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A summary of ongoing activity in the use of incentive schemes to encourage positive behaviours in young people

What do we want to know?

There is considerable policy interest in the use of incentives to promote positive behaviour in children and young people.  However, there is uncertainty about whether this approach works, and if so, what the underlying mechanisms are.  This report summarises ongoing activity in the use of incentive schemes both in the UK and internationally.

Who wants to know?

Policy-makers, practitioners.

What did we find?  

The report describes 37 schemes using incentives and aimed at promoting a range of positive behaviours in young people.  The schemes were mostly based in the UK, with some from the USA, Australia and New Zealand.  Two were international in scope.  Fifteen of the schemes targeted young people at risk; eleven provided direct cash incentives; and the others used a variety of different material incentives.

How did we get these results?

Data were collected using web searches, contact with authors, posting to email discussion lists and email contact with a range of national and international health promotion and other organisations.

This summary was prepared by the EPPI-Centre

This report should be cited as: Trouton A, Kavanagh J, Oakley A, Harden A, Powell, C (2005) A summary of ongoing activity in the use of incentive schemes to encourage positive behaviours in young people. London: EPPI-Centre, Social Science Research Unit, Institute of Education, University of London.

  
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