Preventing Long-term Anger and Aggression in Youth | 2017



PLAAY (Preventing Long-term Anger and Aggression in Youth) is a culturally relevant intervention that relies upon Recast theory (Racial Encounter Coping Appraisal and Socialization Theory) to promote the development of healthy coping skills for Black male youth. Recast theory suggests that the more racial socialization (the more youth receive feedback and skills in navigating racially stressful encounters) one receives, the better prepared and confident one is to engage rather than avoid these encounters and use better decision making toward positive health outcomes. This training will teach participants how to see the impact of racial and gender stress, conflict, and literacy on youth who must cope daily with rejection from teachers, peers, police, and neighbors.

Several cognitive behavioral strategies are embedded in the PLAAY physical activity and group therapy intervention components. PLAAY teaches stress management during face-to-face encounters in basketball, classroom, and peer social activities. Participants will learn to read and resolve racial and gender conflicts and reduce the effects of trauma for youth and parents. A key theme is that racial and gender-related conflicts are resolvable through stress management and can improved youth achievement and persistence in schooling. The more individuals identify their stress reactions to racial and gender conflicts, can practice and manage those stressful encounters, the more confident they will be in engaging racial and gender rejections that they face. Authority figure-youth relationships constitute powerful influences on children’s learning and safety. This training will examine how racial and gender threat undermine many authority-youth relationships and teach 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 that includes practitioners and leaders from the organization who have mentoring, counseling or administrative responsibility for the youth/families. One member must be the team leader. Organizations that would benefit from the training include schools, community-based health agencies, recreation departments, community recreation centers, 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).

Is your organization ready to implement PLAAY?

Are you ready to implement the PLAAY program? Prior to filling out an application, please review the Readiness Checklist (pdf) to learn more about what is required to implement this program.

What is required of training participants?

Recognizing that it takes more than a two-day training to implement new programs, SAMHSA requests that participating NNED Partner teams commit to the full NNEDLearn 2017 training model which includes: Prepare; Learn; Implement; and Sustain. Read more about NNEDLearn 2017

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 two pre-meeting webinars (dates below).
  • Complete assignments as requested by trainer, such as a readiness checklist and pre-meeting training content material. 


From March 26-29, teams will attend a 2½ day training at the Hyatt Regency Tamaya 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 will receive ongoing coaching to help support uptake of the practice. Team members will:

  • Participate in four 1- hour group coaching sessions with the trainer (from April through August—dates TBD).
  • Participate regularly in the online discussion forum.
  • Complete implementation reporting assignments.


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 2017.


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

Important Dates

  • Prepare Webinar One: (choose one only) February 21, 2017, 11:00 am – 12:00 pm ET OR 1:00 – 2:00 pm ET
  • Prepare Webinar Two: March 1, 2017, 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm ET
  • Learn Stage (On-site Training): March 26-29, 2017 (Santa Ana Pueblo, New Mexico)
  • Implement Coaching Sessions: Four 1-hour coaching sessions between April-August 2017 (Dates TBD)

NOTE: Information for all webinars and coaching sessions will be posted on the Discussion Forum. Selected participants will gain access to the Discussion Forum upon acceptance.


Email for any questions related to NNEDLearn 2017. 

Read more about NNEDLearn 2017.