Solution Team: Outcomes of a Target-Centered Approach to Resolving School Bullying

Abstract

Because school bullying causes short-term and long-term suffering for both victims and perpetrators, many schools want more effective interventions. Traditional, punitive approaches have been shown to exacerbate the problem, but one organization (No Bully) has developed a system that is peer-driven, empathy-building, and target-centered. This article considers one part of this system, known as Solution Team, wherein a teacher or staff member leads the student accused of bullying, bystanders, and pro-social peers through a series of solution-focused meetings. Analysis of data from 284 Solution Teams shows reduced intensity and frequency of bullying in 86.8% and 87.6% of cases, respectively. Perceived school safety significantly improved for targets after the intervention (p < .0001), and in 87% of cases, the adult facilitator reported a successful process.

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Acknowledgments

The authors wish to acknowledge the contributions and support of Nicholas Carlisle, the founder and Chief Executive Officer of No Bully, for ensuring that the description of the intervention model was accurate and that the literature review included relevant references. He also contributed to the design of the Solution Team log itself, several years ago, as a means of tracking how the intervention was being implemented at client sites. That tool and the data it generates are the intellectual property of No Bully, which means that Mr. Carlisle had to allow the researchers to access the de-identified dataset derived from No Bully’s Solution Team logs, which is the basis of the analysis.

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Contributions

Moira DeNike, Ph.D. is the primary author of the article. She conducted all of the analysis of the Solution Team log data and wrote the bulk of the text in the manuscript.

Holly Gordon, DMH is the second author. She assisted by producing a first draft of the literature review section, and critically reviewing and revising the draft manuscript.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Moira DeNike.

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Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with ethical standards and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Solution Team logs were originally designed to collect internally relevant evaluative data, meant to provide schools and No Bully with information as to the impact of Solution Team. The data were not collected with the purpose of contributing to generalizable knowledge, nor were they administered by the investigators of this study. As such, no informed consent procedure was administered, other than the standard process for obtaining consent to participate in the Solution Team process itself. As the effectiveness of the model became evident through the evaluation process, the investigators of this study were provided access to evaluation log data, stripped of all identifying information, in order to run the analyses that are the basis of the article.

Conflict of Interest

Moira DeNike, Ph.D. is an independent evaluator who provides consulting services to various youth-serving nonprofits and public agencies. She has received compensation from No Bully in the past, serving as the organization’s program evaluator. The time spent conducting analysis, research, and writing for this article, however, was not compensated in any way. Holly Gordon is a member of the Board of Directors of No Bully. This is a position that includes no compensation, monetary or other, but is a notable connection to the organization.

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Our article, “Solution Team: Outcomes of a Target-Centered Approach to Resolving School Bullying,” has not been previously published, nor is it being considered for publication elsewhere.

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DeNike, M., Gordon, H. Solution Team: Outcomes of a Target-Centered Approach to Resolving School Bullying. Contemp School Psychol 24, 181–195 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40688-019-00234-3

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Keywords

  • Bullying
  • School bullying
  • School safety
  • Student behavior
  • Peer victimization
  • Intervention
  • Empathy
  • Non-punitive
  • Children’s mental health