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HYSQ - Phase II: Program Evaluations

In Phase II, HYSQ conducted a longitudinal evaluation of high school-aged youth participating in 41 smoking cessation programs across the United States. Through careful consideration and consultation with experts in program evaluation, youth tobacco research, sampling and survey methodology, and program administration, an associative program evaluation model was designed to guide the study with the overarching question “what program component, process, and contextual factors are associated with increased recruitment, retention and quit rates?”  A variety of factors were measured at multiple time points and levels. The types of program components, processes, and contextual factors of interest are illustrated in the HYSQ Phase II logic model

Program Selection

Based on the Phase I outcome of program homogeneity across the US, Phase II sought to evaluate programs that were viable, replicable, and credible (promising programs). Program selection was based primarily on an a priori set of parameters:

  • Not part of a research initiative, 
  • Provides direct cessation services through in-person group sessions, 
  • Has been implemented at least once in the past year, 
  • Primarily serves youth aged 14–18 years, 
  • Has a written guide that is used by trained staff, and 
  • Serves at least 15 youth per year.      

Data Collection

Protocols and instruments were designed for collecting information on four levels that correspond to components in the Phase II logic model: 

  1. Community: to examine the larger context in which the programs are offered and youth reside, including the existence and enforcement of local tobacco ordinances;
  2. Organization: to examine the proximal context in which the programs are offered, including program funding and support;
  3. Program/Provider: to examine the program components and the immediate context in which it is offered a variety of information is gathered, such as the program as implemented, group dynamics and professional characteristics of the provider; and
  4. Participant: to examine youth smoking and quit behaviors including future plans, curricular and extracurricular involvement, relationship and social norm perceptions, program experience.  

Given these components and levels, one key analytical decision was to use participants as the unit of analysis in a multi-level model that assigns program-level characteristics to individual participants.  The Phase II analyses focus on exploring the relationship between aggregated program attributes and youth participant outcomes.  

Youth Comparison Groups

In order to account for natural quit rates, two existing national studies are used to develop synthetic comparison groups (i.e., the CDC conducted National Youth Tobacco Survey 2004, and the Youth Smoking Cessation Study of the Roswell Park Cancer Institute). The HYSQ youth participant surveys include comparable questions to both studies. The baseline and 12-month follow-up data are used to examine the ambient quit rate. 

Presentations and publications about this phase are included in the Publications section of this Web site as they become available.  
Read more about the Phase II evaluation and our progress to date here


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The Helping Young Smokers Quit National Program Office has closed. Helping Young Smokers Quit was supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the National Cancer Institute (NCI) from 2001 through 2010. Program direction was provided by the Institute for Health Research and Policy, University of Illinois at Chicago. The contents of this Web site are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of NCI, CDC or RWJF. © 2010.