Program Factsheet

Raising Healthy Children

Raising Healthy Children (RHC) is a multi-component, school-wide social development approach to positive development for elementary and middle school students. Through RHC, comprehensive school-wide action is taken to strengthen instructional practices and family involvement. RHC incorporates school, family, and student interventions to promote the opportunities, skills, recognition, and strong bonds that children need for success in school and in life. Everyone has a part to play in RHC. School staff development components provide opportunities for principals, teachers, and other instructional staff to learn new skills in areas such as management, instruction, cooperative learning, and student motivation. Family support is offered using three effective family programs – Raising Healthy Children, Supporting School Success, and Guiding Good Choices – in conjunction with outreach services for students with attendance problems. Students benefit from interpersonal and problem-solving skills training provided by teachers and other instructional staff throughout the school year. Together, the RHC program components build a strong base of support and teamwork to promote long-lasting positive youth development.

Domains

  • Education
  • Parenting

Developmental Phases

  • Childhood
  • Early Adolescence

Related Constructs

Homepage

http://sdrg.org/rhcsummary.asp

Key Links

Raising Healthy Children Program Social Development Research Group 9725 Third Ave NE, Suite #401 Seattle WA 98115 206.685.1997

RHC program contact: Jenna Elgin 206-616-8303 Email: jennae2@u.washington.edu

How it Operates

Raising Healthy Children incorporates school, family, and student program components implemented over a three-year period. The school program includes teacher and staff development workshops that focus on classroom management, cooperative learning, and methods to promote student motivation and problem-solving skills. Raising Healthy Children trainers deliver staff development workshops. During Year 1, teacher and instructional staff workshop topics include “proactive management” and “social and emotional skills.” One-on-one coaching visits, booster sessions, and follow-up visits are also offered. During Year 2, teacher and instructional staff workshop topics include “effective instructional strategies,” “cooperative learning,” and “motivational strategies.” One-on-one coaching visits, booster sessions, and follow-up visits are also offered during Year 2. During Year 3, teachers and instructional staff are offered additional one-on-one coaching visits and refresher trainings. Student intervention components are available for youth in kindergarten through sixth grade and delivered by teachers and other instructional staff at the school. The focus of the student program is to teach students interpersonal and problem-solving skills, including listening, social awareness, manners/civility, problem solving, and emotion regulation.

RHC family-support programs include Raising Healthy Children, Supporting School Success, and Guiding Good Choice. These programs are offered to parents during the fall and spring of the school year. Raising Healthy Children is a 5-session curriculum applicable for parents of youth in grades K-3. The program focuses on parents’ behavioral management skills. The sessions last approximately 2 hours and use demonstration, modeling, role-play, and discussion. During the last 20-25 minutes of each session, children and parents come together for “Family Practice” in which the family members participate in activities allowing parents to practice their newly learned skills. The Raising Healthy Children Program also provides home-based services for some families.

Supporting School Success is a 5-session series that focuses on teaching parents the skills they need to support their child’s academic success. The sessions last approximately 2 hours. The first three sessions focus on establishing a home learning routine, learning through play and talk, and communicating with the school. Parents then select from a menu of five additional sessions. These include helping with homework, strengthening children’s reading and language skills, reinforcing math skills, coping with problems at school, and teaching skills to children. During the last 20-25 minutes of each session, children and parents meet to practice skills and participate in a learning activity together.

Guiding Good Choices is a 5-session curriculum designed for parents of children in fourth through seventh grades aimed at preventing substance use and behavior problems. The program is designed to teach parents strategies that will strengthen family bonds, reduce family conflict, teach children skills to resist peer pressure, and assist parents in establishing consistent and effective family rules. The program uses video demonstrations, role-play, discussion, and home-based practice activities.

Training Required

A three-year staff development training process is required for implementation of the Raising Healthy Children program. For more information, including cost information and details about RHC implementation materials, contact Jenna Elgin (206-616-8303; jennae2@u.washington.edu) or view RHC’s Sample Staff Development Timeline online.

Sampling of Key References Supporting Evidence Base for the Program


  1. Catalano, R. F., Mazza, J.J., Harachi, T.W., Abbott, R.D., Haggerty, K.P., & Fleming, C.B. (2003). Raising healthy children through enhancing social development in elementary school: Results after 1.5 years. Journal of School Psychology, 41, 143-164.  

  2. Brown, E. C., Catalano, R. F., Fleming, C. B., Haggerty, K. P., & Abbott, R. D. (2005). Adolescent substance use outcomes in the Raising Healthy Children project: a two-part latent growth curve analysis. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 73, 699-710.  

  3. Haggerty, K. P., Fleming, C. B., Catalano, R. F., Harachi, T. W., & Abbott, R. D. (2006). Raising healthy children: examining the impact of promoting healthy driving behavior within a social development intervention. Prevention Science, 7, 257-267.  

  4. Catalano, R. F., Mazza, J. J., Harachi, T. W., Abbott, R. D., Haggerty, K. P., & Fleming, C. B. (2003). Raising healthy children through enhancing social development in elementary school: Results after 1.5 years. Journal of School Psychology, 41, 143-164.  

  5. Hawkins, J. D., Smith, B. H., Hill, K. G., Kosterman, R., Catalano, R. F., & Abbott, R. D. (2007). Promoting social development and preventing health and behavior problems during the elementary grades: Results from the Seattle Social Development Project. Victims & Offenders, 2, 161-181.  

  6. Hawkins, J. D., Kosterman, R., Catalano, R. F., Hill, K. G., & Abbott, R. D. (2005). Promoting positive adult functioning through social development intervention in childhood: Long-term effects from the Seattle Social Development Project. Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, 159, 25-31.  

  7. Hawkins, J. D., Catalano, R. F., Kosterman, R., Abbott, R., & Hill, K. G. (1999). Preventing adolescent health-risk behaviors by strengthening protection during childhood. Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, 153, 226-234.  

  8. Lonczak, H. S., Abbott, R. D., Hawkins, J. D., Kosterman, R., & Catalano, R. F. (2002). Effects of the Seattle Social Development Project on sexual behavior, pregnancy, birth, and sexually transmitted disease outcomes by age 21 years. Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, 156,438-447.