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An evaluation of a school-based intervention to reduce risk behaviour in adolescents

Wright, Louise (2020) An evaluation of a school-based intervention to reduce risk behaviour in adolescents. PhD thesis, University of Essex.

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Abstract

Risk-Avert is a school-based programme established by The Training Effect and Essex County Council with the aim of reducing risk behaviour and improving emotional health, resilience and self-efficacy in adolescents. Prior to beginning Risk-Avert adolescents complete the Risk-Avert Screening Tool to assess their vulnerability to and engagement in risk behaviour. This research aimed to a) establish the validity and reliability of the Risk-Avert Screening Tool, and b) add to the evidence-base regarding the programme’s effectiveness. Study one used existing secondary data from completion of the Risk-Avert Screening Tool. Principal components analysis revealed more underlying componentsthan the expected four-componentstructureand low internal reliability. Study two involved year eight students from two schools with no previous involvement with Risk-Avert. Scores for the Risk-Avert Screening Tool were compared to those for other validated risk and wellbeing measures. Receiver Operating Characteristic analysis found that the Risk-Avert Screening Tool was accurate in identifying risk behaviour. Study three was longitudinal and aimed to assess the impact of the Risk-Avert programme by comparing questionnaire scores pre-and post-completion. Although participants in the programme did not demonstrate reduction of risk behaviour between time one and time two, there was also no evidence of an increase. Conversely, non-participants of the programme appeared to increase their level of risk behaviour over the same period. Study four utilised semi-structured interviews with nine staff members who had led the Risk-Avert programme. The interviews concerned the practicalities and impact of Risk-Avert. Analysis identified that interviewees generally felt the programme had positive impacts, but there was variation in how the Risk-Avert programme was implemented. Overall, the Risk-Avert Screening Tool was found to be accurate in identifying risk behaviour and it appeared the Risk-Avert programme may have some preventive effect regarding risk behaviour, as suggested by both quantitative and qualitative findings.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health > Health and Social Care, School of
Depositing User: Louise Wright
Date Deposited: 24 Apr 2020 09:31
Last Modified: 24 Apr 2020 11:53
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/27349

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