Try our beta test site
IMPORTANT: Listing of a study on this site does not reflect endorsement by the National Institutes of Health. Talk with a trusted healthcare professional before volunteering for a study. Read more...

XY-Zone Program Evaluation: A School-Based Dropout Prevention Program for At-Risk Youth

This study has been completed.
Ronya and George Kozmetsky (RGK) Foundation
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Katherine Montgomery, University of Texas at Austin Identifier:
First received: March 24, 2011
Last updated: July 8, 2013
Last verified: July 2013

The objective of this study is to build upon preliminary research and conduct a pilot feasibility randomized controlled trial on a promising culturally-grounded and gender-specific treatment program, the XY-Zone. The central hypothesis underlying this study purports that through receiving the XY-Zone treatment, adolescents will decrease their risk for dropping out of school. This hypothesis is supported by two years of preliminary data investigating the effectiveness of the XY-Zone.

To test the central hypothesis, the following specific aims will be pursued:

  1. Identify school dropout risk and protective factors (protective factors defined as: adult support and peer support; risk factors defined as: low school attendance, inability to achieve grade promotion, substance use, delinquency, school disconnectedness, misbehavior, disconnection from healthy peers) directly changed as a result of XY-Zone intervention.
  2. Determine the extent to which moderating variables (affective strength, duration in the program, family functioning, interpersonal strength, intrapersonal strength, level achieved in the program, and resiliency) effect change in outcome variables (risk and protective factors).
  3. Identify participants' beliefs about the impact of the mechanisms of change (respect, responsibility, relationship, role modeling, and reaching out) on outcome variables (risk and protective factors ) to enrich understanding of quantitative data.

Condition Intervention Phase
Adolescent Problem Behavior at School
Risk Behavior
Truancy; Socialized
Behavioral: XY-Zone
Phase 1
Phase 2

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Open Label
Primary Purpose: Prevention
Official Title: XY-Zone Phase 1 Program Evaluation: A School-Based Dropout Prevention Program for At-Risk Male Youth

Further study details as provided by University of Texas at Austin:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • Youth Self Report [ Time Frame: One Year ]
    The Youth Self Report (Achenbach, 1991) is a 112-item scale designed for ages 11-18 years. Items are rated on a three-point scale from 0=never to 2=always true in the past 6 months. Eleven subscales can be calculated from the data, including: withdrawn, somatic complaints, anxious/depressed, social problems, thought problems, attention problems, delinquent behavior, aggressive behavior, self-destructive, and internalizing and externalizing behaviors. Scoring of subscales is gender specific. Test-retest reliability has been shown to be good (r=.84-.91).

  • Substance Use Self Report [ Time Frame: One Year ]
    Self-report data on alcohol and other drug use will be collected through items adapted from the Adolescent DATOS survey, which was used with more than 3,000 adolescents (Kristiansen & Hubbard, 2001; Hser, Grella, et al., 2001).

  • School Records [ Time Frame: One Year ]
    School records offer attendance, truancy, grades, grade promotion, and behavioral referral information.

Secondary Outcome Measures:
  • Behavioral and Emotional Rating Scale- II (Youth Report) [ Time Frame: One Year ]
    This 57 item Likert-style scale is designed for youth ages 11-18. The BERS-II (Epstein et al., 2004) assesses six dimensions: interpersonal strength, family involvement, intrapersonal strength, school functioning, affective strength, and career and vocational strength. The BERS-II youth report has strong internal consistency (alpha=.81-.91) and good test-retest reliability (r=.84-.91).

  • Resilience Scale [ Time Frame: One Year ]
    The resilience scale (Wagnild & Young, 1993) is a 25 item designed to measure resiliency across various populations and is appropriate for youth. Items are rated on a seven-point scale (1= strongly disagree to 7= strongly agree) and have good internal consistency (alpha= .85-.94).

Enrollment: 91
Study Start Date: August 2011
Study Completion Date: May 2012
Primary Completion Date: May 2012 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Arms Assigned Interventions
Experimental: Communities in Schools Services
Communities in Schools services include case management, mental health services, mentorship services, after school programs, and academic assistance.
Behavioral: XY-Zone
The XY-Zone works to empower students to decrease risk factors and increase protective factors through three linear treatment steps. The first step is driven by guiding principles known as the five R's: respect, responsibility, relationship, role modeling, and reaching out. Through these principles, the participant explores healthy psychosocial behaviors and thoughts in a structured 10 session group setting. The leadership step builds upon the guiding principles and employs activities exploring true leadership through 10 sessions. During the leadership step, participants organize and carry out a service learning projects in their community. The third and final step is ambassador. Those in the ambassador step become a mentor to those in step one and are "expected to explore the principles of leadership and the five R's, and determine their personal relevance to their lives as young men" (Allen, 2009, p. i).


Ages Eligible for Study:   13 Years to 20 Years   (Child, Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   Male
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Students eligible to receive the XY-Zone must display one of the following risk factors:

    • academic risks (failed classes, failed state examination text, lack of class participation, and homework incompletion)
    • attendance risks (absences and tardies)
    • behavioral risks (gang involvement, substance use, classroom conduct, social skills, self-esteem, violence, delinquent conduct, and family or emotional crisis)and
    • social service issues (difficulty with the following: college readiness, life skills, health, career/employment, housing, day care, and grief or loss).

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Youth who do not display any of the identified risk factors
  Contacts and Locations
Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the Contacts provided below. For general information, see Learn About Clinical Studies.

Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT01323231

United States, Texas
Communities in Schools
Austin, Texas, United States, 78704
Sponsors and Collaborators
University of Texas at Austin
Ronya and George Kozmetsky (RGK) Foundation
Principal Investigator: Katherine L Montgomery, PhD, MSSW Washington University in Saint Louis
Study Chair: David W Springer, PhD The University of Texas at Austin
  More Information

Allen, A. (2008). The XY-Zone project evaluation of Communities in Schools-Central Texas. Independent Outcome Evaluation.
Achenbach, T.M. (1991). Manual for the Child Behavior Checklist/ 4-18 and 1991 Profile. Burlington, VT: University of Vermont Department of Psychiatry.
Epstein, M.H., Mooney, P., Ryser, G., & Pierce, C.D. (2004). Validity and reliability of the behavioral and emotional rating scale (2nd edition): Youth rating scale. Research on Social Work Practice, 14, 358-367.
Hesr, Y., Grella, C.E., Hubbard, R.L., Hsieh, S.C., Fletcher, B.W., Brown, B.S., & Anglin, M.D. (2001). An evaluation of drug treatment for adolescents in four United States cities. Archives of General Psychiatry, 58, 689-695.
Kristiansen, P.L. & Hubbard, R.L. (2001). Methodological overview and research design for adolescents in the drug abuse treatment outcome studies. Journal of Adolescent Research, 16, 545-562.
Singer, J. D. and Willett, J. B. (2003). Applied longitudinal data analysis: Methods for studying change and event occurrence. New York: Oxford University Press.
Creswell J.W. (2007). Qualitative inquiry and research design: Choosing among five approaches. 2nd ed. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Miles M.B. & Huberman, A.M. (1994). Making good sense: Drawing and verifying conclusions. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Responsible Party: Katherine Montgomery, PhD, University of Texas at Austin Identifier: NCT01323231     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: IRB -2010-05-0092
Study First Received: March 24, 2011
Last Updated: July 8, 2013

Keywords provided by University of Texas at Austin:
school drop-out risk
protective factors

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Problem Behavior
Behavioral Symptoms processed this record on April 28, 2017