Symposium 6th World Congress on Positive Psychology 2019

CorStone Case Study: Scaling-Up ‘Youth First’ Among Marginalized Youth In Bihar, India (#142)

Steven Leventhal 1 , Katherine Leventhal 1
  1. CorStone, Baltimore, MD, United States

CorStone is an internationally-recognized nonprofit with the mission to provide evidence-based resilience programs to improve mental and physical health, increase academic achievement, and reduce poverty among marginalized youth and women. Since 2009, CorStone has reached over 65,000 beneficiaries in India and Kenya. Its largest program, Youth First, is an evidence-based emotional resilience and health program that has been rigorously tested through a randomized controlled trial among 3,600 adolescent village girls in rural India.

CorStone has trained over 500 government schoolteachers to conduct Youth First and the similar girls-only Girls First program in 250 schools. Teachers report better rapport with students and that students are more focused in the classroom. Students report improved goal-setting and problem solving skills, and describe using character strengths to help them work towards goals and solve problems. Quantitative pre- and post-assessments among student participants show improved psychosocial assets and wellbeing.

At the request of the Education Department in Bihar, India, in 2019 CorStone will launch a multi-phase scale-up of Youth First throughout Bihar’s 26,000 government middle schools serving 2.6 million adolescent youth. Key scale-up challenges include how to minimize training, support and monitoring costs for teachers conducting the program while maintaining fidelity and maximizing effectiveness.