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Program Profile: Success in Stages® Program

Evidence Rating: Promising - More than one study Promising - More than one study

Date: This profile was posted on May 30, 2013

Program Summary

An anti-bullying program that incorporated all students’ involved—victims, passive bystanders, and bullies. The program is rated Promising. One study found the treatment groups’ results diminished over time for bullying and victimization; but a treatment showed the effect of no longer being a passive bystander. A second study found that middle and high school student treatment groups reported becoming non-bullies, no longer being victims or bystanders.

Program Description

Program Goals
The Success in Stages (SIS): Build Respect, Stop Bullying® program was a multicomponent, bullying intervention package that incorporated all students’ involved—victims, passive bystanders, and bullies—to reduce the occurrences of bullying and create a climate of respect in school. SIS offered three different versions of the Build Respect, Stop Bullying® program, each of which was specifically tailored for elementary, middle, or high school students. Each SIS version could also be used in conjunction with other programs to support school-wide anti-bullying initiatives.

Program Theory
The program was based upon the Transtheoretical Model (TTM) which consists of five stages: (1) Precontemplation, (2) Contemplation, (3) Preparation, (4) Action, and (5) Maintenance. The TTM model seeks to change behaviors by personalizing interventions for each participant based on his or her specific stage of change. TTM teaches reinforcement and decision-making skills so that a program participant can progress to the next stage—learning the tools necessary to maintain their modified behaviors (Johnson et al. 2005).

Program Components
The primary component of the SIS program was the TTM tailored internet-based expert system. Students were given the opportunity to interact with the program on three separate occasions. The technical basis for the system relied on an integration of statistical, multimedia, and database software. Students initiated the program by running the multimedia CD, which brought the participants to the program Web site. The first time students accessed the program Web site, they were directed to register with the program by creating a login name based on personal information and a password. Once students registered for the program, logged in, and consented to be part of the research, they were given instructions on how the program worked. The program led the student through a series of screens that included assessment questions, feedback on their answers, images, and movies that were all tailored to the student’s specific needs.

The program began with an assessment of students’ behaviors and roles in terms of bullying. To generate individualized expert system feedback, students were then assessed on each TTM construct relevant to their specific stage of change. The program analyzed students’ responses and then determined what stage of change they were currently in. The expert system then produced individualized feedback, in both text and graphical form, which was used to optimize a student’s movement to the next stage of change.

The first intervention session provided students with normative feedback only. This normative feedback compared the individual’s use of change principles and processes to peers who were most successful in progressing. Sessions 2 and 3 provided both normative (compared to peers who had progressed the most) and ipsative (compared to self) feedback on how they were progressing since their last interaction with the program. The feedback also positively reinforced any progress they were making and provided behavioral strategies they could use to progress to the next stage. The program was retailored to the individual student’s needs at each session.

The program included text and multimedia components. The text was also read to students who chose the “sound on” version if they had headphones available. Images on the screen were also matched to the specific feedback that was provided. Finally, short movies of students giving testimonials about bullying or changing were provided at specific times throughout the program.

Additional information about the program was distributed in packet form to administrators, teachers, and parents of the children who were participating. Administrator’s packets included information regarding the software requirements to run the system at their school, suggestions on how to prepare a timeline for implementing the program, as well as instructions on how to access the school-level reports. Teacher’s packets included instructions on how to run the program, general information about bullying and possible classroom exercises to support student change, as well as a guide on how to work with parents during the program’s duration. Parents were given information about the program and about bullying in general.

Evaluation Outcomes

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Study 1
Johnson and colleagues (2005) discovered several significant findings between the control and treatment groups at posttest 1 (1 week postprogram completion for both treatment groups; between 1 and 30 days for the control group), but most of the results diminished over time and were no longer significant by posttest 3.

Bullying
For students who reported being a bully at baseline, 58 percent of treatment group 1 and 66 percent of treatment group 2 had progressed to not being a bully at posttest 1, compared to 35 percent of the control group (a significant difference). At posttest 2 (4 months after first posttest was completed), only treatment group 2 showed significantly more students no longer bullying compared to the control group. However, by posttest 3 (7 to 8 months after the second posttest) there were no significant differences between the groups.   

Victimization
For students who reported being victims at baseline, approximately 33 percent of treatment group 1 and 41 percent of treatment group 2 progressed to not being a victim at posttest 1, compared to only 16 percent of the control group (a significant difference). Both treatment groups showed significantly higher proportions no longer reporting being victims than the control group at posttest 2. However by posttest 3, neither treatment group showed significantly different reporting of being victims compared with the control group. 

