NIJ Grant Proposal Submitted to Study Choking Game Prevention

WE'LL KNOW IN LATE 2014 IF THIS GRANT PROPOSAL GETS FUNDED ... read on Funding Proposal Submitted to the National Institute of Justice 7/10/2014
re Solicitation No. NIJ-2014-3878
Developing Knowledge About What Works to Make Schools Safe

 Project Title:

Strong Student Leaders Make Schools Safer
“Even Smart, Strong Kids Can Make Dumb
Choices
With Deadly Consequences”

Project Abstract:

Problem Statement: This longitudinal study makes schools safer by helping students develop strategies to resist peer pressure and bullying, and to choose healthy activities over risky behaviors. The project implements a skills-building program focused on preventing a known, yet under-studied, risk behavior: asphyxial activities commonly known as the "Choking Game." Iron County School District selected the Choking Game as the targeted risk behavior because 40% of adolescent deaths in their district since 2009 are due to the Choking Game.

Based on the Health Risk Belief model, the project examines whether presenting students with facts can reverse feelings of invincibility to reshape their view of this behavior and other risky behaviors (e.g., inhalant abuse) thus promoting a safer school climate.

Subjects: An established curricular approach will be implemented with all students in grades 5, 7, and 10. Parents will participate in separate sessions aimed at improving communication with their children to help them make better choices.

Research Design and Methods:  The evaluation addresses the impact of the curriculum on knowledge, attitudes, behavior and behavioral intent surrounding the Choking Game. The evaluation will also assess the extent to which the curriculum may influence other risky behaviors and promote improved parent- child communication. Iron County will implement the project for three years, with implementation in Beaver County in year two and in Garfield County in year three.

Analysis: The evaluation design involves pre- /post- / and follow-up tests using both scaled and open- ended questions, conducted with youth participants, parent participants, and implementers of the curriculum.  Focus groups will include representative youth participants, parents, implementers and key local personnel. Pre- / Post-intervention student social media chatter will be analyzed utilizing an innovative technical tool. All data collected will be analyzed and reported to stakeholders, with insights and recommendations regarding the efficacy of this curriculum as a strategy to address the Choking Game and other risky behaviors.

Partnerships: The Director of George Mason University's Center for the Advancement of Public Health will be the Principal Investigator. School Security Roundtable will donate project management services equating to a 33% matching contribution to NIJ's grant.

Products, Reports and Data Archiving: Lasting academic products to enhance school safety include: scholarly articles published for education, health and law enforcement professionals; online learning modules for practitioners; and an evidence-based program with a replication guide to ease implementation in other districts. All data will be securely archived pursuant to NIJ requirements.

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Erik's Cause
Saving lives with a non-graphic, skills-based approach to raise awareness and stop deadly pass-out games (most commonly known as "The Choking Game").