Positive Potential

Developers
Project Director is
Donna Golob PATH, Inc.
Program Summary
The Positive Potential program is a whole-child program for middle school students. The curriculum is designed to reduce or delay sexual behaviors, reduce other risky behaviors including the use of alcohol, tobacco, and drugs, and promote positive youth development among largely white rural communities. The three-year program consists of five 45 to 50 minute sessions  per year, plus an end-of-the-year assembly designed to support existing health and physical education instruction. 
Intended Population
The program was designed for middle school youth in predominately white rural communities; adaptations are available for more ethnically diverse communities. It has been evaluated with middle school youth.
Program Setting

The program was designed for and evaluated in a classroom-based setting for middle school youth.

Contact and Availability Information

For curriculum, materials, training, adaptation and pricing information please contact:
Donna Golob – Donna@PositiveTeenHealth.org or visit the website https://positiveteenhealth.org/programs/positive-potential/curricula-preview-outcomes/.

Sample of Curriculum Available for Review Prior to Purchase
Yes
Languages Available
English
Monitoring and Evaluation Tools
Monitoring and evaluation tools available
Yes
Monitoring and evaluation tool usage required
No
Information about available monitoring and evaluation tools (if applicable)

Positive Potential includes facilitator and classroom fidelity monitoring tools.

Program Core Components

Last updated in 2023

The data presented on this page reflects responses from the program’s developer or distributor to a program component checklist that asked them to report on the individual components within their TPP program. The same program component checklist was sent to the developer or distributor of every active TPP program with evidence of effectiveness. The program component table provides data on seven types of program components including content, delivery mechanism, dosage, staffing, format, environment, and intended population characteristics; whether the component was present or optional in the program; whether the component is considered to be core to the program; and the lesson number or activity where the component can be found in the program. For more details, refer to the FAQ.

Category Component Core Component Component present Notes Lesson number(s) / activities where present
Content School engagement No No We talk about the importance of education and the success sequence and have positive outcomes for school engagement, but no lesson focus.
Content Anatomy/physiology No
Content Other No No
Content Volunteering/civic engagement No No
Content Spirituality Yes Yes (both versions) All lessons/page numbers listed are for current (2022) version of Positive Potential. Be the Exception session 1, Lesson 1-3, page , 5. Push the Limits session 1, Lesson 1-3, page 5. Unstoppable session 1, Lesson 1-3, page 5.
Content Morals/values Yes Yes (both versions) All lessons/page numbers listed are for current (2022) version of Positive Potential. Be the Exception session 1, Lesson 1-3, page , 5. Push the Limits session 1, Lesson 1-3, page 5. Unstoppable session 1, Lesson 1-3, page 5.
Content Identity development No No
Content Social support/capital No No
Content Social influence/actual vs. perceived social norms No No
Content Social competence No No
Content Parenting skills No No
Content Normative beliefs No No
Content Leadership No No
Content Gender roles No No
Content Gender identity No No
Content Cultural values No No
Content Connections with trusted adults No Yes (both versions) Session charges include speaking with a parent or trusted adult. While no specific content talks about the value of this relationship our evaluation outcomes showed a positive outcome regarding parent/student engagement.
Content Conflict resolution/social problem solving No No
Content Communication skills No No
Content Child development No No
Content Boundary setting/refusal skills Yes Yes (both versions) All lessons/page numbers listed are for current (2022) version of Positive Potential. Unstoppable session 4, Lesson 4-3, page 8
Content Substance use cessation No No
Content Substance use - Other drugs No No
Content Substance use - Alcohol No No
Content Substance use - Abstinence No Yes (both versions) All lessons/page numbers listed are for current (2022) version of Positive Potential. Unstoppable session 4, Lesson 4-2, page 4
Content Brain development and substance use No No
Content Vocational/skills training No No
Content Supplemental academic services No No
Content Graduating from high school No No
Content College preparation No No
Content Self-regulation No No
Content Self-esteem No Yes (both versions) All lessons/page numbers listed are for current (2022) version of Positive Potential. Push the Limits session 1, Lesson 1-4, page 9
Content Self-efficacy/empowerment No No
Content Resilience No No
Content Personal vulnerability No No
Content Sexual health Yes Yes (both versions) All lessons/page numbers listed are for current (2022) version of Positive Potential. Content related to this topic is found throughout the Push the Limits and Unstoppable Curricula.
Content STIs - Treatment No No
Content STIs - Screening No No
Content STIs - Prevention Yes Yes (both versions) All lessons/page numbers listed are for current (2022) version of Positive Potential. Push the Limits session 3, Lesson 3-3, page 7. Unstoppable session 2, Lesson 2-3, page 14
Content STIs - Information Yes Yes (both versions) All lessons/page numbers listed are for current (2022) version of Positive Potential. Push the Limits session 3, Lesson 3-3, page 7. Unstoppable session 2, Lesson 2-3, page 14
Content Sexual risk reduction Yes Yes (both versions) All lessons/page numbers listed are for current (2022) version of Positive Potential. Push the Limits session 3, Lesson 3-3, page 7. Unstoppable session 2, Lesson 2-3, page 14
Content Sexual risk discontinuation Yes Yes (both versions) All lessons/page numbers listed are for current (2022) version of Positive Potential. Unstoppable session 1, Lesson 1-5, page 16. Unstoppable session 4, Lesson 4-3, page 8.
Content Sexual risk avoidance Yes Yes (both versions) All lessons/page numbers listed are for current (2022) version of Positive Potential. Content related to this topic is found throughout the Push the Limits and Unstoppable Curricula.
Content Motivational interviewing No No
Content Maternal health No
Content Contraception - Condoms Yes Yes (both versions) All lessons/page numbers listed are for current (2022) version of Positive Potential. Unstoppable session 3, Lesson 3-2, page 5
Content Contraception - Long-acting reversible contraceptives No Yes (both versions) All lessons/page numbers listed are for current (2022) version of Positive Potential. Unstoppable session 3, Lesson 3-2, page 5
Content Contraception - Other Yes Yes (both versions) All lessons/page numbers listed are for current (2022) version of Positive Potential. Unstoppable session 3, Lesson 3-2, page 5
Content Contraception - Pills, patches, rings, and shots Yes Yes (both versions) All lessons/page numbers listed are for current (2022) version of Positive Potential. Unstoppable session 3, Lesson 3-2, page 5
Content Reproduction No
Program Objectives
The goals of Positive Potential are to:
  1. Reduce the occurrence of sexual intercourse.
  2. Reduce the occurrence of other risky behaviors, such as peer violence and the use of alcohol, tobacco, drugs.
  3. Impact psychosocial factors related to positive youth development by focusing on positive school performance, parent-adolescent communication, positive goal orientation, and positive attitudes, knowledge and skills to enable risk reduction behaviors.
Program Content

