MCH Best. NPM 9: Bullying
Strategy. Suicide Prevention In-Class Training
Approach. Provide learning opportunities and support to youth in the classroom regarding bullying and suicide prevention.
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 Thus, combining classroom and school level interventions appears to be more effective than implementing either alone. To have effect, classroom-based 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 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). 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 18 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 learning opportunities and support to youth in the classroom regarding suicide prevention,” 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 that these examples focus on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning (LGBTQ) youth, who are significantly more likely to commit suicide than their straight peers:
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 Boulton, M. J., & Boulton, L. (2017). Modifying self-blame, self-esteem, and disclosure through a cooperative cross-age teaching intervention for bullying among adolescents. Violence and victims, 32(4), 609-626.
2 Cowie, H., & Olafsson, R. (2000). The role of peer support in helping the victims of bullying in a school with high levels of aggression. School psychology international, 21(1), 79-95.