Results on Grade Point Average
In addition to the attitudinal surveys, high school counselors and group facilitators were asked to track the students’ GPA’s, absence counts, and behavior referral counts as they attended class throughout the 2011-2012 school year. For most, the recorded data reflected three different time periods: the end of spring 2011 semester (initial data), the end of the fall 2011 semester, and the end of the spring 2012 semester. Only students who began the program toward the end of the 2011-2012 school year, or left the program early, would have missing data pieces. Again, a matched pairs t-test was used to compare individual differences amongst the respective categories. For this analysis, results showed a statistically significant improvement in students’ GPA’s for those teens who began the Teen Addition Anonymous program in the fall 2011 school year. Their fall 2011 GPA’s were higher when compared to their GPA’s the previous spring 2011 semester. Further, students who attended the Teen Addiction Anonymous program during the fall 2011 semester significantly lowered their absence total from the previous spring 2011 semester.
Remarks Regarding GPA’s, Absences, and Referrals
The primary goal of Teen AA is to reduce addictive behavior. However, it’s important to note any additional influences the program may have had on students’ academic and behavioral performances within their school. As stated previously, students who attended the Teen AA program for six weeks showed a significant improvement in raising their GPA and lowering their absent total during the fall semester of school. And while the statistics should provide some level of promise to the counselors and students, there are items to consider involving those statistical results. First, the research involving GPA’s, absences, and referrals didn’t have a control group. So, while students who attended Teen AA during the fall semester demonstrated a significant improvement in their academics and behavior when compared to the previous semester, it’s possible that all students from the same schools improved at a similar rate.
Second, while the data showed significant results for the fall semester of school, the research also showed that students didn’t improve their academics and their absences the following spring semester, and in some cases, showed regression. This could have happened for a number of reasons. One may believe that students traditionally perform better during the fall semester due to the “fresh start” that so many feel after a long summer break. Others may attribute the decline in grades to those seniors within the program who are doing “just enough” to graduate during the spring semester. Further studies can investigate these results.