End Gang Life is a provincial anti-gang initiative developed by the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit – British Columbia (CFSEU-BC). Goals of the initiative include promoting gang awareness, education, and prevention, including disseminating information via public service announcements (PSAs) and presentations in the community. This evaluation examined study participants’ reactions to PSAs and seminars presented by the End Gang Life initiative in three studies. In the Undergraduate Study, participants were exposed to one of 15 PSAs (six videos, six posters, three radio ads) and then completed self-report questionnaires. The questionnaires addressed participants’ opinions about the PSA and participants’ level of antisociality as measured by self-reported offending and psychopathic features. This sample consisted of undergraduate students from Simon Fraser University who completed the study online. The Community Study used a similar design, but was conducted with participants that were recruited from the community. In the High School Study, the sample consisted of high school students in British Columbia. Students completed paper self-report measures following a presentation by the CFSEU-BC. Results showed that undergraduate students and community members were more likely to perceive the PSAs as effective when negative emotions (e.g., sadness) were elicited, the content was perceived to be realistic, and greater sensations were perceived. Generally, these results were seen regardless of the degree of participants’ psychopathic traits, suggesting that PSAs may be of comparable effectiveness regardless of the presence of such traits. Of the three groups, the high school students reported the highest perceived sensations in response to the End Gang Life seminars. Further, the high school students were receptive to the seminars. Findings of this evaluation will help improve the existing initiative and will inform future anti-gang initiatives.
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Thesis advisor: Douglas, Kevin S.
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