The ABAN AYA YOUTH PROJECT (ABAN AYA) is an Afrocentric Social Development curriculum instructed over a four-year period, beginning in the fifth grade. The number of
lessons varies each year. This curriculum encourages abstinence, protection from unsafe sex, and avoidance of drugs and alcohol. The name of the intervention is drawn
from two words in the Akan (Ghanaian) language: ABAN (fence) signifies double/social protection; AYA (the unfurling fern) signifies self-determination. The purpose of
this intervention is to promote abstinence from sex, and to teach students how to avoid drugs and alcohol, and how to resolve conflicts non-violently.
ABAN AYA YOUTH PROJECT was developed to address multiple problem behaviors such as violence, substance abuse, delinquency and sexual activity, simultaneously
in a long-term intervention specifically for African American youths in grades five through eight. The longitudinal evaluation of the program involved 12 schools in the
metropolitan Chicago area between 1994 and 1998.
At baseline, 1153 fifth graders participated in the pencil-and-paper assessment. There was an average annual turnover rate of about 20%. Of the group that completed the
baseline survey, 668 were still present at the conclusion of the program.
was fairly evenly divided between males and females; the average age was 10.8 years. All participants were African American. Follow-up assessments were
conducted at the conclusion of grades five through eight for all students in the test schools with parental consent at the time of assessment. Students who transferred
out of the test schools were not followed for the purposes of the study.
Participating schools were assigned to one of three conditions using a randomized block design. The first experimental condition, the Social Development Curriculum (SDC)
included 16-21 classroom-based lessons each year. The second experimental condition, the School/Community Intervention (SCI), included SDC plus a parent/community
element. The control condition, Health Enhancement Curriculum (HEC), was equal to SDC in intensity, and focused on general health, nutrition and physical activity.
The PASHA program package includes only the SDC curriculum. Therefore, effectiveness information will include only HEC and SDC.
At study conclusion, there were no significant intervention effects for girls. For boys, however, the SDC significantly reduced the rate of increase in violent behavior
(by 35% compared with HEC), provoking behavior (41%) school delinquency (31%) drug use (32%), and recent sexual intercourse (44%). SDC also improved the rate of increase
in condom use (95%) as compared to HEC.
ABAN AYA YOUTH PROJECT is suitable for use in middle schools, grades 5 through 8. It may be suitable for
use in community based organizations that provide services to youths in this age group.
The baseline sample was 49.5% male, and averaged 10.8 years at the beginning of fifth grade.
All participants were African American.
The Social Development Curriculum (SDC), discussed in this User's Guide and detailed in the
facilitator's manuals, is classroom based and involves 16-21 lessons each year in grades five through eight. The lessons are designed to be taught in a typical
classroom period, and last approximately 40-45 minutes each.
In the original implementation, health educators delivered the curriculum in social studies class. In
order to ensure fidelity of implementation, two training sessions were held before each lesson during which health educators role played the activities and senior
project staff provided feedback. In addition, each year, the regular classroom teachers received a four-hour workshop to provide an overview of program content and
There is no formal training program required for implementing ABAN AYA. However, training is an essential component in prevention programs. Often instructors find
prevention methods differ from teaching methods they normally use. Hence, training can improve the instructors understanding of concepts that drive prevention
programs and increase their competence in prevention strategies. Also training helps to increase the fidelity of implementation of your program and increase the
likelihood the program will become sustained in your school or agency as the instructors become more comfortable and supportive of the program.
Given the nature of the Aban Aya curricula, training is required. Training provides an opportunity for Aban Aya instructors to feel comfortable with the curricula content, while
enhancing their knowledge of the prevention conceptual framework used to develop Aban Aya. Training will also increase instructors. competence and capacity to teach the
cognitive.behavioral skills that comprise the curricula. A 1-day training program is available from Sociometrics. Sociometrics also provides other training services including technical assistance after training and refresher training at the beginning of each year of the curricula.
Sociometrics can also assist in consultation on program implementation and evaluation design and metrics. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 650-949-3282 for current pricing and more information on how to tailor a training and/or evaluation package to meet your needs in the implementation of Aban Aya.