Bullying Meets Its Match

Sep 29, 2010, 15:16 ET from Committee for Children

Studies show positive results from bullying prevention program

SEATTLE, Sept. 29 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A University of Washington study has confirmed what thousands of schools across the country have already discovered: The Steps to Respect program is an effective tool to prevent bullying.

Preliminary findings from a randomized controlled trial of Steps to Respect: A Bullying Prevention Program — a research-based, schoolwide curriculum developed by Seattle's Committee for Children — show that the program had significant positive effects on factors linked to school bullying as well as reducing physical bullying behavior in the schools that used the program compared to those that did not. Funded by the Raynier Institute & Foundation, study findings were presented at the annual meeting of the Society for Prevention Research in Denver this year.

These findings support previous studies of the effectiveness of the Steps to Respect program by the University of Washington's Dr. Karin Frey and colleagues, which showed a 31 percent decrease in bullying behavior and a 72 percent decrease in negative bystander behavior.    

Schools using the program appreciate having a bullying-prevention tool they can depend on. For example, Dr. Judith McBride, former violence prevention coordinator for California's West Covina School District, says the Steps to Respect program has "revolutionized the approach of our principals and teachers to managing behavior and addressing bullying. Being proactive rather than reactive has made a tremendous difference in our schools." And the Steps to Respect program was recently chosen by Massachusetts' South Hadley School District as their bullying prevention program.

"One of the unique findings from our study was to see significant effects reported by teachers, students, and all school staff on the key areas that were a focus of the program," said Dr. Eric Brown, the research scientist who led the study for the University of Washington's Social Development Group. He called the research "noteworthy, because few studies in the United States have demonstrated effects of a bullying prevention program."

"These studies represent the strongest evidence yet for the effectiveness of a school bullying prevention program in the United States," said Joan Cole Duffell, executive director of Committee for Children.

Dr. Brown suggested that with recent media coverage highlighting the serious consequences of bullying behaviors at school, it is important to know that there are programs that make a measurable and significant impact on bullying behaviors and improve school climate.

About Committee for Children

Seattle-based nonprofit Committee for Children is the world's leading provider of educational programs that teach skills to prevent violence, sexual abuse and bullying. Today, Committee for Children is helping more than 9 million students in 25,000 schools in 26 countries around the globe stay safe, respect themselves and others, succeed in school today, and build a better world tomorrow. To learn more, go to www.preventbullying.org

About the Social Development Research Group at the University of Washington

SDRG is a nationally recognized, interdisciplinary team of researchers whose mission is to understand and promote healthy behaviors and positive social development among children, adolescents, and young adults. SDRG has produced more than 400 articles, books, and monographs and has secured more than $100 million dollars in grant and contract funding over its history. To learn more, go to www.sdrg.org.

SOURCE Committee for Children