Initiative Description: Universal school-based violence prevention program on social-cognitive factors associated with aggression and nonviolent behavior in early adolescence. Two cohorts of students at 37 schools from four sites (N=5,581) were randomized to four conditions: (a) a universal intervention that involved implementing a student curriculum and teacher training with sixth grade students and teachers; (b) a selective intervention in which a family intervention was implemented with a subset of sixth grade students exhibiting high levels of aggression and social influence; (c) a combined intervention condition; and (d) a no-intervention control condition. The 20-session GREAT student curriculum provides instruction and practice in the use of a social-cognitive problem-solving model and instructs students on avoiding dangerous situations, ignoring teasing, asking for help, talking things through, defusing situations, and being helpful to peers. Interventionists used behavioral repetition and mental rehearsal of the skills, small group activities, experiential learning techniques.
Study Results: Students at universal intervention schools reported higher levels of individual norms for nonviolent behavior at the end of the intervention year. Higher risk students reported more benefits.
Reference: Simon, T. R., Ikeda, R. M., Smith, E. P., Reese, L. E., Rabiner, D. L., Miller-Johnson, S., … & Allison, K. W. (2008). The multisite violence prevention project: Impact of a universal school-based violence prevention program on social-cognitive outcomes. Prevention Science: The Official Journal of the Society for Prevention Research, 9(4), 231–244. http://doi.org/10.1007/s11121-008-0101-1
Level of Evidence: Excellent