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Program Description

Overview Developed, tested, and refined for over eight years in Tucson, Arizona, Go Grrrls (GG) is a preventive after school intervention program focusing on the promotion of middle school girls' positive psychosocial development to help them navigate through early adolescence. GG is based on the idea that early adolescence is a time when many youth begin experimentation with risky behaviors such as cigarette use, drug use, and sex, and that this time period is characterized by many obstacles and barriers to healthy development, concerns that are increasingly directed at adolescent girls.
Start Date 1995
Scope local
Type after school
Location urban
Setting public school
Participants middle school students (girls only)
Number of Sites/Grantees one in 1999 and eight in 2002–2003 in Tucson
Number Served 118 in 1999 and over 600 per year (2002–2003 in Tucson sites)
Components GG is delivered in small groups of eight to ten participants, which are led by two female group leaders (primarily Masters of Social Work or graduate psychology students). The program consists of a detailed curriculum of 12 sessions built around tasks considered critical for the healthy psychosocial development of early adolescent girls in contemporary society, and include: being a girl in today's society, establishing a positive self-image, establishing independence, making and keeping friends, learning to obtain help and find access to resources, and planning for the future (LeCroy & Daley, 2001).¹ The evaluators note that the program has an 80% retention rate (i.e., 80% of participants complete 8 or more of the 12 different sessions).

¹ LeCroy, C. W., & Daley, J. (2001). Empowering adolescent girls: Examining the present and building skills for the future with the Go Grrrls program. New York: W. W. Norton.
Funding Level $130,000 per year (2002–2003)
Funding Sources Arizona Department of Health Services


Overview The evaluation seeks to examine the developmental effects of a preventive intervention for early adolescent girls.
Evaluator Craig Winston LeCroy, Arizona State University
Evaluations Profiled Experimental Evaluation of “Go Grrrls”
Evaluations Planned The evaluation is ongoing as evaluators continue to collect attendance data and basic outcome data (pre-post test).
Report Availability LeCroy, C. W. (2003). Experimental evaluation of “Go Grrrls.” Tucson, AZ: Author.


Evaluation Craig Winston LeCroy, Ph.D.
School of Social Work-Tucson Component
340 N. Commerce Park Loop, Suite 250
Tucson, AZ 85745
Tel: 520-884-5507 ext. 15
Program Jan Daley, M.S.W.
Child & Family Resources
2800 E. Broadway Blvd.
Tucson, AZ 85716
Tel: 520-321-3750
Profile Updated September 24, 2003

Evaluation: Experimental Evaluation of “Go Grrrls”

Evaluation Description

Evaluation Purpose To assess the impact of the Go Grrrls program on participants' healthy psychosocial development.
Evaluation Design Experimental: One hundred and eighteen girls from two different middle schools were recruited for the study through orientation sessions with parents and students at the schools these girls attended. These girls were then randomly assigned to either an intervention group (the program group) or to a delayed intervention group (the control group) who were placed on a wait list. The mean age of the sample was 13.5 years. Approximately 62% were Caucasian, 20% mixed race, 13.5% Hispanic, 2.5% Native American, and 2% African American. Approximately one-third had a parent who attended college, over half lived in single-parent homes, and approximately 37% received free school lunch. Over 70% of the girls had started their menstruation. No significant differences were found between the program and control groups on any of these background variables.
Data Collection Methods Surveys/Questionnaires: All participants completed questionnaires before and after the intervention to assess performance on the dependent measures. The questionnaires included: basic demographic information, a number of standardized scales measuring outcomes based on age appropriateness and ease and simplicity in completing the items, and whether subjects feel they could go to any number of 15 possible sources for help (e.g., hotlines and crisis centers, a friend their age, etc.).

Tests/Assessments: A number of assessments were embedded within the participant questionnaires. These included: Body Image Scale (Simmons & Blythe, 1987)—a five-item scale measuring satisfaction with body image (e.g., “how happy are you with your overall figure?”); Assertiveness Scale (Center for Substance Abuse Prevention, 1993)—a seven-item scale measuring anticipated assertiveness (e.g., “if a friend wanted to give me alcohol I could say no”); Peer Self-Esteem Scale (Hare, 1985)—a 10-item scale measuring self-esteem by asking subjects to assess their friendships (e.g., “other people think I am a lot of fun to be with”); Attractiveness Scale (LeCroy & Daley, 1997)—an eight-item scale measuring girls' perceptions about attractiveness (e.g., “the way I look is more important than the way I act”); Girls' Self-Efficacy Scale (LeCroy & Daley, 1997)—a nine-item scale measuring girls perceived gender role efficacy (e.g., “I am a caring and confident girl”); Self-Liking and Self-Competence Scale (Tafarodi & Swann, 1995)—a 20-item scale measuring perceived personal efficacies and self-esteem (e.g., “I perform very well at a number of things”); and Hopelessness Scale (Kazdin et al., 1986)—a 17-item scale measuring dimensions of hopelessness and helplessness (e.g., “I never get what I want, so it's dumb to want anything”).

Center for Substance Abuse Prevention. (1993). Knowledge, attitude, and behavior instrument (KAB). Washington, DC: Author.

Hare, B. R. (1985). The HARE general and specific (school, peer, and home) self esteem scale. Unpublished manuscript.

Kazdin, A. E. (1986). The hopelessness scale for children: Psychometric characteristics and concurrent validity. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 58, 729–740.

LeCroy, C. W., & Daley, J. (1997). Girls' self efficacy scale. Unpublished manuscript.

LeCroy, C. W., & Daley, J. (1997). Girls' attitude toward attractiveness scale. Unpublished manuscript.

Simmons, R. G., & Blythe, D. A. (1987). Moving into adolescence: The impact of pubertal change and school context. New York: Aldine De Gruyter.

Tafarodi, R., & Swann, W. B., Jr. (1995). Self-liking and self-competence as dimensions of global self-esteem: Initial validation of a measure. Journal of Personality Assessment, 65, 322–342.
Data Collection Timeframe Data were collected in 1999.

Summative/Outcome Findings

Youth Development The intervention group reported significantly greater increases in body image (effect size = .05, p < .008), assertiveness (effect size = .04, p < .01), positive attitudes regarding attractiveness (effect size = .08, p < .002), self-efficacy (effect size = .03, p < .03), and self-liking and competence (effect size = .06, p < .006) than the control group.

Hopelessness and help sources' outcomes showed positive effects of the intervention (effect sizes ~ .02), but only at the .10 level of significance.

No effect of the program was found for friendship esteem.


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