Program

Jan 16, 2013

OVERVIEW

The Eddie Eagle GunSafe program
teaches children a behavior sequence to invoke should they encounter a
firearm. In a study of the program’s effectiveness, preschool students
were randomly assigned to receive either the Eddie Eagle program, a behavior
skills training (BST) program, or no program. Children in both the Eddie
Eagle program and the behavior skills training program were significantly more
likely than children who received no program to know the proper response upon
finding a gun. When asked to act out this response, behavior skills
training program students performed significantly better than did Eddie Eagle
program students, who performed significantly better than did control
students. However, neither the Eddie Eagle program, nor the behavior
skills training program was successful at teaching students to respond properly
when presented with a real-life scenario that involved finding a gun.

DESCRIPTION OF PROGRAM

Target population: Children in Pre-K through 3rd
grade

The Eddie Eagle GunSafe program is
an education-based training program developed and distributed by the National
Rifle Association (NRA). The program aims to teach children that, when
they encounter a firearm, they should follow the “Stop. Don’t
touch. Leave the area. Tell an adult.” sequence.
The Eddie Eagle program consists of five 10-15 minute sessions that discuss and
reinforce this sequence. Children are provided with scenarios that
require them to apply the sequence.

EVALUATION(S) OF PROGRAM

Himle, M.B., Miltenberger, R.G., Gatheridge, B.J., & Flessner, C.A. (2004). AnEvaluation of Two Procedures for Training Skills to Prevent Gun Play in
Children. Pediatrics, 113(1), 70-77.

Evaluated population: 31 four- and five-year-olds
from three independent pre-schools constituted the study sample for this
investigation.

Approach: Children were randomly assigned to either
an Eddie Eagle GunSafe Program treatment group, a
behavioral skills training (BST) treatment group, or a no-treatment control
group.

Children assigned to the Eddie Eagle treatment received the
Eddie Eagle Gun Safe Program (Level 1) curriculum over the course of five
consecutive days.

Children assigned to the behavioral skills training
treatment received a behavior skills training (BST) program in firearm
safety. The target skills trained in this BST intervention, similar to
the Eddie Eagle intervention, included not touching the firearm, leaving the
area, and reporting to an adult. This intervention also took place over
the course of five consecutive days for 10-15 minutes a day. Sessions
involved children being told how to behave appropriately, watching a trainer
model appropriate behavior, and practicing appropriate behavior. Once
each child had demonstrated that he or she could correctly perform the entire
sequenced response upon finding a gun, he or she practiced performing this
chain in a variety of scenarios.

Following the completion of training, each student took part
in three assessments: an interview assessment, a role-play assessment, and an
in situ assessment. The interview assessment consisted of a researcher
asking each child how he/she would respond if he/she found a firearm. The
role-play assessment consisted of a researcher presenting each child with a
situation that involved finding a firearm and asking him/her to act. The
in situ assessment took place in a child’s home or in a novel part of the
preschool. The children were not aware that they were taking part in an
assessment. Each child was directed to go somewhere where an unloaded gun
had been stashed and responses to finding the gun were assessed.

Results: On the interview assessments, students who
received the Eddie Eagle training or the behavioral skills training (BST)
performed significantly better than did control students. There was no
significant difference between the performance of Eddie Eagle training students
and behavioral skills training students.

On the role-play assessment, the behavior skills training
students performed significantly better than did the Eddie Eagle training
students, who in turn performed better than the control students.

On the in situ assessment, the three groups did not perform
significantly differently.

These results indicate that the Eddie Eagle training program
and the behavioral skills training program were equally successful in teaching
young children how to describe the ideal response to finding a firearm, but
that the Eddie Eagle training program was less successful than the behavioral
skills training program at teaching young children how to act out this
response. However, neither program was successful at teaching young
children to use these skills in real-life scenarios.

SOURCES FOR MORE INFORMATION

Eddie Eagle GunSafe Program
materials and information available at:

http://www.nrahq.org/safety/eddie/

References:

Himle, M.B., Miltenberger, R.G., Gatheridge, B.J., & Flessner, C.A. (2004). An
Evaluation of Two Procedures for Training Skills to Prevent Gun Play in
Children. Pediatrics, 113(1), 70-77.

KEYWORDS: School-based, Suburban, Early Childhood Education, Gun
Violence, Social Skills/Life Skills.

Program information last updated 7/24/07