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Update KiR: An Evidence-Based Program Reducing Teen Tobacco Use

Institution: Education Training and Research Associates, Inc.
Investigator(s): Pamela Drake, Ph.D.
Award Cycle: 2018 (Cycle 27) Grant #: 27IP-0035 Award: $526,924
Subject Area: Tobacco-Use Prevention and Cessation
Award Type: High Impact Pilot Award

Initial Award Abstract

keepin’ it REAL (KiR) is an effective, multicultural middle school drug prevention program that has been shown to reduce tobacco marijuana, and alcohol use. KiR teaches youth to think critically and communicate effectively. The lessons cover risk assessment, decision making, and communication skills such as tobacco, marijuana and other substance refusal. REAL refers to the resistance strategies - Refuse, Explain, Avoid, and Leave - that teens can use to negotiate tobacco, marijuana and other substance offers. These strategies are based on narratives from thousands of adolescents describing their lives and experiences with cigarettes, marijuana, and other substances. The multimedia, culturally grounded middle school prevention program consists of ten school lessons and five videos developed by kids for kids.  This is followed by “boosters” that reinforce the program. The KiR curriculum has been evaluated with thousands of middle school children and has been shown to be effective in reducing adolescent tobacco, marijuana and other drug use. The curriculum was published in 2005, and has not been updated since. This project is focused on updating and modernizing all pieces of the KiR curriculum. ETR will work closely with Dr. Flavio Marsiglia, the original developer, and the health innovation company, dfusion, to conduct formative evaluation activities to drive the curriculum updates and modernization. The team will ground the work in the core components of the curriculum while considering strategies to update the “youth stories,” create new video and other media, and consider new delivery modes for sections of the lessons. The updated curriculum will include the most current content related to electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS), cannabis, and second hand smoke. It will be piloted in 2-3 sites and fine-tuned accordingly.