Research conducted by Dr. Kenneth Ferraro, Purdue University, found that PEERS improved both peer leaders and younger participants’ attitude, knowledge, decision making, and behavior. Dr. Ferraro’s research that indicates PEERS may have improved academic performance was published by the American Journal of Health Studies.


  • Increase confidence in personal decision-making and critical thinking skills
  • Increase desire to avoid sexual activity before marriage and increase percentage who recommit to avoiding all risky behaviors.
  • Increase understanding and desire to pursue healthy relationships of mutual respect.
  • Participants acquire skills and tools that help them set short and long term goals and envision a better life based on their values so as to Increase economic self-sufficiency and reduce the risk of living in poverty.
  • Decrease the risk that teens will become pregnant or contract a sexually transmitted disease or infection.
  • Creation of support systems and positive peer pressure to make good decisions aligned with their personal values.

In partnership with Dr. Greg Steele, IUPUI professor of epidemiology, we will administer pre and post program surveys to determine if we’ve met our goals.

Past Project Resultspeers-impact

In 2013, The PEERS Project identified, trained, and provided peer support for 2,000 Peer Leaders who reached 15,000 participants in Indiana. Since its creation in 1994, the PEERS Project has trained more than 25,000 leaders and reached a million youth in schools and community-based organizations.


could identify characteristics of unhealthy relationships


learned refusal skills that would help them to resist the pressure to use alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs, and to become sexually active.


said they learned good reasons for not having sex until marriage


said Peer Leaders impacted their decision to avoid risky behavior


Students who received the PEERS Project showed a 1.5% increase in standardized math ISTEP scores for each year that they participated. (American Journal of Health Studies)