Passive Bystander
For students who reported being a passive bystander at baseline, approximately 53 percent of treatment group 1 and 58 percent of treatment group 2 reported that they had taken appropriate action to prevent bullying compared to 39 percent of the control group. At posttest 2, both treatment groups showed significantly higher proportions no longer being bystanders compared with the control group. By posttest 3, only students in treatment group 1 continued to show significant differences from the control group (44 percent versus 30.8 percent). 

Study 2
The Evers and colleagues (2007) study found significant differences between the treatment groups and control group in both the middle and high school populations.

Middle School Findings
Both treatment groups showed significantly higher proportions of students who reported becoming non-bullies and no longer reported being victims or bystanders at posttest (average of 1 month after the last session).

Bullying
For students who reported being a bully at baseline, approximately 28 percent of treatment group 1 and 32 percent of treatment group 2 had progressed to not being a bully at posttest, compared with only 19 percent of the control group. 

Victimization
For students who reported being a victim at baseline, approximately 30 percent of treatment group 1 and 35 percent of treatment group 2 progressed to not being a victim, compared with 17 percent of the control group. 

Passive Bystander
For students who reported being a passive bystander at baseline, approximately 34 percent of treatment groups 1 and 2 had progressed to taking appropriate action to prevent bullying, compared with about 21 percent of the control group. 

High School Findings
The data from the high schools showed similar results to the middle school group. At posttest, both treatment groups showed significantly higher proportions of students who reported becoming non-bullies and no longer reported being victims or bystanders. 

Bullying
For students who reported being a bully at baseline, approximately 42 percent of treatment group 1 and 38 percent of treatment group 2 progressed to not being a bully, compared with 21 percent of the control group. 

Victimization
For students who reported being a victim at baseline, approximately 40 percent of treatment group 1 and 37 percent of treatment group 2 progressed to not being a victim, compared with 22 percent of the control group.

Passive Bystander
For students who reported being a passive bystander at baseline, approximately 43 percent of treatment group 1 and 41 percent of treatment group 2 had progressed to taking appropriate action to prevent bullying, compared with 24 percent of the control group. 

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Evaluation Methodology

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Study 1
The study by Johnson and colleagues (2005) used an elementary school-based population to examine the effects of the Success in Stages (SIS): Build Respect, Stop Bullying ® program. They used a 3x3 experimental design which crossed three experimental groups (one control x two treatments) with three assessments. The control group received a pretest and three posttests. The two treatment groups received a pretest, up to three internet-based sessions, guides for the administrators, staff, and family, and three posttests. The sample of 1,807 fourth and fifth grade students was from 12 elementary schools located across the US and in various types of communities (including urban, rural, and suburban areas). Schools with higher percentages of students receiving free lunches were given preference for inclusion. Schools were matched on several key variables including type of community, number of students receiving free lunches, and region of the country. Males comprised 51.1 percent of the study. A majority of students were White (59.4 percent), followed by African-American (17.5 percent), and Hispanic (13.1 percent). Just over 40 percent of students were eligible for free lunches. An equal number of fourth and fifth grade student participated.

Initial testing found that there was a significant difference between the control and treatment groups at baseline for the bullying role. Specifically, there were fewer bullies in the control group. The study used statistical procedures to control for these baseline differences. There were no other significant differences between the treatment and control groups.

Treatment and control schools were given the pretest as soon as they were ready to participate. The treatment groups were asked to complete the final two internet sessions a minimum of 30 days apart. The first posttests for the treatment groups were to be given a minimum of 7 days after the last internet session. The second posttests were to be given 4 months after the first posttest for all groups, and the final posttest was to be completed 8 months after the second posttest for all groups. All posttests were to be completed approximately 1 year from each group’s start date. 

The treatment sessions were completed in a 2 month window, ranging from 1 month to 3 months. The overall program length was 12 months when factoring in posttests. 

The study measured outcomes on the percentages of students who were no longer categorized in the three roles related to bullying (bully, victim, or passive bystander) at posttest, as well as the percentage who were no longer participants in all three roles combined. Students completed all assessments and measures of self-reports on computers. 

Data was measured using two sets of analyses: (1) posttest only comparisons of the number of participants who no longer reported involvement in any or all roles, and (2) a repeated measures comparison of the number of participants who reported they no longer participated in any or all roles. Posttest only comparisons used an arcsine transformation difference in proportion of movement into Action/Maintenance. An intent-to-treat analysis was used to examine all records, rather than only those that could be matched. The last observation carried forward (LOCF) method of replacement was used when a posttest value was missing. This method replaced the missing value with the last known observation for that record. The study also used repeated measures analyses for all students across all time points, as well as random effects logistic models to examine any changes across the course of the study and to control for baseline covariates. 

Study 2
The study by Evers and colleagues (2007) focused on middle and high school populations. The study used a 3x2 factorial experimental design that had three experimental groups crossed with two assessments. The experimental groups were given pretests and posttests as well as the intervention (SIS program). The control group only completed pre- and posttest measures.

