School Bullying Intervention Programs and the Eight Positive Youth Development Indicators of High-Quality Youth Programs : A Systematic Review and Analysis Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/zc77ss888

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  • During the past two decades a wide range of intervention programs have emerged in response to escalating concerns over school bullying. The advent of such programs seems justified as 70 percent of school-aged children and youth identify bullying as a problem in their school (Polanin, et al., 2012; Renshaw & Jimerson, 2011) and almost one-in-three report being bullied (Swearer & Espelage, 2003). Yet there is some ambiguity as to whether such programming is sufficiently rooted in a youth development perspective where the emphasis lies in positive approaches to building youth’s capacities (termed Positive Youth Development or PYD) rather than more deficit-based approaches that focus on controlling or extinguishing negative behaviors. School bullying intervention programs often obtain mixed results, thus integrating PYD strategies proven effective in other youth programs into school bullying interventions may be a useful way to obtain beneficial outcomes by promoting positive behaviors alongside the reduction of negative behaviors. Yet previous published systematic reviews of school bullying intervention programs and PYD programs have not explored the possibility of this integration. Within PYD, eight explicit indicators distinguish high performing programs (Eccles & Gootman, 2002). This systematic review drew on a set of evaluation studies spanning the past decade to find out whether school bullying interventions were employing program strategies that aligned with the eight PYD indicators. To make this determination, the school bullying intervention program models were reconstructed from information gleaned from the evaluation studies. Each program model was examined for program objectives and activities designed to reach specific goals that aligned with the eight PYD indicators of high-quality youth programs. Thus, the aim of this study was to determine the extent to which school bullying intervention programs aligned with the eight PYD indicators; and, to determine whether the programs were using strategies that aligned with the indicators explicitly or implicitly. Understanding how school bullying intervention programming aligns with a PYD program quality approach is a first necessary step to charting a course toward the development of new intervention strategies that may help mitigate future rates of school bullying.
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