The Positive Potential program is based on psychosocial theoretical models of planned change interventions for adolescents. The curriculum focuses on promoting attitudes, skills, and behaviors that support positive youth development. Health activities and exercises focus on avoiding risky behaviors, such as use of tobacco, alcohol, drugs, fighting, and bullying.

Program Methods
The program is delivered in group sessions in the classroom. Additionally, students participate in activities and readings about avoiding risk and promoting developmental health through take home "charges", and discussions with adults and peers.
Program Structure and Timeline
The 3-year program is delivered in five 45-50 minute classroom sessions on consecutive days, and one end-of-the-year class assembly per year.
Staffing
Classroom sessions are led by a male-female facilitator health education team. Facilitators may be school teachers or from outside organizations. All facilitators participate in a training program and practice teaching.
Staff Training
All facilitators participate in a 2-day training program and teach-back sessions. Training includes a review of the theoretical framework and objectives of the program. Instruction on how to follow the layout of the Facilitator Manual and practice with various demonstrations is also provided.
Program Materials and Resources
A complete Facilitator Manual is available that includes the theoretical framework, objectives, and a list of all materials needed for daily class sessions. The facilitator guide is scripted, including student prompts to ensure program fidelity. Also included is a flash drive with all necessary PowerPoint slides and videos as well as a copy of the student journal.
Additional Needs for Implementation
Not specified
Fidelity
The Facilitator Manual is designed to promote fidelity to the program. Additionally, Facilitator and Classroom Fidelity Monitoring Tools are available from the developer. Training from PATH staff prior to implementation is encouraged to ensure a higher level of fidelity to the program.
 
PATH can also provide an outline for the End-of-Year-Assembly. However, to ensure fidelity to the model, it is recommended that PATH be hired to present this portion of the program. The assembly features a 3-screen production that may be difficult to implement with fidelity. 
 
