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Peter Fonagy, Stuart W Twemlow, Eric Vernberg, Frank C Sacco, Todd D Little
Med Sci Monit 2005; 11(7): CR317-325
Background: The impact of a bullying and violence prevention program on education attainment was studied in five elementary schools (K-5), over a 5-year period.
Material and methods: A multiple baseline design was used and academic attainment test scores of 1,106 students were monitored before and after the introduction of the program across the school district. This sample was contrasted with an equivalent control sample of 1,100 students from the school district who attended schools that did not join the program.
Results: Program participation was associated with pronounced improvements in the students’ achievement test scores. Notable reductions in the scores of those students who left schools with active programs were also observed.
Conclusions: This simple, low-cost anti-violence intervention, involves all those who work in schools, not just students. It appears to significantly benefit educational performance of children in the participating elementary schools. The program focuses attention on the interaction between the bully, victim and audience of bystanders who are seen as pivotal in either promoting or ameliorating violence.