Teen Bullying Prevention across Place and Digital Space: The TOTAL Approach

Period of Performance: 09/30/2017 - 09/29/2018


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Sociometrics Corporation
Mountain View, CA 94040
Principal Investigator


Abstract An effective bullying prevention program or strategy is one that incorporates evidence on protective factors at multiple levels including: healthy self-esteem among youth; positive student-teacher interactions; normative beliefs that sanction rather than endorse bullying; and a school climate based on fairness and trust (Guerra et al., 2011). Nationally, 20% of students have been bullied on school property (CDC, 2012). Research studies have demonstrated that bullying prevention implementation is mediated by teacher factors (e.g., self-efficacy, perceived topic relevance, job stress, experience); school factors (e.g., leadership structure); program factors (e.g., appropriate goals and teaching pedagogy) and student factors (e.g., behaviors) (Kealey et. al., 2000; Showers et al., 1987; Zhai et al., 2011). Although teachers are ?front line? providers in bullying prevention, the availability of teacher training and capacity building courses is ?woefully inadequate? (Smith, 2011). Teachers often do not have access to reliable resources to their anti-bullying efforts; and little guidance for how to implement effective strategies fit to their specific contexts and students (Domitrovich et al., 2008; Espelage & Swearer, 2008). The proposed Teen-created Online Tolerance and Anti-bullying Library (TOTAL) will offer teachers an innovative multimedia resource providing information about effective bullying prevention programs and best practices; as well as how to deliver prevention efforts employing active and meaningful youth engagement. In Year 1 we will complete development of a modular online resource that refocuses bullying prevention from negative deficient models to a positive youth development model inspired by Social and Emotional Learning principles. TOTAL will include: ? a comprehensive resource housing in one place evidence-based bullying prevention programs with common effectiveness criteria and implementation information; ?youth engagement core competencies for teachers to respond to bullying and engage with teens in meaningful ways; ? youth-created off-the-shelf activities to help foster this engagement; and ? tools and strategies to increase teachers' self-efficacy to implement and sustain effective bullying prevention efforts. A two-arm quasi-experimental outcome study will be conducted in Year 2 to test the effectiveness of the new TOTAL resource.