PAX Good Behavior Game

What is it About?

Get Started

How does the Pax Good Behavior Game help students be students?

The Game teaches students to “flip on” their internal focus switch, required for any learning. It teaches students how to work toward valued goals, and teaches them how to cooperate with each other to reach those goals. Students learn how to self-regulate during both learning and fun. Students learn how to delay gratification for a bigger goal. And, the Game protects students against lifetime mental, emotional, behavioral, and related physical illnesses for their futures. PAX GBG also significantly improves multiple measures of academic success such as reading test scores, high-school graduation and university entry.

What does PAX GBG do?

PAX teaches students self-regulation, self-control, and self-management in context of collaborating with others for peace, productivity, health and happiness. PAX is not a classroom management program, but it makes managing classrooms a breeze. PAX GBG is the combined science from PeaceBuilders, Good Behavior Game & other studies.

Get Started

PAX teaches students Self-Regulation.

Scientific Outcomes

The National Registry of Evidence-Based Programs and Practices, maintained by the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has an independent review of the quality of scientific outcomes of PAX Good Behavior. That review may be found here.  You may also download and read an annotated bibliography of the scores of independent studies on the development of this protective strategy from this hyperlink.

Most of these scientific papers and full articles are freely available at

Benefits in the classroom…..

Here is a lay person’s summary of the immediate benefits that teachers and students will experience:

  • Major improvement in engaged learning by students.
  • 60-90 minute more time to teach and learn each day.
  • 75-125 fewer disruptions per hour in classes.
  • Improved benchmark scores that predict success on standardized tests.
  • 20%-30% less need for special education.
  • Improved family life because of children's improvements at school.
  • Improved benefits of other prevention efforts.

Reductions in deviant and criminal behaviors……

  • A 30% to 60% reduction in referrals, suspensions or expulsions.
  • Significant reduction in life-time juvenile and adult criminal acts.

Increased mental health……

  • 50% - 70% reduction in mental health difficulties (e.g., ADHD and conduct symptoms).
  • A 10% to 30% reduction injuries or stress related complaints.
  • Reduction in directly observable symptoms of ADHD such as inattention and fidgeting, even for children not on medication.
  • Reduction in observable symptoms of Oppositional Defiance and Conduct Disorders, whether or not the child is in therapy or the family is receiving interventions.
  • Reduction in the manifest symptoms of depression or PTSD.

Substance Use Prevention…..

  • 25% to 50% reduction in use of tobacco or other drugs over a child’s lifetime.
  • This includes methamphetamine, GBH, marijuana and more.

How Well Does PAX GBG Compare to Other Evidence-Based Prevention Programs?

The Washington State Institute for Public Policy does powerful cost-benefit analyses on programs and practices for the Washington State Legislature. Programs may have great scientific proof, yet may not be very cost effective when compared to other strategies.  You can see all the Washington State Institute’s comparisons from The Washington State Institute for Public Policy, and we urge you to do so.

We provide a synopsis here of multiple universal and selected prevention strategies implemented in schools for comparison, which you can download as a PDF here.

Here is a list of school-based prevention strategies—with their cost savings per child/student per lifetime (Table 1), based on well-done experimental studies and cost-benefit analyses.  At PAXIS, we actively seek to help all programs become more cost-effective and with more net benefits for the students, schools, students’ families, and the larger communities.  It is in all our long-term best interests to find more and more powerful ways to improve the futures of all our children. This is why we work with colleagues all over the world to improve the outcomes and benefits of prevention science. 

We are pleased that PAX GBG is a leading strategy in these positive outcomes, and will continue to seek to make it better.

Table 1: Common Evidence-Based School Prevention Programs and Net Economic Cost-Benefits

Common Prevention Programs in Schools

+ = Net benefit; - = Net loss

Good Behavior Game/PAX Good Behavior Game

+ $13,050

Youth mentoring programs (taxpayer costs only)

+ $9,673

Quantum Opportunities Program

+ $5,341

Youth mentoring programs

+ $4,393

Seattle Social Development Project

+ $3,882

Guiding Good Choices

+ $1,717

Life Skills Training

+ $1,704

Communities That Care

+ $1,494

Project Towards No Drug Abuse (TND)

+ $56

Behavioral Monitoring and Reinforcement Program (BMRP)

- ($2)

Promoting Alternative Thinking Strategies (PATHS)

 - ($187)

Project ALERT

- ($205)

Project STAR

- ($358)

Strengthening Families for Parents and Youth 10-14

- ($690)


- ($11,564)

Children's Aid Society--Carrera

- ($11,702)

Fast Track prevention Program

- ($87,105)

PAX teaches students Self-Control.

