Positive Peer Norms
Imagine positive behavior as the norm, not the exception. That’s what social norming is all about and The Conflict Center can make it happen.
What Is Social Norming?
Social norming is based on the concept that most students engage in positive, healthy behaviors, but they believe their peers engage in negative unhealthy behaviors. As a result, many students do things they personally believe are wrong in order to gain acceptance by their peers. Social norming is a strength-based approach that builds upon the assets that students already possess, namely the positive behaviors they already incorporate into their daily lives.
Social norming works by identifying gaps between actual and perceived norms of acceptable behavior within a specific population, and then educating students on the actual norms by means of messaging campaigns and “positive peer pressure.”
Social norming has a long track record of effectiveness when used to address a wide range of issues, from smoking to binge drinking to bullying. When students have a more accurate perception of positive behaviors that are acceptable by their peers, it is less likely they will engage in negative, harmful or violent behavior as a means of seeking peer acceptance. By educating students on the actual social norms of behavior, we help to reduce the level of physical, verbal and emotional violence in schools and create a culture of peace and non-violence.
The Conflict Center uses social norming techniques to create a safer learning environment for students. We are currently engaged in two social norming projects around the topic of teen dating violence and relationship violence.
These programs are being conducted at two high schools in the Denver-Aurora area. They are designed to prevent teen dating violence and sexual assault by reducing risk factors and building protective factors, both of which are supported by a healthy understanding of the social norms around dating and relationships. These efforts will produce both short-term and long-term results as teens learn that violence is not an acceptable part of relationships and carry that knowledge into their adult lives.
YouThINK Screen Printing Project
About the Project
The Conflict Center received funds from the K. Norris Children’s Fund to start a project to engage youth leaders in art. The goal is to empower youth leaders to use multiple creative strategies for disseminating messages to build a positive peer culture and promote healthy intimate relationships.
Working in Collaboration with the Colorado Anti Violence Program, Casa Milagros Youth Solutions and Project PAVE. The Youth Adult partnership decided to implement a Screen Printing Project.
Youth will design images to be printed on posters , t-shits, etc. Youth messaging will be shared as peer-to-peer projects as well as presenting to younger students in middle schools