About the Independent Study
Rob Stewart, M.A., an independent evaluator and University of Minnesota Ph.D. candidate, conducted an evaluation of the Know the Truth™ program during the 2017-2018 academic school year. The study design was a pre-test and post-test, including both control and test groups. Surveys were taken anonymously with a numeric coding system to match the pre-test with the post-test surveys. Students from two Minneapolis-area high schools were recruited for participation; in total 366 students participated in the study. Study participants included students enrolled in health classes during the fall semester at their respective high schools.
The control group included students who participated in the standard health education curriculum only. The test group included students who participated in a Know the Truth™ two-session curriculum in addition to the standard health education curriculum. The “standard” drug and alcohol curriculum was delivered by the school’s health teacher with content aligned with the National Health Education Standards and Minnesota Benchmarks.
The Know the Truth™ curriculum was delivered by our facilitators on two consecutive days of the health class. The primary evaluation question is whether the addition of our program is effective in encouraging healthier attitudes toward drug and alcohol use than the standard health curriculum on its own.
Students in both the control and test groups reported net positive shifts in overall healthy attitudes toward drugs, drug use and the risks associated with drug use. However, the test group reported a significantly larger net positive shift. Nearly one in four students in the test group (24%) reported an overall increase in healthy attitudes, while only about one in twelve students in the control group (8%) reported an increase.