Ripple Effects for Teens behavioral training software, originally delivered via desktop computer, and now available for Windows Pro tablets, is a set of 400 interlinking multimedia apps within a single software program. Each user enters the program through the door of their most immediate felt concern. The expert system utilizes natural selection patterns to match self-identified concern with the most relevant best practices to address it.
Ripple Effects is NREPP listed as a children’s mental health and substance abuse intervention. Documented outcomes include higher scores on resiliency assets, fewer behavioral referrals, and higher academic outcomes than control group peers. Significant pre to post reductions in depression scores among seven cohorts of gang involved youth have also been recorded, though not in RCT’s. Winner of the Grand Prize at Surgeon General’s Technology Games Competition in 2000, in the intervening years, Ripple Effects has garnered 28 additional awards and now is used by more than a million children and youth each year.
10-13 instructional modes are available for every topic: problem-solving scenarios, illustrated, science-based information, step-by-step behavioral training, peer modeling, transfer- training, true stories, assisted journaling, interactive personal profiles, and games to assess content mastery. Because the entire program is learner directed, users can get what they want, when they need it. The combination of salient content with preferred learning modes, and a scorecard system keeps users engaged and coming back. Usage data shows that more than 95% of teens who have any exposure to the program, voluntarily and privately access it beyond first use to address personal concerns.