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Rural Educational Achievement Project (REAP)

Ages 9-10

Rating: Level 3


Prevention research postulates that interventions must be delivered early in life to disrupt the developmental pathways leading to adverse adolescent and adult outcomes, such as substance use and poor mental health status. Following on this theory, the Rural Educational Achievement Project (REAP) is a comprehensive, multilevel approach to prevention that involves a universal prevention program (All Stars, Jr.), a selective program delivered in the summer (Camp GUTS: Gearing Up To Success), and a family program (Duke Family Coping Power). REAP targets fourth grade students enrolled in elementary school.

The All Stars, Jr., program is based on a character-education and problem-behavior–prevention curriculum designed for middle school students. The idea is to draw from an individual’s lifestyle, aspirations, social background, and other existing ideals that are likely to be incongruent with high-risk behaviors and build or strengthen that perception in the student. The summer Camp GUTS program is a selected 6-week, protocol-driven, school-based program designed to strengthen academic and social competencies and self-esteem. The Duke Family Coping Power program is delivered to parents of high-risk students. The content, derived from Social Cognitive Theory, teaches parents the skills to deal with various aspects of child aggression. The program also includes sessions on stress management.


Nine of 11 elementary schools in rural Christian County, Ky., were recruited to participate in four experimental conditions: 1) a universal prevention program (All Stars, Jr.); 2) a universal prevention program plus a selective summer program (All Stars, Jr. + Camp GUTS); 3) a universal prevention program, plus the selective summer program, plus the family program (All Stars, Jr. + Camp GUTS + Duke Family Coping Power); and 4) a control condition in which none of the three programs was implemented. Fourth grade students (n=291) were stratified according to risk, with the family and summer program containing all high-risk subjects and All Stars, Jr., and the control conditions mixing at-risk subjects with low-risk children in terms of their academic abilities and conduct. Two schools participated in each level of the intervention, and three schools served as no-treatment comparison conditions.

Study measures assessed social competence, self-regulation, parental involvement, and school bonding. Student data was collected through individual interviews with students, while teachers completed measures assessing students’ social competence and self-regulation and parents completed measures assessing their children’s self-regulation as well as a variety of their own attitudes and behaviors. Pretest measures were administered in autumn 1997. The intervention was implemented during the 1997–98 school year and summer 1998. Follow-up data was obtained in autumn 1998.


Program efficacy was measured through the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention’s four predictor variables: 1) academic achievement, 2) self-regulation, 3) social competence, and 4) parental investment. Findings for academic achievement indicated that the family and summer conditions made greater gains than the All Stars, Jr.–only and control conditions in scores on a test of mathematics. Subjects in the family and summer programs also showed significantly higher levels of school bonding than their counterparts did. Findings for self-regulation indicated that the summer and All Stars, Jr., program had significant effects in decreasing externalizing behaviors. However, the results for social competence indicated that the family condition had lower baseline levels of social competence than the other conditions had. The results for the parenting program suggested that the family condition had significant increases in the number of activities between parents and children.

Risk Factors


  • Anti-social behavior and alienation/Delinquent beliefs/General delinquency involvement/Drug dealing
  • Early onset of aggression and/or violence


  • Family management problems/Poor parental supervision and/or monitoring


  • Low academic achievement

Protective Factors


  • Social competencies and problem-solving skills


  • Effective parenting
  • Good relationships with parents / Bonding or attachment to family


  • Above average academic achievement / Reading and math skills
  • Student bonding (attachment to teachers, belief, commitment)


  • Parental approval of friends


  • SAMHSA: Model Programs


Clayton, Richard R., Nancy Grant Harrington, William Turner, Thomas Miller, and Donna Durden. N.d. Unpublished executive summary. Lexington, Ky.: University of Kentucky, Center for Prevention Research.


Richard Clayton, Ph.D.
Center for Prevention Research
1151 Red Mile Road, Suite 1A
University of Kentucky
Lexington, KY 40504
Phone: (859) 257-5678
Fax: (859) 257-5592