Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)

Michigan State University: Youth Education and Support

The Youth Education and Support (YES) research intervention is a 10-week series of one-hour, in-school group sessions that provide information and support for middle school youth who have a parent with a substance abuse problem or depression. In addition, parents receive information about substance abuse and depression and raising drug- and depression-free youth, as well as a customized listing of local community resources for low-income and at-risk families. School personnel receive accurate information about substance abuse and depression and the needs of youth who have a parent with a substance abuse problem or depression.

The two- to three-year long-term objective of the YES program is to prevent or delay the onset of substance abuse and depression among participating youth. The three- to six-month short- and medium-term outcome objectives also include preventing or delaying youth substance abuse, as well as increasing youth knowledge of substance abuse and mental illness (especially depression), increasing youth coping skills, and increasing youth awareness of the risks of substance use.

YES uses a structured learning curriculum with lively and fun group activities. Program content address topics such as substance abuse, mental illness (especially depression), recovery, co-occurring disorders, and coping skills. Drawing, group discussion, physical activity, and other creative approaches convey essential information effectively and engagingly. At the end of most sessions, youth receive a take-home handout to share with their parents. Parents verify that they received the handout with a signature and youth who return the signed paper receive an incentive.

With funding from SAMHSA’s FY2014 Subcontracts to Build Evaluation Capacity for Evidence-Based Interventions, Michigan State University will strengthen its organizational capacity and enhance the evaluation of the YES program by collecting data that captures the nature of the intervention, identifying core program components to ensure fidelity in future replication, exploring sustainability opportunities, and developing and improving systematic measures of outcomes for the youth. Specific activities will include:

  • Developing a stronger community-university evaluation team
  • Adding a youth outcome substance abuse measure to examine how the educational intervention affected student-reported drug use behaviors
  • Incorporating follow-up data collection to test the extent to which YES youth retain knowledge and coping skills after the group ends
  • Training program fidelity observers
  • Collecting qualitative data from parents or guardians
  • Completing psychometric testing using the Knowledge of Mental Illness and Recovery scale
  • Developing a first draft of a new coping scale for youth


Contacts

Katherine Cook
Assistant Director, Office of Sponsored Programs
Michigan State University
426 Auditorium Road, Room 2
Hannah Administration Bldg.
East Lansing, MI 48824-2601
Phone: (517) 884-4237
Email: Team2@osp.msu.edu

Rena Harold
Interim Director, School of Social Work
Michigan State University
655 Auditorium Rd.
258 Baker Hall
East Lansing, MI 48824
Phone: (517) 353-8616
Email: haroldr@msu.edu

Joanne Riebschleger
Associate Professor, School of Social Work
Michigan State University
655 Auditorium Rd.
258 Baker Hall
East Lansing, MI 48824
Phone: (517) 353-9746
Email: riebsch1@msu.edu