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Brief Treatment and Crisis Intervention 2005 5(1):75-84; doi:10.1093/brief-treatment/mhi006
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Brief Treatment and Crisis Intervention Vol. 5 No. 1, © Oxford University Press 2005; all rights reserved.

Original Article

Building an Effective Primary Prevention Program for Adolescent Girls: Empirically Based Design and Evaluation

   Craig Winston LeCroy, MSW, PhD

From the Arizona State University School of Social Work

Contact author: Craig LeCroy, Arizona State University, School of Social Work, Tuscon Component, 340 N. Commerce Park Loop, Tuscon, AZ 85745. E-mail: craig.lecroy{at}

This article describes the process of building an effective primary prevention program using existing knowledge about developmental processes of adolescent girls. While many programs are described as "empirically based," the process of developing an empirically based program often goes unreported. Using a primary prevention program for early adolescent girls, this article describes the cumulative results over time. Results are presented for three phases of program development: pilot testing, quasi-experimental design, and randomized design. Each phase contributed to the next development of the program. Results from the pilot testing enhanced the program's design and delivery. Results from the quasi-experimental design established some preliminary results on selected measures. Finally, the randomized study documented change on various outcome measures that improved upon the previous quasi-experimental design. Results revealed significant improvement in the treatment group and significant differences between the treatment and control groups on the key outcome measures. The study suggests that a primary or universal prevention program can produce meaningful effects.

KEY WORDS: adolescent girls, primary prevention, evaluation, outcome measures, quasi-experimental design

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