Date of Conferral







Martha Giles


Adolescence is characterized as a time of impulsivity, emotional decision-making, and peer influence; thus, interventions targeting the development of effective psychosocial skills are imperative. Improved psychosocial functioning can equip adolescents for successfully overcoming future life challenges. There are few studies that have examined how adolescents' psychosocial skills could be improved in the context of substance abuse prevention program participation. The purpose of this study was to examine changes in psychosocial skills in a group of adolescents who participated in 2 of 10 Lions Quest Skills for Adolescence (Lions Quest SFA) programs being used in central Virginia middle schools. This study examined whether Lions Quest SFA was useful in observing changes in the total score of lagging psychosocial skills, which incorporated measures of impulse control, emotion regulation, and social skills. The adolescent population of interest had already demonstrated weaknesses in these areas as they had been referred to this program from school-based mental health services. This archival study used an ANCOVA to analyze 1-year pre- and posttest score differences on the Assessment of Lagging Skills and Unsolved Problems and examine possible gender differences following participation in the program for 1 school year. The secondary dataset consisted of pre- and posttest scores of 36 male students and 30 female students. The results of this study demonstrated implications for social change as they extended the knowledge in this area by suggesting that participation in the Lions Quest SFA program may contribute to the improvement of psychosocial skills, and these findings could contribute to the improvement of treatment interventions used at Horizon Behavioral Health.