It isn’t enough to widely distribute resources like the Parents & Caregivers Guide and the Building Networks Guide. They must also be shown to work, to improve the ability of parents and caregivers; coaches and mentors; school counselors and mental health practitioners to spot and intervene in cases of potential radicalization. PERIL and SPLC are committed to evidence-based, iterative work that measurably reduces the risks associated with radicalization to violent extremism. At every stage of intervention, it is crucial that both positive outcomes and potential “backfire” effects be assessed.
These two impact studies present the results of assessment and feedback conducted on both the Parents & Caregivers Guide and the Building Networks Guide. The impact study of the Parents & Caregivers Guide quantitatively measures its effect on parents and caregivers, their knowledge of extremism and radicalization and their self-reported willingness to intervene on behalf of a young person at risk for radicalization. Similarly, the impact study of the Building Networks Guide assesses the awareness, knowledge and understanding of extremism gained by readers, as well as their capacity, capability, willingness and confidence to intervene in radicalization. The focus group report qualitatively assesses the strengths and weaknesses of the Parents & Caregivers Guide based on the expertise of educators, mental health professionals, coaches, and other youth group leaders.
All three assessments point to the same conclusion. The Parents & Caregivers Guide and the Building Networks Guide are highly effective tools for raising awareness, building confidence and offering strategies for intervention against extremism and radicalization. However, there is much work left to be done. While these guides offer a foundation on which this work can commence, more targeted and specific techniques for intervening are badly needed. PERIL and SPLC’s ongoing work is directed toward that end.
Impact Study - Building Networks Guide
Impact Study - Parents & Caregivers Guide
Focus Group Report
Illustration by Claudia Whitaker