Testing Integrative Models to Improve School Safety: Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports and the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program, South Carolina, 2015-2018

Resource Type
Dataset : experimental data
  • Limber, Sue
Other Title
  • Version 1 (Subtitle)
Publication Date
Publication Place
Ann Arbor, Michigan
  • Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research
Funding Reference
  • United States Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. National Institute of Justice
Free Keywords
Schema: ICPSR
behavioral intervention; bullying; bullying prevention; cyberbullying; mental health; program evaluation; school violence; schools; students; substance abuse; teachers
  • Abstract

    Many schools have implemented programs to address bullying, such as the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program (OBPP), or broader school behavioral issues, such as School-wide Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (SWPBIS), but there have been calls to integrate school interventions in order to address the limits of each "stand alone" program. The purpose of this project was to develop an intervention combining OBPP and SWPBIS strategies into one integrated program, evaluate its effectiveness using a randomized controlled trial (RCT), analyze the program's cost effectiveness, and examine the use of school-based mental health services in elementary, middle, and high school settings. Implications for policy and strategy are also discussed. School-level data were presented including disciplinary incidents, student and teacher attendance, program costs, and the presence of mental health services. Students and teachers within intervention and control conditions were surveyed about their perceptions of bullying, school safety, and school climate. Teachers in intervention schools were asked about program satisfaction, self-efficacy, and fidelity. Students were asked numerous questions pertaining to physical and mental health, bullying perpetration and victimization, and substance abuse. Teachers and students were asked their grade, gender, and race.
  • Abstract

    Bullying has been identified as one of the most serious behavioral concerns facing American schools, while at the same time growing numbers of students are exposed to poverty, neglect, and other risk factors. Both Olweus Bullying Prevention Program (OBPP) and School-wide Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (SWPBIS) are meant to target these and other school, classroom, student, family, and community-level risk and protective factors. Although OBPP has been evaluated in the U.S. using non-randomized control designs and quasi-experimental designs, there has been no randomized controlled trial (RCT) evaluation of this program in the U.S. Thus, this study sought to evaluate the OBPP using a RCT design, while also developing and evaluating a combined SWIPBIS/OBPP approach, within the context of the overall RCT. There were five specific goals for this project: Goal 1: To develop a comprehensive, feasible, and effective intervention that combines SWIPBIS and OBPP strategies into one integrated program. Goal 2: To evaluate the effectiveness of the OBPP. Goal 3: To evaluate the effectiveness of an integrated SWIPBIS/OBPP intervention. Goal 4: To determine the cost effectiveness of the integrated SWIPBIS/OBPP program. Goal 5: To determine the social validity of school-based mental health professionals' services.
  • Methods

    The study collected multiple data sources, including online surveys of staff and students, administrative student disciplinary data, staff training costs, and mental health services data collected by counselors. Researchers (a) used a snowball process to identify key informants who provided input on design, training, and consultation for a combined School-wide Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (SWPBIS)/Olweus Bullying Prevention Program (OBPP) throughout the study; (b) developed online surveys to assess satisfaction of school staff with the program; (c) utilized a randomized control trial (RCT) to separate schools into three separate experiment conditions; (d) administered surveys to school employees and students across all three experiment conditions on their experiences at school; (e) calculated the cost effectiveness of the SWPBIS-OBPP program based on time saved on disciplinary issues, improved student outcomes with discipline, attendance, academics, and mental health, and training costs; (f) collected data from counselors on students' mental health service participants and provided follow-up surveys to students and teachers and parents who referred students to mental health services. Fidelity and Program Satisfaction (DS1): Online surveys were administered twice per year (spring and fall of 2016, 2017, and 2018) to assess: (a) satisfaction of staff with the program, (b) teacher self-efficacy in addressing student behaviors at school, and (c) fidelity of program implementation. Teacher self-efficacy refers to teachers' judgment of their abilities "to bring about desired outcomes of student engagement and learning, even among those students who may be difficult or unmotivated" (Tschannen-Moran and Hoy, 2001, p. 783). Measures of fidelity of program implementation were also completed by 12 individuals who were the coordinators of the program at each intervention school. School Staff (DS2): The three experiment conditions of the RCT included an integrated SWPBIS/OBPP condition, and OBPP-only condition, and a control condition which received "treatment as usual." The School Staff Dataset contains school staff from all three conditions who completed online surveys at baseline (Fall 2015) and annually for three years after the launch of interventions (Fall 2016, 2017, and 2018). Topics included experiences with and perceptions of bullying, school safety, and school climate. Student (DS3): The Student Dataset addressed the students captured within the three RCT conditions. Students grades 3 through 12 completed online surveys at baseline (Fall 2015) and annually for three years after the launch of interventions (Fall 2016, 2017, and 2018). Although anti-bullying programs were implemented in kindergarten through twelfth grade, assessments were limited to grades 3-12 because of developmental concerns with reading and understanding survey measures. The Strength and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ), which is a behavioral and emotional screening for children and young people, was embedded in the Student Dataset to capture measures of mental health. Students who were referred for mental health services had their annual SDQ responses analyzed.
  • Methods

    The Fidelity and Program Satisfaction Dataset addressed school staff's satisfaction with anti-bullying efforts and perceptions of program implementation. Staff members were asked about their participation in training sessions, their ability to communicate and enforce program goals with students, and whether anti-bullying initiatives can be useful going forward. The School Staff Dataset asked teachers and staff about the presence of services for students to cope with bullying, the general climate of schools, and the presence of bullying. Variables included questions about criminal behavior in schools, the presence of mental health services for students, the level of effort that adults place in helping students and fostering an anti-bullying environment, and the location and frequency of bullying. Participants were surveyed about their race, gender, teaching grade (if applicable), and years of services at their school as well. The Student Dataset asked students about their participation in anti-bullying initiatives, the general climate at school, bullying perpetration and victim hood, and the effects of these things on their physical and mental health. Students were questioned about whether or not fellow students, teachers, and school rules contributed to a safe environment, and how much stress, anxiety, and depression they had experienced. Numerous types of physical, mental, and cyber bullying victimization were measured, along with participation in bullying, and where and how these bullying incidents occurred. Students were also asked if they or their friends used drugs or alcohol. Students' grade, gender, and race was assessed.
  • Methods

    Presence of Common Scales: none
  • Methods

    Response Rates: School Staff Survey Response Rate - 77% Student Survey Response Rate - 74%
  • Abstract


    • DS0: Study-Level Files
    • DS1: Fidelity and Program Satisfaction Dataset
    • DS2: School Staff Dataset
    • DS3: Student Dataset
Temporal Coverage
  • Time period: 2015--2018
  • 2015 / 2018
  • Collection date: 2015--2018
  • 2015 / 2018
Geographic Coverage
  • South Carolina
  • United States
Sampled Universe
Third through twelfth graders and staff within the Chesterfield County South Carolina School District. Smallest Geographic Unit: School district
The sample for this study were all staff and 3rd-12th grade students in a rural South Carolina school district. Students and staff were surveyed at Baseline (Fall 2015) and for three years after the interventions were implemented (Fall 2016, Fall 2017, Fall 2018).
Collection Mode
  • web-based survey
Funding institution(s): United States Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. National Institute of Justice (2014-CK-BX-0012).
One or more files in this study are not available for download due to special restrictions; consult the study documentation to learn more on how to obtain the data.
Alternative Identifiers
  • 37397 (Type: ICPSR Study Number)

Update Metadata: 2020-12-17 | Issue Number: 2 | Registration Date: 2020-12-17