The Good Behavior Game: An Effective Classroom Tool for Suicide Prevention
The Good Behavior Game (GBG), a universal classroom behavior management method, was tested in first- and second-grade classrooms in Baltimore beginning in the 1985–1986 school year. Follow-up at ages 19–21 found significantly lower rates of drug and alcohol use disorders, regular smoking, antisocial personality disorder, delinquency and incarceration for violent crimes, suicide ideation, and use of school-based services among students who had played the GBG. Several replications with shorter follow-up periods have provided similar early results. (1) Evidence shows that Good Behavior Game benefits continue to accrue. In 2008, Holly Wilcox, PhD discovered that children who played the Game were half as likely as young adults to report suicidal thoughts and about a third less likely to report a suicide attempt. As a result, the Good Behavior Game is cited as a promising program in the National Suicide Prevention Strategy. (2)
In this webinar, Holly Wilcox summarized the evidence behind the Good Behavior Game and described the relevant suicide prevention related research. Dr. Wilcox also spoke about the development of the GBG, its intended use, and training that is available and needed to use it. Mr. Longinaker, a first grade teacher in the Baltimore City School system, shared how he has used the Good Behavior Game in his classrooms and described the benefits and challenges of the program.
- The Good Behavior Game and the Future of Prevention and Treatment. Addict Sci Clin Pract. 2011 Jul; 6(1): 73–84. Sheppard G. Kellam, M.D.,Amelia C. L. Mackenzie, B.S., C. Hendricks Brown, Ph.D., Jeanne M. Poduska, Sc.D.,Wei Wang, Ph.D., Hanno Petras, Ph.D., and Holly C. Wilcox, Ph.D.
For more information about the Good Behavior Game, including training for teachers, visit: