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Strengthen the Evidence for Maternal and Child Health Programs

New: MCHbest strategies database for sample ESMs

Evidence Tools
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Strategy. School-Based Multicomponent Programs to Prevent Bullying

Approach. Conduct multi-tiered school-wide intervention to improve school environment, encourage positive bystander behaviors, provide education on bullying, and include parental involvement and individual interventions; could also include community involvement.

Note: This stragegy is one of a number of evidence-based approaches addressed in NPM 9. Please see a full list of NPM 9: Bullying strategies here.

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Overview. Studies show that educational programs can improve the overall environment in schools, increase coping skills, emotional regulation, and positive bystander behaviors, and decrease the number of bullying incidents.1-3

Evidence. Moderate. Educational programs appear to be effective in preventing bullying. Programs based on this strategy are likely to work. This strategy has been tested more than once and results trend positive overall. Access the peer-reviewed evidence through the MCH Digital Library. (Read more about understanding evidence ratings).

Target Audience. Elementary, middle and high school students.

Outcome. Decreased bullying incidents in schools, increased knowledge and skills for bystanders to intervene, and improved emotional regulation for students. For detailed outcomes related to each study supporting this strategy, click on the peer-reviewed evidence link above and read the "Intervention Results" for each study.

Examples from the Field. Access descriptions of ESMs related to NPM 9: Bullying that use this strategy directly or intervention components that align with this strategy. You can use these ESMs to see how other Title V agencies are addressing the NPM. You may also want to look at evidence that supports educational programs in other NPM topic areas that can be translated to this specific topic area.

Sample ESMs. Using the approach “Conduct multi-tiered school-wide intervention to improve school environment, encourage positive bystander behaviors, provide education on bullying, and include parental involvement and individual interventions; could also include community involvement,” here are sample ESMs you can use as a model for your own measures using the Results-Based Accountability framework:

Quadrant 1:
Measuring Quantity of Effort
("What/how much did we do?")

  • Number of high school students participating in educational program to prevent bullying.
  • Number of high schools offering training in positive bystander behaviors.

Quadrant 2:
Measuring Quality of Effort
("How well did we do it?")

  • Percent of high school students participating in educational program to prevent bullying.
  • Percent of students who indicated that the curriculum was worthwhile.
  • Percent of high schools offering training in positive bystander behaviors.

Quadrant 3:
Measuring Quantity of Effect
("Is anyone better off?")

  • Number of high school students participating in educational program who showed an increase in knowledge after they finished the curriculum.
  • Number of high school students who reported that they understand the importance of healthy relationships, social norms training, and improved bystander awareness and behaviors.
  • Decrease in the number of bullying incidents in schools.

Quadrant 4:
Measuring Quality of Effect
("How are they better off?")

  • Percent of high school students participating in educational program who showed an increase in knowledge after they finished the curriculum.
  • Percent of high school students who reported that they understand the importance of healthy relationships, social norms training, and improved bystander awareness and behaviors.
  • Decrease in the prevalence of bullying behaviors in schools.

Note. ESMs become stronger as they move from measuring quantity to measuring quality (moving from Quadrants 1 and 3, respectively, to Quadrants 2 and 4) and from measuring effort to measuring effect (moving from Quadrants 1 and 2, respectively, to Quadrants 3 and 4).

Learn More. Read how to create stronger ESMs and how to measure ESM impact more meaningfully through Results-Based Accountability.


References:

1 Giesbrecht GF, Leadbeater BJ, Macdonald SWS. Child and context characteristics in trajectories of physical and relational victimization among early elementary school children. Development and Psychopathology 2011;23: 239–252.

2 Karna A, Voeten M, Little TD, Poskiparta E, Alanen E, Salmivalli C. Going to scale: A nonrandomized nationwide trial of the KiVa antibullying program for Grades 1–9. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology 2011;79(6): 796–805.

3 Waasdorp TE, Bradshaw CP, Leaf PJ. The impact of schoolwide positive behavioral interventions and supports on bullying and peer rejection. Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine 2012;166(2): 149–156.

This project is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under grant number U02MC31613, MCH Advanced Education Policy, $3.5 M. This information or content and conclusions are those of the author and should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by HRSA, HHS or the U.S. Government.