Skip to content

All Stars (Core and Core with Plus)

Evidence rating
2
Cost rating
1
Review: March 2017

All Stars is a universal programme for children between the ages of 8 and 14 years. The primary goal of the programme is to prevent or delay risky behaviours, specifically substance misuse and anti-social behaviour.

The programme is typically delivered by a class teacher during the school day.

The programme aims to promote qualities that have been found to protect children from engaging in risky behaviour, such as commitment and bonding to the school environment. The programme involves a range of interactive methods including art, small group discussions, group work, and games, which focus on developing these qualities.

EIF Programme Assessment

Evidence rating
2

All Stars (Core and Core with Plus) has preliminary evidence of improving a child outcome, but we cannot be confident that the programme caused the improvement.

What does the evidence rating mean?

Level 2 indicates that the programme has evidence of improving a child outcome from a study involving at least 20 participants, representing 60% of the sample, using validated instruments. 

This programme does not receive a rating of 3 as its best evidence is not from a rigorously conducted RCT or QED evaluation.

This evidence rating applies only to All Stars ‘Core’ and ‘Core with Plus’, as delivered by a teacher and during the school day.

Cost rating
1

A rating of 1 indicates that a programme has a low cost to set up and deliver, compared with other interventions reviewed by EIF. This is equivalent to an estimated unit cost of less than £100.

Child outcomes

According to the best available evidence for this programme's impact, it can achieve the following positive outcomes for children:

Enhancing school achievement & employment

Improved goal setting skills (child-report) - based on study 1

Smaller decline in bonding to school environment (child-report) - based on study 1

Increased commitment (child-report) - based on study 1

Improved idealism / ideals (child-report) - based on study 1

Preventing substance abuse

Decreased alcohol use (child-report) - based on study 1

Decreased drunkenness (child-report) - based on study 1

Decreased onset of smoking cigarettes (child-report) - based on study 1

All Stars (Core and Core with Plus)

Key programme characteristics

Who is it for?

The best available evidence for this programme relates to the following age-groups:

  • Primary school
  • Preadolescents
  • Adolescents

How is it delivered?

The best available evidence for this programme relates to implementation through these delivery models:

  • Group

Where is it delivered?

The best available evidence for this programme relates to its implementation in these settings:

  • Primary school
  • Secondary school

How is it targeted?

The best available evidence for this programme relates to its implementation as:

  • Universal

Where has it been implemented?

Northern Ireland, United States

UK provision

This programme has been implemented in the UK.

UK evaluation

This programme’s best evidence does not include evaluation conducted in the UK.

All Stars (Core and Core with Plus)

About the programme

What happens during delivery?

How is it delivered?

All Stars has several strands. The rating applies to the following:

  • All Stars Core, which is delivered to 11- 13 year olds in 14 sessions of 45 minutes’ duration.
  • All Stars Plus, which is delivered to 13-14 year olds in 9 sessions of 45 minutes’ duration. Plus is a ‘follow-up’ programme for young people who have participated in Core.
What happens during the intervention?
  • All Stars uses a range of interactive methods including art, small group discussions, role play, and games to focus on key qualities or skills which research shows are most effective in preventing or delaying risky behaviours.
  • The five targeted qualities in All Stars Core are: lifestyle incongruence/idealism (recognising that high-risk behaviours will interfere with a young person’s life goals), positive social norms, commitment, bonding to prosocial organisations and positive parental attention.
  • All Stars Plus focuses additionally on three skills: decision making, goal setting, and resistance skills with a focus on resisting peer pressure.
  • Each classroom session is designed to promote at least one of the qualities or skills.
  • The qualities or skills are referred to as mediators as they account for how the programme.

What are the implementation requirements?

Who can deliver it?
  • The practitioner who delivers this programme is a qualified teacher with QCF level 6 qualifications.
What are the training requirements?
  • Practitioners have six hours of programme training. Booster training of practitioners is not required.
How are the practitioners supervised?
  • It is recommended that practitioners are supervised by a host agency supervisor, qualified to QCF 6, with six-eight hours of programme training.
What are the systems for maintaining fidelity?
  • Training manual for teachers
  • Other printed material (a student work book)
  • Face-to-face training of teachers
  • Fidelity monitoring tailored to the coordinator and school, recommended to include a mid-way fidelity visit
Is there a licensing requirement?

Yes, there is a licence required to run this programme.

How does it work? (Theory of Change)

How does it work?
  • All Stars is based on research and theory stating that certain qualities improve social competency skills and reduce a variety of risky behaviors, including substance use.
  • For example, the quality of having positive ‘social norms’ means that peers consider high-risk behaviours to be undesirable and unacceptable and is therefore hypothesised to prevent risky behaviour developing.
  • The programme uses interactive teaching techniques and homework assignments to promote the following five key qualities or ‘mediators’: lifestyle incongruence/idealism (recognising that high-risk behaviours will interfere with a young person’s desired future), social norms, commitment, bonding to prosocial and supportive organisations, and positive parental/carer attention.
  • In the short term, the mediators lead young people to identify futures that are personally meaningful, understand and share positive norms as a peer group, develop personal commitments to their future, feel engaged and respected as part of the class or group, and strengthen bonds with parents or other adults.
  • In the longer term, this causes young people to reduce substance misuse and engagement with other anti-social behaviours, such as fighting.
Intended outcomes

Enhancing school achievement & employment
Preventing crime, violence and antisocial behaviour
Preventing substance abuse

All Stars (Core and Core with Plus)

About the evidence

All Stars’ most rigorous evidence comes from a QED which was conducted in the USA.