The study recruited a total of 12 middle schools (grades 6-8) and 13 high schools (grades 9-12) from a variety of communities (rural, urban, suburban), and like the previous study, preference was given to schools with higher percentages of students eligible for free lunches (roughly 45 percent of all students combined). Schools were then matched based on region of country, type of community, and number of students eligible for free lunches. There were significant differences found for grade level and race in both population samples. The high school sample also had significant gender and baseline stage of change differences. Statistical analysis procedures were used to control for effects of all baseline differences. 

Middle Schools
There were 1,237 student participants with the largest percentage of students (45.1 percent) in the 7th grade and the rest spread throughout the 4th through 6th grades. Just over 50 percent were female and 48 percent were eligible for free lunches. Students who could be matched at baseline were more Hispanic (27.4 percent) than generally found in the US (14 percent). Non-Hispanic whites were fewer than found in the US as a whole, and there were comparable percentages of African-Americans and Asian-Americans.

High Schools
There were 1,203 high school participants who could be matched at post-test and the student distribution more clearly paralleled the ethnic distribution throughout the US. Fifty-five percent of the sample was female with 42 percent of the total sample eligible for free lunches. Ninth graders made up the largest percentage of the sample at 41.6 percent. 

The study experienced several problems for matching and retention. Matching the follow-up assessments to the first session assessments was difficult, with two-thirds of the students not retained in the study. The authors were able to calculate the rate of matched records based on the number of students whose login codes matched at their first session and posttest assessment session. Unmatched records included students who had used new login codes and students who were not retained in the study. The authors took these matched and unmatched records into account when planning for analyses. The middle school had significantly different rates of matching, with the control group having 59.2 percent of records matched. Treatment group 1 had 48.8 percent matched and treatment group 2 had 25.8 percent matched. The high school study was able to match 50.3 percent of the control group, 50.5 percent of treatment group 1, and a significantly lower match of 34.6 percent, for treatment group 2. 

This study followed the same methodology as the elementary school study with regard to timeline and implementation of the program. This study also used the same statistical procedures from the Johnson and colleagues (2005) research study when analyzing the data. 

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Cost

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

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Implementation information and instructions can be found in the Success in Stages: Build Respect, Stop Bullying® Administrator and Staff guide books. These guides were updated in 2004 and include practical information regarding bullying and the Transtheoretical Model, as well as instructions on how to prepare students for SIS, how to run the computer program, and techniques to support student change. School staff did not require any training prior to implementing the program. 
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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
Johnson, Janet L., Deborah F. Van Marter, Sharon J. Dyment, Kerry E. Evers, Janice M. Prochaska, and James O. Prochaska. 2005. Elementary School Bullying (ESB): Effectiveness Trial Data Analysis Report. West Kingston, R.I.: Pro Change Behavior Systems, Inc.

Study 2
Evers, Kerry E., James O. Prochaska, Deborah F. Van Marter, Janet L. Johnson, and Janice M. Prochaska. 2007. “Transtheoretical-Based Bullying Prevention Effectiveness Trials in Middle Schools and High Schools.” Educational Research 49(4):397–414.
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Additional References

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

Prochaska, James O., Kerry E. Evers, Janice M. Prochaska, Deborah Van Marter, and Janet L. Johnson. 2007. “Efficacy and effectiveness trials: Examples from smoking cessation and bullying prevention.” Journal of Health Psychology 12(1):170-178.
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Related Practices

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

School-Based Bullying Prevention Programs
Aim to reduce bullying and victimization (being bullied) in school settings. Some interventions aim to increase positive involvement in the bullying situation from bystanders or witnesses. The practice is rated Effective for reducing bullying, bullying victimization, and for increasing the likelihood of a bystander to intervene. The practice is rated No Effects for increasing bystander empathy for victims of bullying.

Evidence Ratings for Outcomes:
Effective - More than one Meta-Analysis Juvenile Problem & At-Risk Behaviors - Bullying
Effective - More than one Meta-Analysis Victimization - Being Bullied
Effective - One Meta-Analysis Mental Health & Behavioral Health - Bystander Intervention
No Effects - One Meta-Analysis Mental Health & Behavioral Health - Empathy for the Victim



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
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Program Snapshot

Age: 10 - 17

Gender: Both

Race/Ethnicity: Black, Asian/Pacific Islander, Hispanic, White

Geography: Rural, Suburban, Urban

Setting (Delivery): School

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

Current Program Status: Not Active

Listed by Other Directories: Model Programs Guide

Program Developer:
Janice M. Prochaska
President and CEO
Pro-Change Behavior Systems, Inc.
1174 Kingstown Road, Unit 101
South Kingston RI 02879
Phone: 401.360.2980
Fax: 401.360.2983
Website
Email