The Signs of Suicide Program

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This evaluation critique is focused on the article: “An Outcome Evaluation of the SOS Suicide Prevention Program,” by Robert H. Aseltine Jr, and Robert DeMartino. Based on their evaluation, the authors (2004) conclude that the SOS program was successful as “significantly lower rates of suicide attempts and greater knowledge and more adaptive attitudes about depression and suicide were observed among students in the intervention group” (p. 446).
Program Background
The Signs of Suicide (SOS) program is an educational approach in reducing suicidal behaviors among students. It is school-based preventative program that “incorporates two prominent suicide prevention strategies into a single program by combining curricula to raise
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448). Second, the authors (2004) utilize “HLM 5 software to perform 2-level multivariate analyses of program effects” (p. 448). For each outcome variables, there are two major corresponding equations:
For level-1 analysis (Student as unit of analysis),
(1) “Yij =B0j + B1jFemaleij + B2–5jRaceij +B6jESLij + B7–9jGradeij + eij”
In this equation, “Y represents the predicted value of each outcome variable for each individual (i) in the classroom (j); Female, Race, and ESL represent a series of dummy variables for the demographic control variables included in the analysis; and e represents random error” (Aseltine & DeMartino, 2004, p. 448).
For level-2 analysis (Classroom as unit of analysis), (2) “B0j =G00 + G01Treatmentj + U0j”
In this equation, “random error U0j represent residual variability in treatment effect; all demographic control variables were modeled as fixed effects (i.e., B1j =G10)” (Aseltine & DeMartino, 2004, p. 448). Evaluation Strengths
At first glance, the evaluation is well-conducted and carefully discussed by Aseltine and DeMartino without hesitation to outline potential issues with SOS’s long-term impact and weakness of the evaluation as a whole. More importantly, the evaluation methods are well-suited to the question asked
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