School Mental Health

, Volume 4, Issue 2, pp 115–128 | Cite as

Enhancing Student Attitudes via a Brief, Universal-Level Bullying Prevention Curriculum

Original Paper

Abstract

Bullying is a salient challenge for children and schools around the world, appearing to be especially prevalent at the middle-school level. Contemporary research reveals an exigent need for systematic programing that aims to reduce and prevent bullying via promoting awareness, attitudes, and skills that facilitate the development of positive peer relationships and positive school climates. Considering this need, the present quasi-experimental study examined the effects of a relatively new, brief, universal-level bullying prevention curriculum on middle-school students’ general attitudes toward bullying and perceptions of their school bullying supports. Results indicated statistically significant enhancement of prosocial attitudes for intervention-group students compared to control-group students, with small effect sizes. Feasibility and social validity outcomes indicated that the intervention was implemented with adequate fidelity and that its goals, procedures, and outcomes were perceived as appropriate. The interpretation, limitations, and implications of these results for practice are discussed herein.

Keywords

Bullying Universal-level intervention Attitudes Social validity Aggression 

References

  1. Alsaker, F. D., & Gutzwiller-Helfenfinger, E. (2010). Social behavior and peer relationships of victims, bully-victims, and bullies in kindergarten. In S. R. Jimerson, S. M. Swearer, & D. L. Espelage (Eds.), Handbook of bullying in schools (pp. 87–100). New York, NY: Routledge.Google Scholar
  2. Breit-Smith, A., Justice, L. M., McGinty, A. S., & Kaderavek, J. (2009). How often and how much? Intensity of print referencing intervention. Topics in Language Disorders, 29, 360–369.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Cornell, D., Sheras, P. L., & Cole, J. C. (2006). Assessment of bullying. In S. R. Jimerson & M. J. Furlong (Eds.), Handbook of school violence and school safety: From research to practice (pp. 191–210). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  4. DioGuardi, R. J., & Theodore, L. A. (2006). Understanding and addressing peer victimization among students. In S. R. Jimerson & M. J. Furlong (Eds.), Handbook of school violence and school safety (pp. 339–352). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  5. Espelage, D. L., & Swearer, S. M. (Eds.). (2004). Bullying in American schools. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  6. Faull, C., Swearer, S. M., Jimerson, S. R., Espelage, D. L., & Ng, R. (2008). Promoting positive peer relationships: Middle school bullying prevention program—Classroom resource. Adelaide, Australia: Readymade Productions.Google Scholar
  7. Furlong, M. J., Pavelski, R., & Saxton, J. (2002). The prevention of school violence. In S. E. Brock, P. J. Lazarus, & S. R. Jimerson (Eds.), Best practices in school crisis prevention and intervention (pp. 131–149). Bethesda, MD: National Association of School Psychologists.Google Scholar
  8. Furlong, M. J., Sharkey, J. D., Felix, E., Tanigawa, D., & Green, J. G. (2010). Bullying assessment: A call for increased precision of self-reporting procedures. In S. R. Jimerson, S. M. Swearer, & D. L. Espelage (Eds.), Handbook of bullying in schools (pp. 329–346). New York, NY: Routledge.Google Scholar
  9. Hancock, G. R., & Mueller, R. O. (2010). The reviewer’s guide to quantitative methods in the social sciences. New York, NY: Routledge.Google Scholar
  10. Hazler, R. J., & Carney, J. V. (2006). Critical characteristics of effective bullying prevention programs. In S. R. Jimerson & M. J. Furlong (Eds.), Handbook of school violence and school safety (pp. 275–292). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  11. Heppner, P. P., Wampold, B. E., & Kivlighan, D. M. (2007). Research design in counseling (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Brooks.Google Scholar
  12. Jimerson, S. R., & Huai, N. (2010). International perspectives on bullying prevention and intervention. In S. R. Jimerson, S. M. Swearer, & D. L. Espelage (Eds.), Handbook of bullying in schools: An international perspective (pp. 571–592). New York, NY: Routledge.Google Scholar
  13. Jimerson, S. R., Morrison, G. M., Pletcher, S. W., & Fulrong, M. J. (2006). Youth engaged in antisocial behaviors: Who are they? In S. R. Jimerson & M. J. Furlong (Eds.), Handbook of school violence and school safety (pp. 3–20). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  14. Jimerson, S. R., Swearer, S. M., & Espelage, D. L. (Eds.). (2010). Handbook of bullying in schools. New York, NY: Routledge.Google Scholar
  15. Kosciw, J. G., Greytak, E. A., Diaz, E. M., & Bartkiewicz, M. J. (2010). The 2009 school climate survey: The experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth in our nation’s schools. Washington, DC: Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network. Retrieved from http://www.glsen.org.
