Youth Guidance entered into a research partnership with Dr. Ford-Paz from Lurie Children’s Center for Childhood Resilience in 2014 to build the research readiness of the Working on Womanhood (WOW) intervention, a promising, multi-faceted school-based group behavioral health intervention that works to meet the needs of low-income, ethnic minority adolescent girls.   This community-academic partnership worked collaboratively to enhance the efficacy of the curriculum through a community-engaged refinement project and most recently field-tested the refined WOW program and conducted a process/formative evaluation examining fidelity, feasibility, acceptability, and utility to inform modifications to build readiness for a rigorous effectiveness/outcomes evaluation.

Co-PIs:  Rebecca Ford-Paz, PhD (Lurie Children’s CCR); Gail Day, LSW (Youth Guidance)
Collaborators:  Youth Guidance (WOW counselors, WOW leadership, WOW Research & Evaluation Team)
CCR Staff: Claire Coyne, PhD; Colleen Cicchetti, PhD; Hayley Goldenthal; Tara Gill, PhD; Former CCR Staff:  Katie Lawton, PhD    

Approach/Methodology:  Consistent with community-based participatory research principles, academic and community agency partners have been involved in every step of this project in equitable roles. Youth Guidance staff collaborated with Lurie investigators to identify areas of inquiry and to design surveys and focus group guides. Youth Guidance collected all data from school personnel, WOW participants, and parents consistent with their program implementation and internal program evaluation procedures. Academic and community partners designed survey and focus group questions and collaboratively identified questions to be answered by program implementation data and pre/post-measures.

Research Questions

Feasibility:  Is it feasible to implement the WOW program in CPS in its current form?
Acceptability:  How is WOW received by program implementers and program participants?
Fidelity:  Is the WOW program being implemented as it was designed?
Utility/initial promise:  To what extent is the program producing change in the desired direction in pre- to post- assessments?

Funded by the Evergreen Invitational Women’s Health Grant Initiati