Program

Jun 10, 2010

OVERVIEW

Students for Peace
is a multi-component violence-prevention program for middle school students.
Students are taught a violence-prevention curriculum, engage in peer mediation,
and provide newsletters for parents. Results of this random assignment study
showed no impact on fights in school, being injured in a fight, perceived school
safety, threatening to hurt others, or overall aggression.

DESCRIPTION OF
PROGRAM

Target
Population: 
Middle school students

The Students for
Peace (SP) is a violence-prevention program based on Social Cognitive Theory
(Bandura, 1986), which uses the

Second Step: A Violence Prevention Curriculum, as well as two other student
training programs: Peer Mediation and Peers Helping Peers. Second Step is
designed to reduce impulsive and aggressive behavior and increase social
competence. Second Step includes information about violence and training on
empathy, conflict resolution, and anger management. Teachers participate in a
two-hour training session on the curriculum. In Peer Mediation, students are
trained to mediate conflicts among fellow students formally and informally.
Name-calling, rumors, and threats are addressed. Depending on school size,
50-60 students are trained as peer mediators, with teachers serving as sponsors
to meet regularly with the students. Peers Helping Peers trains students to
meet in a one-on-one setting with other students requesting help because of
alcohol or drug use, school attendance, peer or family conflict, or academic
problems. Within the school, a School Health Promotion Council is formed to
coordinate curriculum and implementation and organize peace-related activities
such as writing contests or plays. The Council is composed of a paid
coordinator, three to 10 teachers, and a school nurse or counselor. Parents
receive newsletters with descriptions from parents and students about avoiding
and preventing violence. Parents are encouraged to use positive conflict
resolution skills, increase parental monitoring, and reduce modeling and
praising aggressive behavior.

EVALUATION OF
PROGRAM

Orpinas, P.,
Kelder, S., Frankowski, R., Murray, N., Zhang, Q., & McAlister, A. (2000).
Outcome evaluation of a multi-component violence-prevention program for middle
schools: The Students for Peace project. Health Education Research, 15(1),
45-58.

Evaluated
Population: 
Eight middle schools from a large, urban school district in
Texas participated in this evaluation. Approximately 50% of the sample
was male, 68% was Hispanic, 17% was African American, and 8% was white.
Approximately 60% of the students received free or reduced cost lunch and
approximately 50% of the students were at risk of dropping out of school.

Approach:
The eight middle schools were divided into matched pairs based on ethnic
composition, levels of aggression, and frequency of fights. One school in each
pair was randomly assigned to the treatment or control group. Control schools
received the standard district violence-prevention activities. Some control
schools had a Peer Mediation or Peers Helping Peers program, but they were
delivered with less intensity than in intervention schools. Students were
measured on aggressive behavior, frequency of fights at school, frequency of
injuries due to fights, perceptions of school safety, and frequency of threats
received at school.

Results: At
post-test, one-year, and two-year follow-up, there were no significant
differences between the intervention and control groups on frequency of fights
in school, being injured in a fight, perceived school safety, threatening to
hurt others, or overall aggression.

SOURCES FOR MORE INFORMATION

References

Orpinas, P.,
Kelder, S., Frankowski, R., Murray, N., Zhang, Q., & McAlister, A. (2000).
Outcome evaluation of a multi-component violence-prevention program for middle
schools: The Students for Peace project. Health Education Research, 15(1),
45-58.

KEYWORDS:
School-based, Children (3-11), Adolescents (12-17), Middle School, Co-ed,
Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino, Urban, Aggression/Violence/Bullying,
Parent/Family Component.

Last Updated:
6/10/10

 

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