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Strengthen the Evidence for Maternal and Child Health Programs

New: MCHbest strategies database for sample ESMs

Evidence Tools
MCH Best. NPM 9: Bullying

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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.

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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:

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):

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

  • Number of school staff who receive training on implementing classroom and school-level programs for students on bullying and non-violence communication.
  • Number of schools that have implemented classroom and school-level programs for students on bullying and non-violence communication.

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

  • Percent of school staff who receive training on implementing classroom and school-level programs for students on bullying and non-violence communication.
  • Percent of schools that have implemented classroom and school-level programs for students on bullying and non-violence communication.

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

  • Number of school staff, who upon completion of training and education with MCH staff, for students on bullying and non-violence communication skills, report implementing classroom and school-level programs in for thier students.

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

  • Percent of trained school staff who implemented classroom and school-level programs for students on bullying and non-violence communication report 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.

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.

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.