Alternatives for Youth believes strongly in evaluating our programs so that we might now how best to serve our teens and their families. For the 6-week iTHRIVE program, we have both teens and parents complete pre- and post-tests. Those surveys are evaluated by the MetGroup, a professional evaluation team out of Colorado State University. The MetGroup analyses the results and prepares an annual report for AFY. The Executive Summary of the most recently completed report for the 2016 year shows:
Positive changes were identified in youth and their parents who participated in the Alternatives for Youth iTHRIVE program in the 2016 calendar year. The pretesting and post-testing design showed the following changes:
- Youth reported a significant decrease in the use of marijuana, marijuana concentrates, alcohol and MDMA after program participation. There was a significant overall individual-level decrease in substance use at post-test compared to pretest.
- Youth were significantly less likely to use substances to reduce negative feelings, increase positive feelings or have more fun in social situations. Changes in reasons for using were significantly and positively associated with changes in the use of substances, providing evidence that the reduction in substance use is a reliable result.
- Youth had significantly fewer social and physical problems associated with using drugs at pretest than they did at post-test.
- Youth’s perception of harm of using marijuana concentrates significantly increased after program participation.
- Youth expressed increased skill in their ability to communicate with a parent and handle conflicts with their parent.
- Parents generally reported that the use of substances could cause harm in both adults and youth; there was an increased perception of harm at post-test compared to pretest.
- Alcohol and tobacco were the most commonly used substances in parents, with a few reporting marijuana use.
- Parents reported greater satisfaction with their family life after program participation. The greatest improvement was seen in their family’s ability to cope with stress and in the way the family discussed their problems.