  16. Larson, J., & Busse, R. T. (2006). A problem-solving approach to school violence prevention. In S. R. Jimerson & M. J. Furlong (Eds.), Handbook of school violence and school safety: From research to practice (pp. 73–88). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  17. Martens, B. K., Witt, J. C., Elliot, S. E., & Darveaux, D. X. (1985). Teacher judgments concerning the acceptability of school-based interventions. Professional psychology: Research and practice, 16, 191–198.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. McHorney, C. A., & Tarlov, A. R. (1995). Individual-patient monitoring in clinical practice: Are available health status surveys adequate? Quality of Life Research, 4, 293–307.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Merrell, K. W., Guelder, B. A., Ross, S. W., & Isava, D. M. (2008). How effective are school bullying intervention programs? A meta-analysis of intervention research. School Psychology Quarterly, 23, 26–42.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Murray-Harvey, R., Slee, P. T., & Taki, M. (2010). Comparative and cross-cultural research on school bullying. In S. R. Jimerson, S. M. Swearer, & D. L. Espelage (Eds.), Handbook of bullying in schools (pp. 35–48). New York, NY: Routledge.Google Scholar
  21. Nansel, T. R., Overpeck, M., Pilla, R. S., Ruan, W. J., Simons-Morton, B., & Scheidt, P. (2001). Bullying behaviors among US youth: Prevalence and association with psychosocial adjustment. Journal of the American Medical Association, 285, 2094–2100.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Olweus, D. (2010). Understanding and researching bullying. In S. R. Jimerson, S. M. Swearer, & D. L. Espelage (Eds.), Handbook of bullying in schools (pp. 9–34). New York, NY: Routledge.Google Scholar
  23. Reynolds, R. J., Temple, J. A., Robertson, D. L., & Mann, E. A. (2001). Long-term effects of an early childhood intervention on educational achievement and juvenile arrest. The Journal of the American Medical Association, 285, 2339–2346.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Rigby, K. (2006). What we can learn from evaluated studies of school-based programs to reduce bullying in schools. In S. R. Jimerson & M. J. Furlong (Eds.), Handbook of school violence and school safety (pp. 335–338). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  25. Rigby, K., & Bauman, S. (2010). How school personnel tackle cases of bullying: A critical examination. In S. R. Jimerson, S. M. Swearer, & D. L. Espelage (Eds.), Handbook of bullying in schools: An international perspective (pp. 455–468). New York, NY: Routledge.Google Scholar
  26. Sameroff, A. J. (1995). General systems theories and developmental psychopathology. In D. Cicchetti & D. Cohen (Eds.), Developmental psychopathology (pp. 659–689). New York, NY: Wiley.Google Scholar
  27. Sameroff, A. J. (2000). Dialectical processes in developmental psychopathology. In A. J. Sameroff, M. Lewis, & S. M. Miller (Eds.), Handbook of developmental psychopathology (2nd ed., pp. 23–40). New York, NY: Plenum.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Sameroff, A. J. (Ed.). (2009). The transactional model of development: How children and contexts shape each other. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.Google Scholar
  29. Scott, T. M., Bucalos, A., Liaupsin, C. J., Nelson, C. M., Jolivette, K., & DeShea, L. (2004). Using functional behavioral assessment in general education settings: Making a case for effectiveness and efficiency. Behavioral Disorders, 29, 189–201.Google Scholar
  30. Slavin, R. E. (2002). Evidence-based education policies: Transforming educational practice and research. Educational Researcher, 31(2), 15–21.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Smith, J. D., Schneider, B. H., Smith, P. K., & Ananiadou, K. (2004). The effectiveness of whole-school antibullying programs: A synthesis of evaluation research. School Psychology Review, 33, 547–560.Google Scholar
  32. Song, S., Swearer, S. M., Haye, K. M., & Bandalos, D. L. (2001, August). Development of a comprehensive survey for bullying and victimization: Psychometric analyses. Poster presented at the annual conference of the American Psychological Association, San Francisco, CA.Google Scholar
  33. Spivak, H., & Prothrow-Stith, D. (2001). The need to address bullying: An important component of school violence prevention. Journal of the American Medical Association, 285, 2131–2132.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Swearer, S. M., Grills, A. E., Haye, K. M., & Cary, P. T. (2004). Internalizing problems in students involved in bullying and victimization: Implications for intervention. In D. L. Espelage & S. M. Swearer (Eds.), Bullying in American schools: A social-ecological perspective on prevention and intervention (pp. 63–84). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  35. Tabachnick, B. G., & Fidell, L. S. (1996). Using multivariate statistics (3rd ed.). New York, NY: Harper Collins.Google Scholar
  36. Ttofi, M. M., Farrington, D. P., & Baldry, A. C. (2008). Effectiveness of programmes to reduce school bullying: A systematic review. The Swedish National Council for Crime Prevention. Retrieved from http://www.bra.se/extra/faq/?module_instance=2&action=question_show&id=474&category_id=9.
  37. Wolf, M. M. (1978). Social validity: The case for subjective measurement or how applied behavior analysis is finding its heart. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 11, 203–214.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Zelezny, L. C. (1999). Educational interventions that improve environmental behaviors: A meta-analysis. The Journal of Environmental Education, 31, 5–14.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Counseling/Clinical/School PsychologyUniversity of California at Santa BarbaraSanta BarbaraUSA
  2. 2.Special Education DepartmentAlpine School DistrictAmerican ForkUSA

Personalised recommendations