Online Program

Evaluation of a large scale multiyear bullying prevention program in Pennsylvania

Monday, November 4, 2013

Diana Schroeder, MSN, RN, Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, Windber Research Institute, Windber, PA
Allison Messina, MHPE, The Center for Health Promotion & Disease Prevention, Windber Research Institute, Windber, PA
Susan Limber, PhD, Institute on Family and Neighborhood Life, Clemson Univeristy, Clemson, SC
Dan Olweus, PhD, Uni Health and University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway
Rosemary Browne, B.A., Highmark Foundation, Camp Hill, PA
On a daily basis over 25% of school children are victims of bullying. It is a factor in school absenteeism, diminished learning capacity in school, childhood depression, teen suicides, school-based violence, and teenage drug and alcohol use. Bullying is a significant public health issue that has been associated with violence. Each time a child bullies or is bullied, potential exists for long-term social and health consequences. Bullying can threaten students' physical and emotional safety at school and can negatively impact their ability to learn. A foundation in western Pennsylvania funded a five-year health promotion initiative to support lifelong good health for children and adolescents. A focus of this initiative was bullying prevention. In 2008, 70,531 students in grades 3-12 from 194 Pennsylvania schools completed a baseline assessment. Two years later, 63,843 students completed a follow up assessment after having implemented an evidence based bullying prevention program for at least one and one-half school years. Multi-level analyses revealed that after at least 18 months of implementation, there were significant decreases in students' reports of being bullied and bullying others. Students were less willing to join in bullying another and more likely to try to help a bullied student. Significant increases were also observed with regard to students' perceptions that teachers and other adults helped to stop bullying (all p's <.001). This study offers the largest coordinated implementation and evaluation of a bullying prevention program in the United States. Since 2008, thousands of Pennsylvania school children have experienced a safer school environment.

Learning Areas:

Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Describe types of changes in student behavior as a result of a large scale bullying prevention program Explain the impact of bullying behaviors on children

Keyword(s): School-Based Programs, Violence Prevention

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been a co-researcher on a five year initiative focusing on implementing an evidence-based bullying prevention strategies in over 400 schools throughout western and central Pennsylvania. This program has worked to improve the lives of students and school climate through a reduction in bullying behaviors and increases in positive bystander behaviors and effective teacher interventions.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.