This study identified statistically significant positive impact on a number of child outcomes. The conclusions that can be drawn from this study are limited by methodological issues pertaining to inequivalent groups and differential attrition between treatment and comparison groups not being reported, which is why a higher rating is not achieved. This programme is underpinned by one study with a level two, hence the programme receives a level two rating overall.

The rating is based on an evaluation of the version of All Stars delivered by a teacher during the school day. Other versions have a discrete evidence base, which has not contributed towards this guidebook entry. In particular, an afterschool version of All Stars found no statistically significant improvements for programme participants on all measured child outcomes (Gottfredson et al 2010). We would advise commissioners to consult the relevant studies for further information on all other versions. Please refer to the full reference list for details.

Study 1

Citation: Hansen & Dusenbury (2004)
Design: QED
Country: United States
Sample: A total of eight schools participated. The pre-test sample size was 770. 632 students completed pre and post-test surveys. The average age in the final sample was 12 years, four months
Timing: Post-intervention
Child outcomes: Decreased alcohol use (child-report)
Decreased drunkenness (child-report)
Decreased onset of smoking cigarettes (child-report)
Improved goal setting skills (child-report)
Smaller decline in bonding to school environment (child-report)
Increased commitment (child-report)
Improved idealism / ideals (child-report)
Other outcomes: Improved goal setting skills – child self-report
Smaller decline in bonding to school environment - child self-report
Decreased alcohol use - child self-report
Decreased drunkenness - child self-report
Decreased onset of smoking cigarettes - child self-report
Increased commitment - child self-report
Improved idealism / ideals (also known as lifestyle incongruence) - child self-report
Study rating: 2

Hansen, W. B., & Dusenbury, L. (2004). All Stars Plus: A competence and motivation enhancement approach to prevention. Health Education, 104(6), 371–381.

Available at
http://search.proquest.com/openview/b6d9d40128b610f69ae0d717f0a2725b/1?pq-origsite=gscholar&cbl=26045

Study design and sample

This study is a QED. Whole schools were assigned to conditions apart from one school in which a class served as a within-school control. Three schools were assigned to All Stars Core, 4 schools were assigned to All Stars ‘Core with Plus’ and two schools were assigned to the control condition. Assignment was not randomised.

This study was conducted in the USA, with a sample of 770 children. The average age was 12 years. 45% of students were economically disadvantaged. 28% of students identified themselves as African American, 13% Hispanic, 53% White, 1% Asian, 2% Native American, and 5% Others.

Measures

The following were measured using the All Stars Student Survey: decision making and impulsivity, goal setting, persistence, resistance skills, bonding to school, commitment, lifestyle incongruence, normative beliefs, parental monitoring, parent-child communication, alcohol use, drunkenness, marijuana use, inhalant use and cigarette smoking. The survey is a child self-report measure.

Findings

This study identified statistically significant positive impact on a number of child outcomes.

Results were reported together for the All Stars treatment groups (Core and Core with Plus) for most of the outcomes and demonstrated the following effects:

  • Improved goal setting skills
  • Smaller decline in bonding to school environment
  • Decreased alcohol use
  • Decreased drunkenness
  • Decreased onset of smoking cigarettes
  • Increased commitment (Core students were significantly more committed to avoiding drugs, compared to control or Core with Plus students)
  • Improved idealism/ideals.

Although there were indications that Core with Plus provided additional benefits on some outcomes compared to Core alone, the additional benefit of Core with Plus did not reach statistical significance.

More Less about study 1

Other studies

The following studies were identified for this programme but did not count towards the programme's overall evidence rating. A programme receives the same rating as its most robust study or studies.

Gottfredson, D. C., Cross, A., Wilson, D., Rorie, M., & Connell, N. (2010). An experimental evaluation of the All Stars prevention curriculum in a community after school setting. Prevention Science, 11(2), 142–154.

Harrington, N. G., Giles, S. M., Hoyle, R. H., Feeney, G. J., & Yungbluth, S. C. (2001). Evaluation of the All Stars character education and problem behavior prevention program: Effects on mediator and outcome variables for middle school students. Health Education & Behavior, 28(5), 533–546.

McNeal, R. B., Hansen, W. B., Harrington, N. G., & Giles, S. M. (2004). How All Stars works: An examination of program effects on mediating variables. Health Education & Behavior, 31(2), 165–178.

Slater, M. D., Kelly, K. J., Edwards, R. W., Thurman, P. J., Plested, B. A., Keefe, T. J., … Henry, K. L. (2006). Combining in-school and community-based media efforts: reducing marijuana and alcohol uptake among younger adolescents. Health Education Research, 21(1), 157–167.

Published March 2017   |   Last updated June 2017