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Program Profile: The GREAT School Program

Evidence Rating: No Effects - One study No Effects - One study

Date: This profile was posted on April 27, 2015

Program Summary

A school-based intervention to promote problem-solving skills, self-efficacy for nonviolence, and goals and strategies supporting nonviolence. The program is rated No Effects. The program was shown to have no effect on measures of aggression and nonviolent behaviors.

Program Description

Program Goals/Program Theory
The GREAT (Guiding Responsibility and Expectations for Adolescents for Today and Tomorrow) School Program was developed within a social–cognitive framework approach to promote problem-solving skills, self-efficacy for nonviolence, goals and strategies supporting nonviolence, and individual and school norms against the use of violence. The GREAT curriculum was adapted from the Responding in Peaceful and Positive Ways curriculum for sixth graders to include additional themes such as culture and context, self-efficacy for nonviolence, promoting prosocial goals, and positive school norms.

Program Components
The GREAT School Program is composed of 20 weekly sessions that provide instruction and practice in the use of a social–cognitive problem-solving model. The program instructs students on how to avoid dangerous situations, ignore teasing, ask for help, talk things through, defuse situations, and be helpful to peers.

Those who implement the program use behavioral repetition and mental rehearsal of the skills, small-group activities, experiential-learning techniques, and didactic modalities to increase students’ awareness and use of nonviolent options in order to alter their attitudes toward and engagement in aggressive behavior.

The GREAT Teacher Program is composed of a 2-day, 12-hour workshop and 10 consultation/support meetings that focus on increasing teacher awareness of different forms of aggression and associated risk factors while promoting strategies for improving classroom management, reducing aggression, and assisting students who are victimized.

Evaluation Outcomes

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Study 1
Overall, students who participated in the GREAT (Guiding Responsibility and Expectations for Adolescents for Today and Tomorrow) School Program were not significantly different from the control group at the 2-year follow-up points on behavioral measures targeted by the program.

Individual Norms for Aggression
The Multisite Violence Prevention Project (2008) found that the GREAT School Program had no significant effect on measures of individual norms for aggression.

Individual Norms for Nonviolent Behavior
The treatment group had a significant increase in individual norms for nonviolent behavior, compared with the control group, at the initial posttest. However, those effects were not sustained through the follow-up points.

Beliefs Supporting Fighting
There were no significant differences between treatment and control groups on measures of beliefs supporting fighting.

Beliefs Supporting Nonviolent Responses
There were no significant differences between treatment and control groups on measures of beliefs supporting nonviolent responses.

Goals and Strategies Supporting Aggression
The treatment group had a significant increase in goals and strategies supporting aggression, compared with the control group, at the initial posttest. However, those effects were not sustained through the follow-up points.

Goals and Strategies Supporting Nonviolent Responses
There were no significant differences between treatment and control groups on goals and strategies supporting nonviolent responses.
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Evaluation Methodology

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Study 1
The Multisite Violence Prevention Project (2008) conducted a quasi-experimental study on the effects of the GREAT (Guiding Responsibility and Expectations for Adolescents for Today and Tomorrow) School Program on outcome measures of aggression and nonviolent behaviors for 8th grade students from 37 schools in Chicago, Ill.; Durham, N.C.; northeastern Georgia; and Richmond, Va.

Schools in the evaluation had a high percentage of students from low-income families based on eligibility for the federal free or reduced lunch program. The study sample included mostly minority (48 percent black, 23 percent Hispanic) boys and girls (49 percent and 51 percent, respectively). The program was implemented over two cohorts starting in 2001.

Schools were randomized into four conditions: universal intervention, selective intervention, combined (universal and selective) intervention, and a no-intervention control. The universal intervention (treatment) group received the GREAT School Program. The selective intervention group received a 15-week family intervention in groups of 4 to 8 high-risk students and their guardians.

Data was collected from students during the fall and spring of their 6th grade year and in the spring during the following 2 school years. Data measures included eight social–cognitive constructs targeted by the GREAT School Program. Those constructs included individual norms for aggression and for nonviolent behavior: beliefs supporting fighting and nonviolent responses, goals and strategies supporting aggression and nonviolent alternatives, self-efficacy for nonviolent responses, and social skills.
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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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Interventionists were graduate students in a related field (e.g., counseling, clinical psychology) and former teachers who competed 36 hours of training. After each session, interventionists completed a checklist to document whether major lesson elements were delivered as intended and rated the student’s engagement in the lesson.
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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
The Multisite Violence Prevention Project. 2008. “The Multisite Violence Prevention Project: Impact of a Universal School-Based Violence Prevention Program on Social-Cognitive Outcomes.” Prevention Science 9(4):231–44.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2748309/
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Related Practices

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

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
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Program Snapshot

Gender: Both

Race/Ethnicity: Black, Hispanic, White

Setting (Delivery): School

Program Type: Classroom Curricula, School/Classroom Environment

Current Program Status: Active

Listed by Other Directories: Model Programs Guide