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Program Profile: Responding in Peaceful and Positive Ways (RIPP)

Evidence Rating: Promising - One study Promising - One study

Date: This profile was posted on September 12, 2011

Program Summary

A school-based program designed to provide conflict-resolution strategies and skills to prevent violence to students in middle and junior high schools. The program is rated Promising. The experiment group had less disciplinary code violations related to violence in the 8th grade, showed significantly higher approval of nonviolence, and lower aggression at the 9-month follow-up.

Program Description

Program Goals/Target Population

Responding in Peaceful and Positive Ways (RIPP) is designed to provide conflict-resolution strategies and skills to sixth-, seventh-, and eighth-grade students in middle and junior high schools. The goals of RIPP are to reduce aggressive behavior and violence in school-aged youth, and to intervene with young children to help them avoid potential violence in adolescence. The program is suitable for children from all socioeconomic, racial/ethnic, and cultural backgrounds.

 

Program Components

RIPP is a school-based violence-prevention program. The program combines a classroom curriculum of social/cognitive problem-solving with real-life, skill-building opportunities, such as peer mediation. Students learn to apply critical thinking skills and personal management strategies to personal health and well-being issues. RIPP teaches key concepts, such as:

 

  • The importance of significant friends or adult mentors
  • The relationship between self-image and gang-related behaviors
  • The effects of environmental influences on personal health

Using a variety of lessons and activities, students learn about the physical and mental development that occurs during adolescence, analyze the consequences of personal choices on health and well-being, learn that they have nonviolent options when conflicts arise, and evaluate the benefits of being a positive family and community role model.

 

Program Theory

RIPP draws from theories of social cognition, problem-solving, and emotional processes that are essential in controlling aggressive behavior and in increasing social competence. RIPP targets a developmental phase in the child’s life, the transition from elementary to middle school, as an opportunity to intervene to prevent violence.

Evaluation Outcomes

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Caution should be taken in applying this program to a rural setting. The evidence base suggests that while Responding in Peaceful and Positive Ways (RIPP) showed promising results with urban African American school children (see Study 1), the program showed inconsistent results with small effect sizes when administered to schools in a rural setting with majority white schoolchildren (see Study 2).

Study 1
Violent Behavior
Farrell and colleagues (2003a) found significant differences in the number of violent disciplinary code violations in the eighth grade. The control group had more than twice the rate of disciplinary code violations related to violence than the RIPP treatment group. There were no other significant disciplinary code differences in the eighth grade and none during the seventh grade.

Results from self-reports showed that boys who participated in the intervention reported significantly more favorable attitudes toward nonviolence at the 6-month follow-up and significantly less favorable attitudes to violence at the 12-month follow-up. No other results were significant.

While RIPP did not significantly reduce nonphysical aggression, drug use, or anxiety, students who made the greatest gains exhibited relatively higher pretest scores for problem behaviors. This suggests that RIPP might have its strongest effects on students who are most at risk.


Study 2
Violent Behavior
The results of the Farrell and colleagues (2003b) study showed small significant effects of RIPP on some measures for some follow-up periods. RIPP students reported significantly lower aggression at the 9-month follow-up and significantly lower victimization for boys only at the second midpoint (beginning of seventh grade) and at the 4-month follow-up.

At the 9-month follow-up, the control group was 40 percent more likely than RIPP participants to report having threatened someone with a weapon and 60 percent more likely than RIPP participants to have been injured in a fight (odds ratio=1.6) in the previous 30 days. All other measures were nonsignificant.


Attitudes towards Violence
At the 9-month follow-up, the RIPP group showed significantly higher approval of nonviolence and life satisfaction. Effect sizes remained small, however.
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Evaluation Methodology

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Study 1

The Farrell et al. (2003a) study assessed violent-behavior outcomes among seventh graders in two urban middle schools in Richmond, Va. Each school had administered Responding in Peaceful and Positive Ways (RIPP) to sixth graders the previous year. Classes of seventh graders were randomized to a no-intervention control condition or to the RIPP for seventh grade intervention. Eleven classrooms were assigned to the control group (n= 237), and 10 classrooms made up the intervention group (n= 239). The sample was 47 percent male, with an average age of 12.8 years. Nearly all children (97 percent) were African American. Forty-six percent reported living with single mothers, 20 percent lived with both parents, and another 16 percent lived in stepfamilies. There were no significant differences between groups in gender, race, age, or family structure.

 

Participants completed a pretest at the beginning of seventh grade and a posttest at the end of the year. Two follow-ups were obtained at 6 and 12 months posttest during the eighth grade. The primary outcomes were measured by the disciplinary code violations of the school (violence, fighting, assault, possession of a weapon, and suspensions). Measurements of violence also included the Problem Behavior Frequency Scales in which students self-report the frequency of violent behavior, nonphysical aggression, drug use, and delinquent behavior in the past month. Other measures used were the Revised Children’s Manifest Anxiety Scale and the RIPP Knowledge Test (which assesses attitudes toward violence).

 

The data was analyzed using an intent-to-treat approach with generalized linear models and generalized estimating equations. These methods are specifically used to address the nested design of data in which clusters (classrooms) of participating schoolchildren were assigned to the intervention.

 

Study 2

Farrell and colleagues (2003b) examined the impact of RIPP for sixth and seventh grade on violent behavior outcomes. Participants in the study were students at four intervention schools (n= 752) and four control schools (n= 735) in rural Florida. The sample was equally divided between boys and girls, with 29 percent being children of migrant workers and 32 percent living in homes where English was not the first language. The average age at the start of sixth grade was 11.4 years, with 65 percent identifying themselves as white, 22 percent as Hispanic, and 11 percent as African American.

