Students Leading Students (SLS) is a peer-mediated, social networking program that empowers and equips youth with knowledge, skills, and resources needed to help their peers make healthy choices. Specifically, SLS supports youth and adult advisors to facilitate youth-led strategies that strengthen skills among peers to prevent and decrease alcohol, tobacco and other drug use.
During participation in Service to Science, SLS staff designed a pilot study in which student members of 12 high school chapters in Michigan completed an anonymous online survey as the first step in a systematic study of how research translates to practice in youth-led programs and how those programs are implemented and can be improved. Adult advisors also completed a modified version of the survey to provide information on their experiences with and opinions of the students with whom they work.
With funding from the SAMHSA’s Service to Science Subcontract to Build Evaluation Capacity for Evidence-based Interventions, program staff members will administer the survey with the same 12 chapters included in the pilot study, as well as an additional 18 chapters. In addition to generating additional data, program staff members expect that increasing the study to 30 SLS chapters will also increase chapter and student engagement with SLS and increase the confidence of advisors and school administrators regarding the capacity of SLS to support youth-led evidence-based health and safety education activities. Program staff members will analyze the data collected during survey implementation and will draft an article on findings for publication.