Project P.I.N.K.: A case study of a school-based intervention program for middle school girls
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Maintaining positive self-esteem and self-image, especially in adolescent girls, has grown to be a significant issue that has caught the attention of school district leaders. However, related school-based programs that support adolescent girls’ self-esteem and self-image have demonstrated limited effectiveness (Yager, Diedrichs, Ricciardelli, & Halliwell, 2013). In response to researchers suggesting intervention programs could be effective (Polce-Lynch, Myers, & Kilmartin, 1998), Project P.I.N.K. (Positive Image New Knowledge) was designed to foster positive self-esteem and self-image in middle school girls. The purpose of this study was to take an in-depth look at the program to explore how participation in the Project P.I.N.K. program may contribute to the development and/or preservation of positive self-esteem and self-image of the participants. This qualitative case study focused on the 31 girls who participated in the program during the 2017-2018 academic year. This study used a census sample, as all participants currently enrolled in the program were included. Students returned consents/assents to participate. In Vivo coding analysis was applied to the data collected from multiple program artifacts (self-esteem and self-image personal attributes activity and “The Mirror” activity), including participant feedback gathered from an end-of-the-year program reflection. Results of the Project P.I.N.K. program indicated that participants experienced positive impacts with regards to self-esteem and self-image. Such results suggest that school leaders should focus their efforts on implementing programs involving self-esteem and self-image, with an emphasis on activities and practices that foster an adolescent girls’ sense of intelligence, social connection, goal orientation, and uniqueness. Project P.I.N.K. will provide administrators, school personnel, and district leaders with a viable intervention model available for implementation to potentially mitigate negative influences on the self-esteem and self-image of young girls. Moreover, it will provide more adolescent girls with a school-based resource available to them that can foster and/or preserve positive self-esteem and self-image.