Research Team Partnering to Evaluate Anti-Extremism Program in Bahrain

Researchers from Prevention Strategies and The Institute to Promote Athlete Health and Wellness at UNC Greensboro are partnering with key stakeholders from the Kingdom of Bahrain and officials from D.A.R.E. America to evaluate and optimize the Ma’an Peaceful Coexistence and Anti-Extremism middle and high school programs

The study will utilize the innovative, engineering-inspired methodological approach, the Multiphase Optimization Strategy (MOST). No other curriculum targeting peaceful coexistence and/or extremism has been optimized using the state-of-the-art MOST methodology. Additionally, MOST has never been implemented in any country in the Middle East making the Kingdom of Bahrain the first to introduce and demonstrate the value of MOST for optimizing and evaluating behavioral programs to other behavioral scientists in the Middle East. The overall goal of the project is that the optimized versions of Peaceful Coexistence and Anti-Extremism programs will be used across the Kingdom of Bahrain and translated for use in other countries to combat the spread of extremism and intolerance.

Additionally, the first evaluation of the D.A.R.E. myPlaybook high school program will be conducted as part of the research project. This study will provide important evidence to support both the effectiveness of myPlaybook as well as the importance of myPlaybook serving as the foundational component for the high school Anti-Extremism program. Finally, the researchers will also conduct an evaluation of keepin’ it REAL (D.A.R.E. middle school program) as implemented by Ma’an officers in the Kingdom of Bahrain to assess its’ impact on targeted risk and protective factors as well as risky behaviors.

The currently funded study will be conducted in 5 Phases over the next two years.

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