Success in Stages® Program

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.

Intervention ID
317
Ages

10 to 17

Rating
Promising
Outcomes

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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