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Dealing with peer pressure: keepin’ it REAL

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“keepin’ it REAL” is a program consisting of 10 free-standing lessons centered around young people’s narratives that explain how they manage their health through a variety of applied skills, including decision-making, communication, and relationship management. By using the acronym “REAL” (Refuse, Explain, Avoid, Leave), students learn how to tackle peer pressure and other challenging situations, and how to manage potential risks.

The program is a CASEL designated complementary program and has shown promising results. Students participating in “keepin’ it REAL” reported lower levels of substance use and lower rates of increase in substance use. The program was developed by REAL Prevention, a U.S. company led by Dr. Hecht (Distinguished Professor Emeritus at Pennsylvania State University) and Dr. Miller-Day (Professor of Communication at Chapman University).