Study of Kidpower International’s “Everyday Safety Skills” yields evidence demonstrating effectiveness
This study presents evidence of effectiveness of the Kidpower Everyday Safety Skills Program derived from a quasi-experimental study on a population of 238 third grade children in Santa Cruz County in 2010. The Kidpower school-based workshop and follow up sessions were designed to help youth build self-esteem and learn how to prevent bullying, harassment, and violence, thus reducing the risk of victimization and lessening their likelihood of becoming perpetrators during their lifetimes. The findings demonstrated that the 2-hour training and reinforcement activities positively contributed to an immediate increase in children’s safety skills knowledge and that the effect was retained three months after the workshop.
The research study, directed by Julie Shattuck, Lead Investigator at Applied Research + Evaluation was conducted between January and May 2010. The study examined the effectiveness of the program in impacting children’s behaviors and skill development in protective factors associated with preventing and stopping most bullying, molestation, violence, and abduction. The researcher utilized a quasi-experimental, time series research design with a matched comparison group. Treatment groups (N=128) received a pretest, a 2-hour workshop, and an immediate posttest, followed by ten classroom “booster” sessions and weekly parent-child homework. A three-month posttest was then administered to examine the sustained effects of the program. Comparison groups (N=110) completed the pretest and the 3-month posttest and did not receive the training. The study compared pretest and 3-month posttest survey scores of the children who received the Kidpower training with the comparison group.
The findings demonstrated that children in the treatment group increased their safety skills knowledge in 4 core competency areas that were not present in the study’s control group. These results supported our hypothesis that children’s safety knowledge was enhanced significantly by the Kidpower Everyday Safety Skills program. This study extends the evidence that a school-based safety skills program can enhance protective factors associated with preventing and stopping most bullying, molestation, violence, and abduction.