Initial Behavior Outcomes For The Peace Builders Universal School-Based Violence Prevention Program
Flannery Et Al (2003)
The study evaluates the impact of a program called Peace Builders, a universal, elementary-school-based violence prevention program that attempts to change characteristics of the classroom setting (antecedents) that trigger aggressive, hostile behavior, by increasing the daily frequency and salience of both live and symbolic prosocial models. If there are more prosocial cues and models in a school and these behaviors are consistently reinforced and rewarded, then over time, child social competence will increase and the frequency and intensity of aggressive behaviors will decline. The study analyzes the effect of the program using data from 8 matched schools with a total of over 4000 students.
All children and staff in a school learn five simple rules via a common language, which makes the intervention easy to learn and maintain: (a) praise people, (b) avoid put-downs, (c) seek wise people as advisers and friends, (d) notice and correct hurts we cause, and (e) right wrongs. The treatment group of students were randomly assigned to an immediate intervention.
Students in the control condition were assigned to a delayed intervention in order to have a phased-in design.
Comparing students who received the program immediately versus those who were assigned to receive it in a year, it seems that the Peace Builders program reduced aggressive behavior and increased pro-social behavior among students.