What works for girls

Following on from yesterday’s post about what works for boys, the same organisation (Child Trends) have produced a similar paper about what has been shown to work for girls.

When it comes to substance misuse they found 20 programmes that were able to tell them something about what works and what has been less successful when it comes to girls.  They say:

Five programs were found to work for girls, seven had mixed impacts, and eight were not found to work for girls.

They suggest there were two elements that were shown to work:

  • Including a parent/family component in the programme
  • Engaging local stakeholders often forming a committee to oversee the programme

Other programmes have had more mixed findings – working sometimes, but not consistently:

  • Encouraging media literacy
  • Targeting actual or perceived norms

Only one thing is described as having no effect with girls:

  • Teaching social skills

The last is interesting as much of the perceived impact of life skills curricula – such as Life Skills Training or Unplugged – focuses on improving those social skills that will help young people manage decisions where drugs and alcohol are being consumed and discussed.