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ERIC Number: ED561194
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Pages: 6
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 17
Findings from the School-Based Theatrical Performance "Walk in Our Shoes." Research Report
Wong, Eunice C.; Cerully, Jennifer L.; Collings, Rebecca L.; Roth, Elizabeth
RAND Corporation
The study presented in this report evaluates the effects of a school-based theatrical performance "Walk In Our Shoes" on a group of predominantly Latino youth in Santa Barbara County, California. The performance follows the lives of four (fictional) high school students and introduces their various experiences with both mental health challenges and stigma. The theater performance was developed and presented as part of California's Prevention and Early Intervention (PEI) activities, funded under Proposition 63. The goal of the performance is to fill key gaps in knowledge that might lead to stigmatizing beliefs about people with mental health challenges. Participants were students who attended a performance of "Walk In Our Shoes" at a Santa Barbara County middle school. A total of 466 students completed a survey developed by RAND immediately before (pre-test) and immediately following the performance (post-test). Where possible, measures were drawn or adapted from previous studies of stigma reduction interventions in youth. The large majority of participants reported that the presentation was a good experience (93 percent) and that they got very involved and felt what it must be like to have a mental health challenge (81 percent). A majority (84 percent) felt that the presentation taught them how to listen to kids with a mental health challenge who may be from a different culture. Moreover, 81 percent endorsed a "yes" response when asked if they would recommend the presentation to someone of their cultural background. A smaller group (42 percent) strongly or sort of agreed the presentation was sensitive to their cultural background, with many participants (33 percent) neither agreeing nor disagreeing with this item. The results of this study suggest that "Walk In Our Shoes", a theater-based SDR intervention for youth, is associated with immediate improvement in mental health knowledge and attitudes and shows promise as a method of increasing knowledge and reducing the stigma of mental illness among youth.
RAND Corporation. P.O. Box 2138, Santa Monica, CA 90407-2138. Tel: 877-584-8642; Tel: 310-451-7002; Fax: 412-802-4981; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: High Schools; Secondary Education; Middle Schools; Junior High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: RAND Health; California Mental Health Services Authority (CalMHSA)
Identifiers - Location: California