Reducing Playground Bullying and Supporting Beliefs: An Experimental Trial of the 'Steps to Respect' Program
Copyright held by Elsevier, published by Elsevier in Developmental Biology
Six schools were randomly assigned to a multilevel bullying intervention or a control condition. Children in Grades 3–6 (N = 1,023) completed pre- and posttest surveys of behaviors and beliefs and were rated by teachers. Observers coded playground behavior of a random subsample (n = 544). Hierarchical analyses of changes in playground behavior revealed declines in bullying and argumentative behavior among intervention-group children relative to control-group children, increases in agreeable interactions, and a trend toward reduced destructive bystander behavior. Those in the intervention group reported enhanced bystander responsibility, greater perceived adult responsiveness, and less acceptance of bullying/aggression than those in the control group. Self-reported aggression did not differ between the groups. Implications for future research on the development and prevention of bullying are discussed.