MCH Best. NPM 9: Bullying
Strategy. Ongoing Outreach at Schools
Approach. Collaborate with School Based Health Centers to conduct ongoing meetings, conferences, and webinars to address bullying.
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 approach “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):
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 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.