This project’s goal was to integrate two school safety programs – the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program (OBPP) and the School-wide Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (SWPBIS) program – in order to address the shortcomings or limitations of each “stand alone” program, as well as evaluate the effectiveness of the integrated intervention in a randomized controlled trial.
An additional component of this project was an examination of the use of school-based mental health services in elementary, middle, and high school settings. Project participants included students (n = 4,494) in grades 3-12 and school staff members (n = 460) in 16 schools in one school district in the Sourtheastern United States. The OBPP/SWPBIS integrated model highlighted areas of connection and overlap between the two evidence-based programs, which reduced areas of confusion and redundancy while reducing training time and related costs for schools interested in implementing both interventions. The evaluation found that the integrated model was effective compared to the control condition, based on teacher and/or student reports regarding reductions in bullying victimization, including cyberbullying, while achieving increased clarity of policies on bullying. Teachers reported perceptions that bullied students were more willing to report being bullied. These achievements improved school climate by reducing student fears about bullying. Regarding school-based mental health professionals, they are increasingly viewed as critical resources for complementing prevention and intervention programs. The most common counseling needs were psycho-emotional, followed by behavioral issues, challenges with adjustment or loss, and family stress. 23 figures, 11 tables, and 20 references