MCH Best. NPM 9: Bullying
Strategy. Multi-Tiered Bullying Program that Engages Youth, Classrooms, and Schools
Approach. Develop community-wide support for anti-bullying activities by promoting the spread of a comprehensive bullying program.
Overview. Research studies have found there may be added benefits of combining targeted strategies with universal strategies (“Youth + Classroom or Youth + School” and “Youth + Classroom + School”). The Olweus Bullying Prevention Program and the KiVa Antibullying Program are examples of models that combine youth, classroom, and school level interventions.1
Evidence. Moderate Evidence. Multi-tiered approaches have been shown to be the most effective approach in addressing bullying. Thus it is critical to combine youth-targeted interventions with universal programs (e.g., classroom or school-based). Likewise, combining classroom and school level interventions appears to be more effective than implementing either alone. Findings suggest that students involved in extracurricular activities have more favorable perceptions of social-emotional security, adult support, student support, and school connectedness.2 In addition, classroom discussions to elicit views on what rules should govern the way people treat others are thought to increase the likelihood of disciplinary actions for infractions of school rules being effective.3 Access the peer-reviewed evidence through the MCH Digital Library. (Read more about understanding evidence ratings).
Target Audience. Universal: Youth + Classroom + School. 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 29 ESMs across all states/jurisdictions that use address bullying. Because this is a multi-tiered approach, you can pull components together from these examples to form a comprehensive, community-wide approach.. Access descriptions of these ESMs through the MCH Digital Library.
Sample ESMs. Using the approach “Increase youth participation in evidence based mentoring, counseling, or adult supervision programs,” 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 Lai, Y., Garcia, S., Strobino, D., Grason, H., Payne, E., Karp, C. Minkovitz, C. National Performance Measure 9 Bullying Evidence Review. 2017. Baltimore: MD: Women's and Children's Health Policy Center, Johns Hopkins University.
2 Martinez, A., Coker, C., McMahon, S. D., Cohen, J., & Thapa, A. (2016). Involvement in extracurricular activities: Identifying differences in perceptions of school climate. The Educational and Developmental Psychologist, 33(1), 70-84.
3 Rigby, K. (2011) What can schools do about cases of bullying?, Pastoral Care in Education, 29:4, 273-285.