Prevention Science

, Volume 2, Issue 2, pp 71–89 | Cite as

Effects of the Positive Action Program on Achievement and Discipline: Two Matched-Control Comparisons

  • Brian R. Flay
  • Carol G. Allred
  • Nicole Ordway


This paper reports on the effectiveness of an integrated comprehensive school model for character development, problem behavior prevention, and academic achievement enhancement. The Positive Action program consists of a school curriculum, together with schoolwide climate, family, and community components. As evaluated here, the yearly K-6 curriculum consists of over 140 fifteen-to-twenty-minute lessons per year delivered in school classrooms on an almost daily basis. The program is based on theories of self-concept, learning, behavior, and school ecology. We use a matched control design and school-level achievement and disciplinary data to evaluate program effects on student performance and behavior in two separate school districts. The program improved achievement by 16% in one district and 52% in another, and reduced disciplinary referrals by 78% in one district and 85% in the other. We discuss implications of these replicated findings for the prevention of substance abuse and violence, the improvement of school performance, and the reform of American schools.

prevention achievement matched-control self-concept violence discipline 


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Copyright information

© Society for Prevention Research 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Brian R. Flay
    • 1
  • Carol G. Allred
    • 2
  • Nicole Ordway
    • 1
  1. 1.Health Research and Policy Centers, School of Public HealthUniversity of Illinois at Chicago
  2. 2.Positive Action, Inc.Twin Falls

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