MCH Best. NPM 9: Bullying
Strategy. Multi-Tiered Approach: Classroom and School-Based Bullying Efforts
Approach. Combine classroom-based and school-level interventions together to be more effective than implementing either alone.
Overview. School-wide interventions include establishing a common set of expectation for behavior, implementing clear anti-bullying policies, involvement of staff in all prevention activities, careful supervision in hotspots, and collection of anonymous data on bullying. Classroom interventions inlcude providing class time to discuss bullying and related social-emotional skill development for all students.1,2
Evidence. Moderate Evidence. Multiple studies have highlighted the importance of comprehensive bullying prevention efforts.3Access 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 highly effective by themselves, when combined with universal interventions (e.g., classroom or school-based), they yield additional benefits. Likewise, combining classroom-based 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. Multi-tiered (classroom + school) approaches including both targeted and universal strategies may offer added benefits.
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. Access descriptions of ESMs across all state/jurisdictions that use this strategy directly or intervention components that align with tis strategy. You can use these ESMs to see how other Title V agencies are addressing the NPM.
In West Virginia, Title V staff are implementing evidence-based positive youth development (PYD) focused trainings to youth, parents, professionals, teachers, and community members. In Oregon, to address bullying prevention, Title V staff are implementing evidence-based strategies focused on primary prevention, systems change, PYD, and/or enhancing social emotional learning.
The Role of Title V. Title V agencies can support schools that offer comprehensive bullying prevention programming:
- Provide training to educators and other staff in school and community organizations in evidence-based bullying prevention practices.
- Promote the implementation of evidence-based bullying prevention programs and strategies.
- Evaluate the reach and effectiveness of bullying prevention activities in schools.
Sample ESMs. Using the approach “Combine classroom-based and school-level interventions together,” 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.
3National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine. (2016). Preventing Bullying Through Science, Policy, and Practice. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi:10.17226/23482.