Evidence of Effectiveness - Evaluation Results

Michigan Model for Health™ Improves Student Health Knowledge, Skills, Attitudes and Behaviors

Journal of School Health Research Article

A two-year, randomized control study of the effectiveness of the Michigan Model for Health curriculum was conducted in the 2006/2007 and 2007/2008 school years. It involved over 2,500 students and 300 teachers in Grades 4 and 5 across over 50 schools in Michigan and Indiana.

The principal investigator is Dr. Jim O’Neill from Madonna University, with collaboration by Dr. Jeff Clark of Ball State University. Support was provided by the Michigan Department of Health and human Services and the Michigan Department of Education.

The evaluation included a longitudinal design measuring student health knowledge, skills, attitudes, and behaviors. Data collection involved (a) a pre-test administered before the curriculum was implemented, (b) an immediate post-test at the conclusion of instruction, and (c) a delayed-post test conducted five weeks after the instruction was completed. The design was implemented in Grade 4 and repeated the following year, when the students were in Grade 5.

In Grade 4, students received 25 Michigan Model for Health lessons covering four units: social emotional skills, safety, alcohol and tobacco prevention, and physical activity and nutrition. Nearly 90% of teachers implemented all lessons as planned. In Grade 5, students received 28 lessons covering the same units.

Results showed that students who received the Michigan Model for Health curriculum showed significant, positive changes compared to a randomized control group of students who did not receive the program. Specifically, students who received the Michigan Model for Health had:

  • better interpersonal communication skills, social emotional skills, and self-management skills;
  • improved pro-safety attitudes;
  • stronger drug and tobacco refusal skills;
  • less reported alcohol and tobacco use in the past 30 days; and
  • enhanced knowledge and skills in physical activity and nutrition

Students who received the Michigan Model for Health did not show negative results on any indicators, compared to the control group.
Results from approximately 800 students who received instruction in both Grades Four and Five showed the Michigan Model for Health students had better health knowledge, skills, attitudes, and behavioral intentions in several content areas:

  • knowledge about drugs
  • social-emotional skills
  • interpersonal communication skills
  • self-management skills
  • physical activity skills
  • refusal skills: alcohol use
  • refusal skills: cigarette use
  • attitudes against violence/bullying
  • attitudes against cigarette use
  • attitudes against alcohol use
  • intentions to use alcohol
  • intentions to smoke cigarettes

In addition, the Michigan Model for Health participants also had better health behavior outcomes than their control-group counterparts in the following areas:

  • later age of first cigarette use (i.e., initiation of use)
  • lower cigarette use in the past 30 days
  • lower alcohol use in the past 30 days
  • less aggressive behavior in the past 30 days

Awarded Best Brief Oral Presentation by AAHEOther Recognition of Effectiveness

The Michigan Model for Health is recognized by registries including the following:

SAMHSA'S National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices (NREPP)

CASEL Guide of Effective Social and Emotional Learning Programs

National Institute of Justice - Crime Solutions.gov Promising Programs

US Department of Education Promising Program

Other Evaluation Studies

Grade 7-8 Nutrition Study Published in the Journal of School Health

"A Pilot Study to Examine the Effects of a Nutrition Intervention on Nutrition Knowledge, Behaviors, and Efficacy Expectations in Middle School Children"
Mariane M. Fahlman, PhD, Wayne State University; Joseph A. Drake, PhD, MPH, University of Toledo; Nate McCaughtry, PhD, Wayne State University; Jeffrey Martin, PhD, Wayne State University.

Study of the Impact of Social and Emotional Health Lessons on the Nutrition and Physical Activity Outcomes at Grade Six
Results Presented at 2013 American School Health Conference

"Social and Emotional Skills Promote Healthy Eating and Physical Activity"
Study by James O'Neill, PhD, Madonna University; Jeffrey Clark, HSD, Illinois State University, and James Jones, PhD, Ball State University. Presentation made by Dr. Clark.


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