MIAMI, Fla. (Ivanhoe Newswire) — All any of us wanted to do in school is to fit in and feel accepted. But some parents worry this leads to bad behavior. Now a cutting edge video game could be the secret to giving young girls the power to say no!
Indira Singh was a bundle of nerves starting middle school.
“Cause it was a big change, my elementary school was a very small school compared to the school I’m going to now.” Singh explained to Ivanhoe.
Indira’s mom worried about peer pressure overwhelming her 12-year-old daughter.
“She’s open to anybody and it’s easy to get influenced by anything.” Cecilia stated.
Professor Anne Norris at the University of Miami School of Nursing and Health told Ivanhoe, “youth getting involved in risky behavior. And it’s that behavior that can have lifetime consequences.”
Norris created the program ‘Mighty Girls’, with funding from the National Institute for Nursing Research, to give girls like Indira the tools to stand up for themselves. To be considerate, confident, and convincing.
“It’s a combination of classroom and virtual reality gameplay, and it’s really designed to build skills and help resist peer pressure.” Norris explained.
The Drama-Rama game teaches girls the refuse skill … how to refuse being pressured to do things they don’t want to do. That means communicating with a confident voice and body language to match.
Norris continued, “It’s that getting stuck and not knowing what to say that can make our children very vulnerable.”
Cecilia says the program has given her daughter the power to just say no!
“I’m a mighty girl!” Indira stated.
And mighty girls use their voices to make wise choices.
A study testing the influence of Mighty Girls is underway in 20 Miami-Dade public middle schools. The study is recruiting seventh grade girls of Hispanic/Latino background, and will continue until they hit ninth grade. Depending on the results, Norris hopes to expand the program nationwide. For more information log onto www.juegaenmiami.com.
Contributors to this news report include: Janna Ross, Producer; Judy Reich, Videographer; Roque Correa, Editor; Gabriella Battistiol, News Assistant.