Project P.R.E.V.E.N.T.

Atlanta is a center of activities related to the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children (CSEC). As a result, the Center is committed to engaging in research and providing services designed to address this challenging problem. We collaborate with local schools and the Fulton County Juvenile Justice Fund to develop and implement programs designed to prevent CSEC and related problems.

The Center has developed Project P.R.E.V.E.N.T (Promoting Respect, Enhancing Value, Establishing New Trust), which is a research-based, interactive curriculum created to promote the healthy growth and development of adolescent girls. Project P.R.E.V.E.N.T. provides girls with tools to enhance their personal strengths. The program promotes girls’ critical-thinking and decision-making skills, which may help keep them safe in vulnerable situations.

Although there are some general experiences associated with adolescence, we believe that each group of girls is unique and can benefit from activities that are tailored to their background and environment (i.e., their school, community, ethnicity, etc.). Thus, Project P.R.E.V.E.N.T. was developed using the Participatory Culture Specific Intervention Model (PCSIM); a model that draws on the Ecological-Developmental Model of Mental Health and tenets of positive psychology. PCSIM incorporates participation from key stakeholders across all planning stages and asserts that effective approaches to prevention require careful attention to cultural variables, participant input, and local norms. Accordingly, although Project P.R.E.V.E.N.T. was originally created as a pilot prevention program with middle school girls in an urban school district, the model encourages users to modify the curriculum based on the needs of each unique group of girls.

For further information about Project P.R.E.V.E.N.T. or questions regarding adolescent development, please contact Dr. Ann Kruger at ackruger@gsu.edu.