Evidence-Based Outcomes

The programs selected by PROSPER Ohio from the PROSPER menu include a family and school program, both of which focus on building youth competencies and preventing problem behaviors (e.g., substance misuse, conduct problems), supporting positive youth development, and improving family functioning. These programs are universal programs, designed to promote skills beneficial to all families and youth, not just those “at risk.” 

The key difference-maker is that these programs and their outcomes are evidence-based, meaning they have been rigorously evaluated and shown to be effective. Youth participating in programs implemented through the PROSPER Delivery System scored significantly lower on a number of negative behavioral outcomes, including drunkenness, cigarette use, marijuana use, use of other illicit substances, and conduct problem behaviors.

Other positive outcomes indicated by research into PROSPER and programs on the PROSPER menu include:

  • PROSPER demonstrated positive effects on family strengthening, parenting, and youth skill outcomes that influence longer-term adolescent behavioral outcomes.
  • Peer social network analyses show PROSPER reduces negative peer influences, shifting peer influence toward non-users.
  • Research on the family-based program demonstrated reduced lifetime STD rates and substance use in participant youth, as well as multiple other positive outcomes (including better grades and economic benefits) for participants up through the 12th grade.
  • Youth participating in programs implemented through the PROSPER Delivery System scored significantly lower on a number of negative behavioral outcomes up to 6½ years past baseline.

Further Reading

PROSPER has been recognized by leading prevention science organizations and the 4-H Council.

The Coalition for Evidence-Based Policy has selected PROSPER as a Near Top-Tier Program. Interventions shown to meet almost all elements of the Top Tier standard, and which only need one additional step to qualify. This category includes, for example, interventions that meet all elements of the standard in a single site, and just need a replication trial to confirm the initial findings and establish that they generalize to other sites.

Blueprints for Healthy Youth Development has designated PROSPER as a Promising Program. Each Blueprints program has been reviewed by an independent panel of evaluation experts and determined to meet a clear set of scientific standards. Programs meeting this standard have demonstrated at least some effectiveness for changing targeted behavior and developmental outcomes.

The Social Impact Exchange has selected PROSPER for its index of top nonprofits increasing social impact, the S&I 100. The S&I 100 Index consists of high-impact nonprofits that have been carefully vetted through a comprehensive selection process. More than 150 experts have participated in a cross-sector collaborative effort to identify and assess the nonprofits that have been selected to be part of the Index.​

PROSPER was selected for the 2007 Family Strengthening Award that was given jointly by the National 4-H Council and the Annie E. Casey Foundation. The PROSPER Project also was selected by the National 4-H Council as a Program of Distinction in 2006 and in 2009.