MCH Best. NPM 9: Bullying
Strategy. Strengths-Based Classroom Training
Approach. Provide classroom training for students on positive youth development and non-violence intervention skills.
Overview. While evidence shows that classroom interventions (e.g., classroom instruction, class rules) to combat bullying have some effectiveness, they tend to be most effective when implemented in conjunction with other bullying prevention programs.1, 2 Research is emerging to show that "well-integrated" programs focusing on school climate, positive behavior, and social and emotional learning can deter bullying and can further reach a broader set of behavior changes among students.3 One such program is the Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) model which aims to prevent disruptive behaviors and promote positive school climate through setting-level change to prevent behavioral problems systematically and consistently.
Evidence. Emerging Evidence. There is recent evidence that universal strategies such as those implemented in classrooms (e.g., classroom instruction or class rules) and/or schools (e.g., school rules or teacher/staff training) appear to be somewhat effective. While these results are encouraging, more research is needed for conclusive results. Access the peer-reviewed evidence for peer-led curricular activities and training, adult-led curricular activities and training, and establishment of classroom rules through the MCH Digital Library. Note: the evidence has found that while targeted interventions (e.g., Zero-Tolerance policies, group treatment for youth who bully, and short-term awareness raising events) are not effective by themselves, when combined with universal interventions (e.g., classroom or school-based), they yield additional benefits. Likewise, combining classroom and school level interventions appears to be more effective than implementing either alone. Thus, multi-tiered approaches have been shown to be the most effective approach in addressing bullying. (Read more about understanding evidence ratings).
Target Audience. Universal: Classroom (no other intervention). Multi-tiered approaches including both targeted and universal strategies may offer added benefits. See above for added benefits of combining with other interventions.
Outcome. Reduced children and adolescents who report being bullied. 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. There are currently 2 ESMs across all states/jurisdictions that use this strategy directly or intervention components that align with this strategy. Access descriptions of these ESMs through the MCH Digital Library. You can use these ESMs to see how other Title V agencies are addressing the NPM.
Sample ESMs. Using the approach “Provide classroom training for students on positive youth development and non-violence intervention skills,” here are sample ESMs you can use as a model for your own measures using the Results-Based Accountability framework (for suggestions on how to develop programs to support this strategy, see The Role of Title V in Adapting Strategies):
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).
1 Palladino, B. E., Nocentini, A., & Menesini, E. (2016). Evidence‐based intervention against bullying and cyberbullying: Evaluation of the NoTrap! program in two independent trials. Aggressive behavior, 42(2), 194-206.
2 Boulton, M. J., & Flemington, I. (1996). The effects of a short video intervention on secondary school pupils' involvement in definitions of and attitudes towards bullying. School Psychology International, 17(4), 331-345.
3 Rivara F, Le Menestrel S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Preventing Bullying Through Science, Policy, and Practice. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.