 

In 1998–99, the intervention group received RIPP for sixth grade and RIPP for seventh grade the following year. Measurements were taken at pretest (beginning of sixth grade), at two midpoint assessments (mid-sixth and beginning of seventh grade), at a 4-month follow-up (end of seventh grade), and at 9 months posttest. The measure used to assess behavior included disciplinary records (for only a subsample of six schools, of which three were control and three were intervention schools); the Problem Behavior Frequency Scales; the Children’s Report of Exposure to Violence; Peer Provocation Scale; Life Satisfaction Scale; the RIPP Knowledge Test; the Problem Situation Inventory; the Beliefs Supporting Aggression Scale; the Attitude Toward Conflict Scale; and the Peer Support for Nonviolence Scale.

 

The data was analyzed using generalized linear models and generalized estimating equations, which are specifically used to address the multilevel design of data in which schools with participating schoolchildren were randomized (rather than individual participants).

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Cost

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There is no cost information available for this program.
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Other Information

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CrimeSolutions.gov reviewers reviewed multiple studies for this program. The reviewers found that the evidence for positive program outcomes was not consistent in all studies reviewed. Therefore, the single study icon is used. Promising programs have some evidence indicating they achieve their intended outcomes. Additional research is recommended.
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Evidence-Base (Studies Reviewed)

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These sources were used in the development of the program profile:

Study 1

Farrell, Albert D., Aleta L. Meyere, Terri N. Sullivan, and Eva M. Kung. 2003a. “Evaluation of the Responding in Peaceful and Positive Ways (RIPP) Seventh Grade Violence Prevention Curriculum.” Journal of Child and Family Studies 12(1):101–20.



Study 2
Farrell, Albert D., Robert F. Valois, Aleta L. Meyer, and Ritchie P. Tidwell. 2003b. “Impact of the RIPP Violence Prevention Program on Rural Middle School Students.” Journal of Primary Prevention 24(2):143–67.
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Additional References

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These sources were used in the development of the program profile:

Farrell, Albert D., Aleta L. Meyer, and Kamila S. White. 2001. “Evaluation of Responding in Peaceful and Positive Ways (RIPP): A School-Based Prevention Program for Reducing Violence Among Urban Adolescents.” Journal of Clinical Child Psychology 30(4):451–63.


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Related Practices

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Following are CrimeSolutions.gov-rated practices that are related to this program:

School-Based Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) Programs
Designed to foster the development of five interrelated sets of cognitive, affective, and behavioral competencies, in order to provide a foundation for better adjustment and academic performance in students, which can result in more positive social behaviors, fewer conduct problems, and less emotional distress. The practice was rated Effective in reducing students’ conduct problems and emotional stress.

Evidence Ratings for Outcomes:
Effective - One Meta-Analysis Juvenile Problem & At-Risk Behaviors - Multiple juvenile problem/at-risk behaviors
Effective - One Meta-Analysis Mental Health & Behavioral Health - Internalizing behavior



Universal School-Based Social Information Processing Interventions for Aggression
School-based violence prevention interventions that target social information-processing difficulties in students, aiming to reduce the aggressive and disruptive behavior of school-aged children. The practice is rated Promising for reducing aggressive behavior in school-aged children.

Evidence Ratings for Outcomes:
Promising - One Meta-Analysis Juvenile Problem & At-Risk Behaviors - Aggression



Targeted School-Based Social Information-Processing Interventions for Aggression
This practice examines targeted prevention efforts for particular students that attempt to improve one or more aspects of the students’ social information processing, aiming to prevent and/or reduce aggressive or violent behavior in school-aged children. The practice is rated Effective for reducing aggressive behavior in school-aged children.

Evidence Ratings for Outcomes:
Effective - One Meta-Analysis Juvenile Problem & At-Risk Behaviors - Aggression



Universal School-Based Prevention and Intervention Programs for Aggressive and Disruptive Behavior
Universal school-based prevention and intervention programs for aggressive and disruptive behavior target elementary, middle, and high school students in a universal setting, rather than focusing on only a selective group of students, with the intention of preventing or reducing violent, aggressive, or disruptive behaviors. The practice is rated Effective in reducing violent, aggressive, and/or disruptive behaviors in students.

Evidence Ratings for Outcomes:
Effective - More than one Meta-Analysis Juvenile Problem & At-Risk Behaviors



School-Based Conflict Resolution Education
This practice aims to reduce school-based conflict and encourage long-term prosocial behavior. It teaches students to understand the nature of the conflict and provides options for responding. This practice is rated Promising for multiple problem or at-risk behaviors. Student participants in the programs reported significantly fewer antisocial behaviors than students in the control group.

Evidence Ratings for Outcomes:
Promising - One Meta-Analysis Juvenile Problem & At-Risk Behaviors - Multiple juvenile problem/at-risk behaviors
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Program Snapshot

Age: 10 - 15

Gender: Both

Race/Ethnicity: Black

Geography: Urban

Setting (Delivery): School

Program Type: Classroom Curricula, Conflict Resolution/Interpersonal Skills, School/Classroom Environment, Violence Prevention

Current Program Status: Active

Listed by Other Directories: Model Programs Guide, National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices, What Works Clearinghouse