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Program Profile: All Stars™

Evidence Rating: No Effects - One study No Effects - One study

Date: This profile was posted on December 30, 2013

Program Summary

All Stars™ is a character-based approach to preventing high-risk behaviors such as substance use, violence, and premature sexual activity in teens ages 11 to 15. The program is rated No Effects. The program evaluation found no statistical significance between the control and experiment group for violence, substance abuse or sexual activity.

Program Description

Program Goals
All Stars™ is a character-based approach to preventing high-risk behaviors such as substance use, violence, and premature sexual activity in teens ages 11 to 15. The program is based on research identifying the critical factors that lead young people to begin experimenting with substances and engaging in other high-risk behaviors. It is designed to reinforce positive qualities that are typical of youths at this age. It works to strengthen five specific qualities as a means to achieving preventive effects:
  • Establishing positive norms
  • Building strong personal commitments
  • Promoting positive parental attentiveness
  • Developing positive ideals and future aspirations
  • Promoting bonding with school and community organizations
Program Theory
All Stars™ is based in social learning theory which proposes that individuals are shaped by and actively model their behavior on observed behavior in others, including peers, their family, their neighborhoods, and authority figures. The All Stars™ program aims to offer participants an experience where positive lifestyle values are learned from their instructors and classmates, including perceptions of problem behaviors, and the importance of maintaining commitments.

Program Activities
A program specialist or regular classroom teacher can implement the program curriculum. All Stars™ consists of whole classroom sessions, small group sessions outside of the classroom, and one-on-one sessions between the instructor and the child. The program is interactive, including debates, games, and general discussion. Homework assignments are given to include parents in the program and to increase parent–child interactions. All Stars™ is also promoted for use in community-based settings such as afterschool programs, faith-based communities, Boys and Girls Clubs, and community centers.

Evaluation Outcomes

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Study 1
While Harrington and colleagues (2001) found that violence increased for all groups over time, there were no statistically significant differences between the groups.

Substance Use
The study found that measures of past 30-days drug use increased for all groups over time, with the specialist-run All Star™ treatment subjects reporting the highest rates across assessments. There were no statistically significant program effects for substance use between groups.

Sexual Activity
All three conditions saw marked increases in sexual activity between posttest and follow-up, but there were no significant differences between groups.
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Evaluation Methodology

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Study 1
Harrington and colleagues’ 2001 evaluation of All Stars™ consisted of a single-cohort longitudinal design with pretest, posttest, and 1-year follow-up. Sixth and seventh grade students in 14 middle schools participated in the evaluation. The sample consisted of 1,655 students, of which 55 percent were female and 69 percent white, 25 percent African American, and 6 percent Hispanic. At pretest, 58 percent of the sample was 12 years of age, with 98.5 percent being in the 11 to 13 age range. Schools were matched and randomized to a specialist-run All Stars™ treatment condition in 5 schools (n=629), or control condition in 6 schools (n=739), and 3 schools were selected for a teacher-run All Stars™ treatment condition (n=287). The two treatment conditions received the All Stars™ curriculum, although the delivery method varied with 7 specialists hired from the communities who received over 30 hours of training over a 1-week period for the specialist-led condition and 23 teachers receiving a condensed version of the training over a half-day session due to their limited availability for the teacher-led condition.

Evaluation questionnaires were administered by project staff in classrooms at pretest (in September/October), immediate posttest (in May), and at follow-up (1 year later). Analyses were done using factorial analyses of variance (ANOVA), after the authors determined that very little variance was explained at the school level (using hierarchical linear modeling). Pretest, posttest, and follow-up questionnaires measured substance use, sexual behavior, violence, and the mediating variables of bonding, commitment, ideals, and perceived norms.
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There is no cost information available for this program.
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Evidence-Base (Studies Reviewed)

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These sources were used in the development of the program profile:

Study 1
Harrington, Nancy G., Steven M. Giles, Rick H. Hoyle, Greg J. Feeney, and Stephen C. Youngbluth. 2001. “Evaluation of the All Stars™ Character Education and Problem Behavior Prevention Program: Effects on Mediator and Outcome Variables for Middle School Students.” Health Education Research 28(5):533-46.
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Additional References

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These sources were used in the development of the program profile:

Donaldson, S.I.; J.W. Graham; and William B. Hansen. 1994. “Testing the Generalizability of Intervening Mechanism Theories: Understanding the Effects of Adolescent Drug Use Prevention Interventions.” Journal of Behavioral Medicine 17(2):195–216.

