In 2018, Dr. Hua (Helen) Wang gave a talk on BREAKAWAY at the University at Buffalo’s Alberti Center for Bullying Abuse Prevention. A video recording and the presentation slides have been made available for us. Additionally, the BREAKAWAY team had an article published in the Health & New Media Research journal in December 2018. The article focuses on how BREAKAWAY has been implemented to combat violence against girls and women in El Salvador.
The team at SUNY Buffalo used BREAKAWAY in a study testing the social norms against gender equality in El Salvador. A 2016 Research_Brief discusses the implementation and evaluation of BREAKAWAY within this area.
A 2014 research study conducted by the same team at SUNY Buffalo examined the effect of BREAKAWAY gameplay on bullying victimization self-efficacy among 112 youth in El Salvador between the ages of 6 – 19. A field experiment was implemented to compare self-efficacy measures among participants in a control group with two treatment groups: those who played BREAKAWAY and those who not only played BREAKAWAY but also participated in facilitated group discussions. Although self-efficacy of participants in the gameplay-only condition was higher than that of participants in the control condition, the results were not statistically significant. However, when gameplay was combined with facilitated group discussions, participants’ self-efficacy was significantly better. In addition, male participants in both game only and game plus discussion groups demonstrated a greater increase in self-efficacy. To read the full report, please click here.
A 2013 research study conducted by Dr. Hua (Helen) Wang from SUNY Buffalo, with help of the BREAKAWAY team in El Salvador, found BREAKAWAY does indeed have a profound impact. Based on a five-star rating scale, participants rated the camp experience 4.92, facilitators 4.66, and other campers 4.66. Participants claimed, “The camp is the best thing that has happened to me;” they learned that “the abuse of women is bad,” and to “not react to violent situations in a violent way because it can make things worse, so it is best to remain calm.” They reported that BREAKAWAY changed them in many ways. One said, “It opened my mind that girls can do the same things as boys.” Another said, “BREAKAWAY changed me morally in terms of respect to others.” Participants’ awareness and attitudes not only changed, but some also indicated their behavioral change. For example, they are now more frequently playing alongside girls. To read the full report, please click here.
BREAKAWAY is a continual and integral part of the UN’s ongoing worldwide fight against poverty, violence against women, hunger, disease and environmental destruction. The game is also part of the UN Secretary Generals’ Campaign UNiTE to end violence against women.