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Evaluation of the Effectiveness and Sustainability of the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program in Increasing School Safety for Urban Low-Income Middle Schools

Award Information

Award #
Funding Category
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2014, $2,660,933)

The Olweus Bullying Prevention Program (OBPP) is a comprehensive school-based program designed to prevent youth violence and bullying by improving school climate. Although OBPP is being implemented in hundreds of schools across the U.S., few studies have evaluated its impact on schools in the U.S., particularly schools in urban areas that serve high percentages of minority adolescents from disadvantaged communities. This project builds on an evaluation of OBPP being completed within a CDC-funded Academic Center of Excellence in Youth Violence Prevention (VCU-ACE Project). The VCU-ACE Project is using a multiple baseline experimental design that randomized the order and timing of the implementation of OBPP in three urban schools over a five-year period. This project is being conducted in partnership with an urban school district in Richmond, Virginia. Participants are adolescents 10-16 years old (83% African American; 47% male) at three public middle schools serving low-income urban communities. This proposed four-year project would increase the knowledge gained from the VCU-ACE Project by supporting continuation of OBPP in two of the VCU-ACE Project schools, implementing OBPP in the third school, and collection of three additional years of data (four waves of data each year) on proximal and distal outcomes for OBPP based on student reports, teacher ratings, and school and juvenile justice records (total projected sample of 2,545). Extending this design will provide a clearer picture of the relation between implementation of OBPP and changes in outcomes over time in the two schools where OBPP is currently being implemented, and will allow us to examine changes in outcomes that occur after implementing OBPP in the third school. Analyses of these interrupted time-series data will be conducted using multilevel modeling. This project will also include a qualitative study designed to identify barriers and supports to OBPP implementation and capture lessons learned by conducting focus groups with teachers who have been involved in implementing the intervention within the schools. Finally, a cost-benefit analysis for OBPP implementation will be conducted by comparing OBPP implementation costs to potential benefits including decreased disciplinary code violations, absences, juvenile justice involvement, and alternative school placements. Findings will be disseminated through the preparation of manuscripts for submission to scientific journals, presentations at relevant conferences, dissemination to the public, and completion of a final report. Data will be archived for future project replication. ca/ncf
Date Created: September 30, 2014