Preventing Long-term Anger and Aggression in Youth | 2015



PLAAY (Preventing Long-term Anger and Aggression in Youth) is a culturally relevant intervention focused on Black male youth that relies upon recast theory (Racial Encounter Coping Appraisal and Socialization Theory).  This training will teach participants about the impact of racial stress, literacy, and coping on youth and related intervention strategies embedded in physical activity and group therapy components. The PLAAY components include teaching stress management during basketball and martial arts self-defense activities, racial and gender coping during group therapy sessions, and trauma resolution and healthy discipline strategies during parent group therapy sessions. A key theme is that racial and gender-related conflicts are resolvable through stress management and are related to youth achievement and persistence in schooling. The more individuals can identify their stress reactions to racial and gender conflicts, and can practice and manage those stressful encounters, the more they will develop a confidence around racial and gender rejections that influence youth development. Authority figure-youth relationships constitute powerful influences on children’s learning. This training will demonstrate how racial and gender stress and poor coping mechanisms undermine many of these authority-youth relationships and how to resolve conflicts within these relationships to promote healthier outcomes for youth.

Based on a recent book, Promoting Racial Literacy in Schools: Differences that Make a Difference, Dr. Stevenson will use five strategies to teach participants how to work more effectively with Black male youth who are struggling with relationship and life rejection challenges. The five core intervention strategies include the use of storytelling, journaling, relaxation, debating, and role-playing. These five strategies are designed to assist youth in developing skills in racial self-awareness, self-appraisal, self-care, self-control, and self-expression.

Who can participate?

Organizations may propose a team of three to five behavioral health practitioners from the organization. One member must be the team leader. Organizations that would benefit from the training include schools, community-based health agencies, recreation departments, religious leadership programs, youth development programs, and mentoring programs. Participants should include clinicians, program managers, administrators and community members. These individuals should be working with youth as counselors, teachers, therapists, or program managers in both face-to-face situations (mentoring or therapy) and/or program-level administration situations (referral agents or directors of programs).

What is required of participants?

Recognizing that it takes more than a two-day  training to implement new practices or programs, SAMHSA requests that participating NNED Partner teams commit to the full NNEDLearn 2015 training model which includes: Prepare; Learn; Implement; and Sustain. Read more about NNEDLearn 2015. Objectives and expectations for each NNEDLearn stage for PLAAY are as follows:


The first stage of NNEDLearn involves preparing the NNED Partner team for the Learn stage (on-site training), and requires that team members:

  • Participate in an introductory webinar.
  • Complete reading assignments.


From April 12-15, teams will attend a 2½ day training at the Tamaya Hyatt in Santa Ana Pueblo, NM. Participants will learn:

  • how to use in-the-moment stress reduction strategies when working with Black male youth.
  • the latest research on culturally relevant interventions with youth and its application to community based mental health services.
  • how to negotiate a racially stressful encounter with youth, families, or colleagues.
  • the latest measures that seek to demonstrate racial literacy has been accomplished by staff and students within an intervention model.
  • how racial stress influences negative health outcomes for Black youth and families.
  • how to apply a theory of racial stress and coping within intervention work with youth and families of color.


After the Learn stage (on-site training), all PLAAY teams join together in a “community of practice” that receives ongoing coaching to help support uptake of the practice. Team members will:

  • Participate in 4 monthly webinars (dates to be posted on NNED website).
  • Participate regularly in the online discussion forum.


NNED Partner teams are expected to pursue efforts to sustain the practice and to demonstrate outcome and impact as appropriate. Teams will have the opportunity to: 

  • Provide input on training outcomes and the impact of NNEDLearn 2015.


Dr. Howard Stevenson, Professor of Education and Africana Studies, University of Pennsylvania

Important Dates

  • Application Deadline: February 24, 2015
  • Prepare Webinar: Tuesday, March 17, 2015 2:00 pm -- 3:00 pm ET
  • Learn Stage (On-site Training): April 12 - April 15, 2015 (Santa Ana Pueblo, New Mexico)
  • Implement Webinars in:
    • May 2015
    • June 2015
    • July 2015
    • August 2015

Information for all webinars is posted on the Discussion Forum under the "Meeting and Logistics" thread.

Discussion Forum

Access the PLAAY Discussion Forum.