolescent health-risk behaviors by strengthening protection during childhood. Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, 153(3), 226-234.

Lonczak, H. S., Abbott, R. D., Hawkins, J. D., Kosterman, R., & Catalano, R. F. (2002). Effects of the Seattle Social Development Project on sexual behavior, pregnancy, birth, and sexually transmitted disease outcomes by age 21 years. Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, 156(5), 438.

Hawkins, J. D., Kosterman, R., Catalano, R. F., Hill, K. G., & Abbott, R. D. (2008). Effects of Social Development Intervention in Childhood 15 Years Later. Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, 162(12), 1133-1141.