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Pursuing Ever Better Prevention Outcomes for Protecting Our Futures

Prevention science is a risky business.  What?  As a prevention scientist who wants the products of that science to be widely used, I have to take risks—by rigorously testing our ideas and seeking continuous improvement.

Why do my colleagues and I continuously test improvements? Because the world is not static, and new challenges and threats arise to the future of our children, families and communities.

Consider just a few newer challenges to our collective futures:

  • Rates of suicide among teens have become epidemic in some places, and is nearly six times the rate of polio deaths at the height of the polio epidemic in the 1950s.
  • A shocking one-third of America’s young people were prescribed ADHD medication in 2009.
  • An epidemic of opiate addiction is sweeping through rural and small town America.
  • Epidemiological studies show that 1-out-2 American young people will have had a psychiatric disorder by ages 18-21.

As a prevention scientist and international prevention company, we cannot stand still—resting on the laurels of our past prevention studies.  That’s why we have colleagues and studies around the world to test new ideas, new combinations, and with new population groups.  The idea is to protect MORE children, families and communities better, at a lower cost per unit of change, with better sustainability.

This commitment is sometimes a bit scary, because you don’t know what will be the outcome—which is the nature of science.

So here are some of the recent findings by colleagues around the world about PAX GBG:

  • PAX Good Behavior Game works in afterschool settings, and the older students in K-5 afterschool programs are good at helping run PAX.
  • PAX GBG significantly benefits First Nations/Indigenous students.
  • PAX GBG increases self-efficacy predictors in pre-service teachers.
  • PAX GBG increases standardized reading and math scores, regardless of the reading or math curriculum.
  • PAX GBG can reduce psychiatric disorders among primary grade children in 12 weeks, when teachers and mentoring partners are co-trained together.
  • Adding a social-emotional curriculum to PAX GBG helps reduce teacher stress more.
  • PAX GBG can be successfully adapted and translated to Estonian culture.
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