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Strengthening the evidence base for maternal and child health programs

New: MCH Best strategies database for sample ESMs

Evidence Tools
MCH Best. NPM 9: Bullying

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group of young school children pointing and laughing at a girl covering her faceOngoing Outreach at Schools

MCH Strategy. Collaborate with School Based Health Centers to conduct ongoing meetings, conferences, and webinars to address bullying.

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Overview. While evidence shows that school-wide interventions (e.g., school rules; media campaigns; teacher/staff trainings) to combat bullying have some effectiveness, they tend to be most effective when implemented in conjunction with other bullying prevention programs. Thus, combining classroom and school level interventions appears to be more effective than implementing either alone. To have effect, school-wide interventions need to be ongoing rather than time-limited.1, 2

Evidence. Emerging Evidence. There is recent evidence that universal strategies such as those implemented in schools (e.g., school rules or teacher/staff training) and/or classrooms (e.g., classroom instruction or class rules) may be somewhat effective. While these results are encouraging, more research is needed for conclusive results. Access the peer-reviewed evidence for school rules, media campaigns, 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: School-wide approach (no other intervention). 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 strategy “Provide in-class 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):

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

  • Number of School Based Health Center collaborations with MCH staff to conduct meetings, conferences and webinars on bullying and suicide.

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

  • Percent of school based health centers who collaborated with MCH staff to conduct meetings, conferences and webinars on bullying and suicide prevention.

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

  • Number of school based health centers who upon completion of meetings, conferences and webinars with MCH staff, reported a decline in reported bullying incidents.

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

  • Percent of school based health centers who upon completion of meetings, conferences and webinars with MCH staff, reported a decline in reported bullying incidents.

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 Cross, D., Shaw, T., Hadwen, K., Cardoso, P., Slee, P., Roberts, C., Barnes, A. (2016). Longitudinal impact of the Cyber Friendly Schools program on adolescents’ cyberbullying behavior. Aggressive behavior, 42(2), 166-180.

2 Perkins, H. W., Craig, D. W., & Perkins, J. M. (2011). Using social norms to reduce bullying: A research intervention among adolescents in five middle schools. Group Processes & Intergroup Relations, 14(5), 703-722.

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.