The Diné Hero Project is based on the Maui Hero Project, a model that has successfully demonstrated positive effects leading to the increased resiliency to alcohol and drug use over time among youth, including:

  • Increased sense of control over their lives (internal locus of control)
  • Increased sense of belonging and connection to their culture
  • Decreased risk taking and in turn take a longer term perspective on life
  • Increased positive attitudes toward school and attending college
  • Increased perception of the harm of alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs

Evaluation of the Dine Hero Project is accomplished by using baseline data with both the control group and the DHP group. Sample sizes are based on statistical recommendations for the social and behavioral sciences. Groups are matched on multiple characteristics to reduce any confounding variables such as typical maturation. Both groups are given the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration (SAMHSA) and the US National Registry of Evidence-based Projects and Practices (NREPP) standardized instruments in a pre and post test format and participate in focus groups with directed questions and open responses.

Multiple statistical analyses are conducted, including t-tests, analysis of variance (ANOVA), and multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA). Tests measuring linear and non-linear relationships, as well as several exploratory statistical tests, identify growth and difference between participant attributes, both within and between the two groups.