Benchmark guidelines and evaluation of fidelity and implementation procedures (including surveys to be completed by students, school teacher, and the program educator) are available from ITMESA, LLC, Z. Harry Piotrowski (Email: zhp@sprynet.com).
Technical Assistance and Ongoing Support
PATH, Inc. provides support to organizations while they are providing services.
Allowable Adaptations
PATH, Inc. will work with organizations to ensure that the program meets the needs of the students and communities being served. Specific adaptations are allowable in consultation and collaboration with PATH, Inc.
Adaptation Guidelines or Kit
Yes
Reviewed Studies
Citation High-Quality Randomized Trial Moderate-Quality Randomized Trial Moderate-Quality Quasi-Experiment Low Study Rating Did Not Meet Eligibility Criteria

Piotrowski and Hedeker 2015

Piotrowski and Hedeker 2016a

Piotrowski and Hedeker 2016b

Study Characteristics
Citation Setting Majority Age Group Majority Racial/Ethnic Group Gender Sample Size

Piotrowski and Hedeker 2015

Piotrowski and Hedeker 2016a

Piotrowski and Hedeker 2016b

In school: Middle school 13 or younger White Youth of any gender

1374

Study Findings

Evidence by Outcome Domain and Study

Citation Sexual Activity Number of Sexual Partners Contraceptive Use STIs or HIV Pregnancy

Piotrowski and Hedeker 2015

Piotrowski and Hedeker 2016a

Piotrowski and Hedeker 2016b

Favorable evidence Indeterminate evidence Indeterminate evidence n.a. n.a.
KEY
Evidence Indication
Favorable findings
Two or more favorable impacts and no unfavorable impacts, regardless of null findings
Potentially favorable findings
At least one favorable impact and no unfavorable impacts, regardless of null findings
Indeterminate findings
Uniformly null findings
Conflicting findings
At least one favorable and at least one unfavorable impact, regardless of null findings
Potentially unfavorable findings
At least one unfavorable impact and no favorable impacts, regardless of null findings
Unfavorable findings
Two or more unfavorable impacts and no favorable impacts, regardless of null findings
Note: n.a. indicates the study did not examine any outcome measures within that particular outcome domain, or the study examined outcome measures within that domain but the findings did not meet the review evidence standards.
Detailed Findings
Citation Details

Piotrowski and Hedeker 2015

Piotrowski and Hedeker 2016a

Piotrowski and Hedeker 2016b

This study evaluated the program with a clustered randomized controlled trial involving 14 elementary and middle schools in rural northwestern Indiana. Schools were randomly assigned within matched pairs to either a treatment group that offered the Positive Potential program or to a control group that offered their standard instruction. The Positive Potential program is a three-year program, offered in three middle school grades, where each grade level has a separate curriculum. Surveys were administered immediately before the program in 6th grade, and at three follow-ups: (1) about 12 months later at the start of 7th grade, (2) three months after the end of the three-year program, and (3) 12 months after the end of the program, in spring of 9th grade.

The study found that at the start of 7th grade, students in the schools that offer the program were statistically significantly less likely to report ever having sex (odds ratio = 0.28, confidence interval = 0.15 to 0.55) and to report having had sex in the previous three months (odds ratio = 0.21, confidence interval = 0.09 to 0.46). The study also found that a smaller proportion of male students in the schools providing the program reported ever having sex (odds ratio = 0.08, confidence interval = 0.04 to 0.16) and reported having had sex in the previous three month (odds ratio = 0.08 confidence interval = 0.03 to 0.21).

Those program effects persisted 12 months after the program ended, in spring of 9th grade: in schools that implemented Positive Potential, both the full sample of students and the subgroup of males were significantly less likely to ever have had sexual intercourse (odds ratio is 0.78 for the full sample and 0.67 for the subgroup of males) and to have had sexual intercourse in the last 12 months (odds ratio is 0.76 for the full sample and 0.65 for the subgroup of males). Twelve months after the end of the program, the subgroup of males in the schools implementing Positive Potential were significantly less likely to have had sexual intercourse in the last three months than their counterparts in the schools not implementing the program (odds ratio = 0.62).

Program impacts were also examined on having sexual intercourse in the past three month without using a condom and without using birth control at the start of the 7th grade and in the spring of 9th grade, and on the number of sexual partners in the spring of 9th grade. The study found no evidence of statistically program impacts on those measures at any of those follow-ups. The study also found no evidence of statistically significant program impacts on any sexual behavior outcome for the full sample at the follow-up conducted three months after the end of the program nor for the subgroup of female adolescents at any of the three follow-ups.

In the follow-up that occurred at the start of 7th grade, the study also examined program impacts on risky behavior during sexual intercourse in the previous three months, defined as either not using a condom, not using birth control, using drugs, or using alcohol during sex. Findings for this outcome were not considered for the review because they fell outside the scope of the review.

Notes

Some study entries may include more than one citation because each citation examines a different follow-up period from the same study sample, or because each citation examines a different set of outcome measures on the same study sample. A blank cell indicates the study did not examine any outcome measures within the particular outcome domain or the findings for the outcome measures within that domain did not meet the review evidence standards.

Information on evidence of effectiveness is available only for studies that received a high or moderate rating. Read the description of the review process for more information on how these programs are identified.