Project

Gender Differences in Response to Interactive Substance Abuse Education Programs

Gender Differences in Response to Interactive Substance Abuse Education Programs

Website: http://www.baconbrains.com
Principal Investigator: Epstein, Joel
Funder: National Institute on Drug Abuse
Official Title: Gender Differences in Response to Interactive Substance Abuse Education Programs

Substance use among adolescents and young adults continues to be a costly public health issue, and educators have sought to increase youths’ knowledge about drugs, alcohol, and their effects on the developing brain. With funding from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, The Missouri Institute of Mental Health produced a series of video games called Bacon Brains designed to teach middle school students a core “Science of Addiction” curriculum. Through a partnership with a local school, we enrolled over 200 students and randomly assigned them to play Bacon Brains or a different series of NIDA-produced games. By design, half of the students in the Bacon Brains conditions played the games collaboratively and half played competitively. We observed significantly greater knowledge gains among students receiving content via Bacon Brains compared to the existing games. In addition, the interaction of gender, experimental condition and assessment timepoint was significant.

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