The Michigan Model for Health® (MMH) (formerly the Michigan Model for Comprehensive School Health Education) is a comprehensive health education curriculum that targets K–12 students utilizing a skills-based approach. Age-appropriate and sequential lessons focus on the most serious health challenges school-aged children face: (1) social and emotional health; (2) nutrition and physical activity; (3) alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs; (4) personal health and wellness; (5) safety (unintentional injuries and violence); and (6) HIV. The goal of the curriculum is to teach students the knowledge and skills they need to build and maintain healthy behaviors and lifestyles.
MMH facilitates skills-based learning through lessons that incorporate a variety of teaching and learning techniques. Lessons emphasize active student participation, especially in developing and practicing skills and role-playing strategies for using those skills. The program is designed for implementation as part of the core school curriculum, and skills can be integrated into various disciplines, such as language arts, science, and social studies.
The MMH is based on the Adapted Health Belief Model that incorporates elements from several behavior change theories, such as Social Cognitive Theory and Social Influence Theory (Rosenstock, Strecher, and Becker 1988). The Adapted Health Belief Model merges four important cognitive, attitudinal, and socio-emotional factors in order to enhance health-promoting behavior. These four factors are knowledge, skills, self-efficacy, and environmental support. It is believed that behavior change is more likely to happen if these four factors are included in a health education program (Educational Materials Center 2006).
The comprehensive health education curriculum focuses on skills and knowledge in six content areas (mentioned above) identified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Each lesson is designed to be implemented by a classroom teacher and lasts 20 to 50 minutes, depending on grade level. The educational materials include lessons designed to increase knowledge and develop healthy attitudes and behaviors through skills-based instruction and social and emotional learning. The MMH’s comprehensive health approach is a building-block format that introduces, fully develops, and then reinforces skill development and key health promotion and prevention messages over a period of years. Parent and family involvement pieces are also included as part of student instruction in key content areas.
The fourth-grade curriculum consists of 25 lessons on social and emotional health; alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs; safety; and nutrition and physical activity. The fifth-grade curriculum consists of 28 lessons on the same health topics as well as personal health and wellness.
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O’Neill, Clark, and Jones (2011) found the intervention effect for aggressive behavior was statistically significant. Although the control group appeared to have some decline in the level of aggressive behavior, there was a greater decrease over time for the Michigan Model for Health® (MMH) intervention group.
No significant intervention effect was found for prosocial behavior. Students in both the intervention and control groups improved in prosocial behavior over time.
The intervention effect for interpersonal skills was statistically significant. Interpersonal communication remained stable over time for students in the control group, but increased for students in the intervention group.
Social and Emotional Health
The intervention effect for social and emotional health was statistically significant. There was a greater increase among intervention group students’ scores for social and emotional health compared with control group students.
Drug Refusal Skills
The intervention effect for drug refusal skills was also statistically significant. Similar to the result for social and emotional health, there was a greater increase among intervention group students’ scores for drug refusal skills compared with control group students.
Drug Use Behavior
The treatment condition was a statistically significant predictor of all measures of drug use. Students in the intervention group showed greater improvement in the odds of avoiding drug use compared with the control group. Intervention students reported significantly less alcohol use and cigarette smoking in the past 30 days compared with control students.
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