Costs + Savings

Cost is what all expenses are to implement PAX GBG. Savings are the return on investment in terms of less teacher and student stress, more time for teaching and learning, costs averted for the school, the district, families and society.

What Are the Costs?

The start up cost of PAX GBG and the maintenance costs are different, and cost-efficiencies are achieved with larger implementations.  However one computes these, PAX GBG is presently the most the most cost efficient protective and prevention strategy examined by multiple, independent sources from the Washington State Institute for Public Policy to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). 

The least expensive part of initial implementation and ongoing costs is the materials for classrooms. With shipping and handling, a classroom teacher’s initial costs are typically less than $300. Replacement supplies for future years are typically between $25 and $45.

At startup, depending on the training and support model to fit needs of the school or district can vary.  If your training situation requires significant use of substitute teachers, that can be a substantial cost—far in excess of any materials, training or support costs.

Here are some training and support options that can be adapted to site needs, which all include pass-codes to restricted access to technical supports to an online learning community:

·      Implementation and Booster Training at your site by an Accredited Regional/National PAX GBG trainer.

·      Implementation and booster training at regional or national training events with other sites.

·      Extended implementation and booster training for teachers and PAX Partners (accredited PAX co-mentors for your site, district or service area), which happen at a regional or national level.

·      Bi-weekly (every other week) scheduled phone supports with a PAX Technical Assistant Specials (PTAS), which can help you with multiple issues of integration, sustainability, data, advice, etc. for common issues that happen with the implementation of any new initiative as well as specific issues related to PAX.

·      Combination packages can be tailored to site, community, or cultural needs.

PAXIS and its research partners are testing on-line versions of training as well as new teacher supports.

What Are the Savings?

Time Savings. For teachers, the cost savings are powerful: Saved time for high-quality instruction and student learning. For teachers, time is the most precious resource.

When well implemented, PAX GBG creates the equivalent of 14-to-26 more instructional days, because there is about 60 minutes per day clawed back from transitions, interruptions, delays waiting for some students, repeating instructions, dealing with tattling, dawdling, or other irritants, plus reductions in time spent special education needs or meeting about such matters.  Having two to four weeks of real time for instruction and learning are priceless. That said, people have calculated what it would cost to “buy” 14-26 more days of the teacher’s time plus all the assorted school (e.g., buses, school lunches) and building costs (e.g., heat, light, AC, security, janitorial): $15,000 to $30,000.  Just having nearly a month more time for efficient teaching and learning can have a significant, measurable impact on indicators like Common Core standards.

Lives Saved.  The predicted benefits of PAX GBG, based on multiple prior studies, are not abstractions for the students in your classroom. PAX GBG can save lives. 

For example, there are approximately 4,000,000 first graders who start every year in the United States. Based on the careful studies at Johns Hopkins that followed students who were randomly assigned to get GBG in just in first grade or not and then followed those young people into their 20’s who had no further exposure to GBG, the following lifesaving benefits are projected if every first-grade teacher used GBG well in his or her classroom next school year when those students turned 21:


Fewer young people will need any form of special education services


More boys will likely graduate from high school


More boys will likely attend university or college


More girls will likely graduate from high school*


More girls will likely attend university or college


Fewer young people will likely commit and be convicted of serious violent crimes


Fewer young people will likely develop serious drug addictions


Fewer young people will likely become regular smokers


Fewer young people will likely develop serious alcohol addictions


Fewer young women will likely contemplate suicide


Fewer young men will likely contemplate suicide

*This difference between girls and boys in high school graduation is likely accounted for by the fact that young people who have GBG are less likely to have early vaginal intercourse, which may result in pregnancy.

If you were a parent or grandparent, most would likely prefer that your child or grandchild would receive the benefits of PAX GBG to protect the child’s future (and their friends’ futures).These protective benefits have large economic consequences for the country, too. 

Economic Savings. Using the Washington State Institute for Public Policy’s cost effectiveness study (1), the economic benefits can be extrapolated below when those young people reach age 21, as a result of having the GBG just in first grade. With cohort of first graders being protected and promoted by the GBG, American families, schools communities, cities, counties, and the state will have $18.3 billion more in their pockets to start businesses, improve communities, invent new knowledge to meet the challenges of the future, create infrastructure, as well as engage in more peaceful, productive, healthy, and happy lives.  This gift for the present and the future of each first grader will cost about the price of 20 reams of copy paper (two boxes), which is $50-$70 at an office supply store.


References Cited

1.         S. Aos, S. Lee, E. Drake, A. Pennucci, T. Klima, M. Miller, L. Anderson, J. Mayfield, M. Burley, Return on Investment: Evidence-Based Options to Improve Statewide Outcomes. 2011.

PAX teaches students Self-Management.