Donaldson, S.I.; J.W. Graham; and William B. Hansen. 1994. “Testing the Generalizability of Intervening Mechanism Theories: Understanding the Effects of Adolescent Drug Use Prevention Interventions.” Journal of Behavioral Medicine 17(2):195–216.

Gottfredson, Denise C., Amanda Brown Cross, Denise M. Wilson, Melissa Rorie, and Nadine M. Connell. 2010. “An Experimental Evaluation of the All Stars Prevention Curriculum in a Community Afterschool Setting.” Prevention Science 11:142–54.

Hansen, William B. 1996. “Pilot Test Results Comparing the All Stars™ Program With Seventh Grade D.A.R.E.: Program Integrity and Mediating Variable Analysis.” Substance Use and Misuse 31(10):1359–77.

Hansen, William B., and Linda Dusenbury. 2004. “All Stars Plus: A Competence and Motivation Enhancement Approach to Prevention.” Health Education 104(6):371–81. (This study was reviewed but did not meet’s criteria for inclusion in the overall program rating.)

Hansen, William B., and J.W. Graham. 1991. “Preventing Alcohol, Marijuana, and Cigarette Use Among Adolescents: Peer Pressure Resistance Training Versus Establishing Conservative Norms.” Preventive Medicine 20:414–30.

Hansen, William B.; J.W. Graham; B.H. Wolkenstein; and L.A. Rohrbach. 1991. “Program Integrity as a Moderator of Prevention Program Effectiveness: Results for Fifth Grade Students in the Adolescent Alcohol Prevention Trial.” Journal of Studies on Alcohol 52(6):568–79.

Hansen, William B., and Ralph B. McNeal. 1999. “Drug Education Practice: Results of an Observational Study.” Health Education Research 14(1):85–97.

Hansen, William B., Melina M. Pankratz, Linda Dusenbury, Steven M. Giles, Dana C. Bishop, Jordan Albritton, Lauren P. Albritton, and Joann Strack. 2013. “Styles of Adaptation: The Impact of Frequency and Valence of Adaptation on Preventing Substance Use.” Health Education 113(4):345–63.

McNeal, Ralph B., William B. Hansen, Nancy G. Harrington, and Steven M. Giles. 2004. “How All Stars™ Works: An Examination of Program Effects on Mediating Variables.” Health Education and Behavior 31(2):165–78. (This study was reviewed but did not meet Crime Solutions' criteria for inclusion in the overall program rating.)
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Related Practices

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Following are practices that are related to this program:

School-Based Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) Programs
Designed to foster the development of five interrelated sets of cognitive, affective, and behavioral competencies, in order to provide a foundation for better adjustment and academic performance in students, which can result in more positive social behaviors, fewer conduct problems, and less emotional distress. The practice was rated Effective in reducing students’ conduct problems and emotional stress.

Evidence Ratings for Outcomes:
Effective - One Meta-Analysis Juvenile Problem & At-Risk Behaviors - Multiple juvenile problem/at-risk behaviors
Effective - One Meta-Analysis Mental Health & Behavioral Health - Internalizing behavior

Universal School-Based Prevention and Intervention Programs for Aggressive and Disruptive Behavior
Universal school-based prevention and intervention programs for aggressive and disruptive behavior target elementary, middle, and high school students in a universal setting, rather than focusing on only a selective group of students, with the intention of preventing or reducing violent, aggressive, or disruptive behaviors. The practice is rated Effective in reducing violent, aggressive, and/or disruptive behaviors in students.

Evidence Ratings for Outcomes:
Effective - More than one Meta-Analysis Juvenile Problem & At-Risk Behaviors
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Program Snapshot

Age: 11 - 15

Gender: Both

Race/Ethnicity: Black, Hispanic, White

Geography: Rural, Suburban, Urban

Setting (Delivery): School

Program Type: Academic Skills Enhancement, Classroom Curricula, Conflict Resolution/Interpersonal Skills, Leadership and Youth Development, Violence Prevention, Alcohol and Drug Prevention

Current Program Status: Active

Listed by Other Directories: Model Programs Guide, National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices