Gang Resistance Education And Training
Prevention; Ages 8–14
- Antisocial/delinquent beliefs
- Conduct disorders (authority conflict/rebellious/stubborn/disruptive/antisocial)
- Early and persistent noncompliant behavior
- Early onset of aggression/violence
- Few social ties (involved in social activities, popularity)
- General delinquency involvement
- High alcohol/drug use
- Lack of guilt and empathy
- Low perceived likelihood of being caught
- Makes excuses for delinquent behavior (neutralization)
- Physical violence/aggression
- Poor refusal skills
- Victimization and exposure to violence
- Violent victimization
- Low academic aspirations
- Low school attachment/bonding/motivation/commitment to school
- Poorly organized and functioning schools/inadequate school climate/negative labeling by teachers
- Availability and use of drugs in the neighborhood
- Feeling unsafe in the neighborhood
- Low neighborhood attachment
- Neighborhood youth in trouble
- Association with antisocial/aggressive/delinquent peers; high peer delinquency
- Association with gang-involved peers/relatives
- Peer alcohol/drug use
- Peer rejection
The Gang Resistance Education And Training (G.R.E.A.T.) Program is a school-based gang prevention curriculum for girls and boys. The curriculum is taught in entire classrooms of mainly middle school students by uniformed law enforcement officers in a 13-week course. In addition to educating students about the dangers of gang involvement, the lesson content places considerable emphasis on cognitive-behavioral training, social skills development, refusal skills training, and conflict resolution. Thus, the curriculum aims to reduce risk factors and increase protective factors. The middle school curriculum consists of the following lesson topics and lesson content (http://www.great-online.org):
- Welcome to G.R.E.A.T.—program introduction; the relationship between gangs, violence, drugs, and crime.
- What’s the Real Deal?—message analysis; facts and fiction about gangs and violence.
- It’s About Us—community, roles and responsibilities; what you can do about gangs.
- Where Do We Go From Here?—setting realistic and achievable goals.
- Decisions, Decisions, Decisions—G.R.E.A.T. decision-making model; impact of decisions on goals; decision-making practice.
- Do You Hear What I Am Saying?—effective communication; verbal versus nonverbal communication.
- Walk in Someone Else’s Shoes—active listening; identification of different emotions; empathy for others.
- Say It Like You Mean It—body language; tone of voice; refusal skills practice.
- Getting Along Without Going Along—influences; peer pressure; refusal skills practice.
- Keeping Your Cool—G.R.E.A.T. anger management tips; practice cooling off.
- Keeping It Together—recognizing anger in others; tips for calming others.
- Working It Out—consequences for fighting; G.R.E.A.T. tips for conflict resolution; conflict resolution practice; where to go for help.
- Looking Back—program review; “Making My School a G.R.E.A.T. Place” project.
The G.R.E.A.T. Program consists of four components: a 13-session middle school curriculum, an elementary school curriculum, a summer program, and families training.
Preliminary results from a seven-city experimental evaluation of the revised G.R.E.A.T. Program (one-year post-treatment) are positive overall. The program appears to have short-term effects on the intended goals of reducing gang involvement (but not general delinquency) and improving youth-police relations (more positive attitudes about police), as well as on interim risk or skills. Specifically, compared with non-G.R.E.A.T. students, the G.R.E.A.T. students were more likely to report more frequent use of refusal skills, greater resistance to peer pressure, less positive attitudes about gangs, and lower rates of gang membership.
National Gang Center and OJJDP Model Programs Guide: Effective program
G.R.E.A.T. Program Training Coordinator
Institute for Intergovernmental Research
Post Office Box 12729
Tallahassee, FL 32317-2729
Phone: (800) 726-7070
Fax: (850) 386-5356
Esbensen, F.; Osgood, D. W.; Taylor, T. J.; Peterson, D.; and Freng, A. (2001). How Great is G.R.E.A.T.? Results From a Longitudinal Quasi-Experimental Design. Criminology and Public Policy, 1:87–117.
Esbensen, F.; Peterson, D.; Taylor, T.J.; Freng, A.; Osgood, D.W.; Carson, D.C.; Matsuda, K.N. (2011). Evaluation and Evolution of the Gang Resistance Education and Training (G.R.E.A.T.) Program, Journal of School Violence, 10:1, 53-70