Initial Behavior Outcomes for the PeaceBuilders Universal School-Based Violence Prevention Program

Daniel J. Flannery, Alexander T. Vazsonyi, Albert K. Liau, Shenyang Guo, Kenneth E. Powell, Henry Atha, Wendy Vesterdal, Dennis Embry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

122 Scopus citations

Abstract

PeaceBuilders is a universal, elementary-school-based violence prevention program that attempts to alter the climate of a school by teaching students and staff simple rules and activities aimed at improving child social competence and reducing aggressive behavior. Eight matched schools (N > 4,000 students in Grades K-5) were randomly assigned to either immediate postbaseline intervention (PBI) or to a delayed intervention 1 year later (PBD). Hierarchical linear modeling was used to analyze results from assessments in the fall and spring of 2 consecutive school years. In Year 1, significant gains in teacher-rated social competence for students in Grades K-2, in child self-reported peace-building behavior in Grades K-5, and reductions in aggressive behavior in Grades 3-5 were found for PBI but not PBD schools.Differential effects in Year 1 were also observed for aggression and prosocial behavior. Most effects were maintained in Year 2 for PBI schools, including increases in child prosocial behavior in Grades K-2. Implications for early universal school-based prevention and challenges related to evaluating large-scale prevention trials are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)292-308
Number of pages17
JournalDevelopmental Psychology
Volume39
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Demography
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies

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