Get Real About Violence

An Effective Practice


Get Real About Violence (GRAV) is a research-based prevention program that addresses a wide range of violent behavior in students from kindergarten through 12th grade--from bullying and verbal aggression at early grades through fighting and social exclusion at middle grades to relationship abuse and assaults that can occur in later grades. Based on the Theory of Reasoned Action (TRA), the GRAV program encourages students to identify alternative attitudes and norms that would lead to a violent-free outcome. According to the TRA, the best determinant of behavior is a joint function involving behavioral intention, a person's attitude toward performing the behavior, and subjective norms. The GRAV curriculum, therefore, uses instructional tools, activities, and scenarios designed to decrease students' positive attitudes toward violence and to increase negative attitudes toward violent behavior, while also establishing antiviolent norms in response to verbal, physical, or emotional cues.

Goal / Mission

The goal of this program is to prevent violence among children and adolescents.

Results / Accomplishments

The GRAV curriculum has undergone two independent evaluations. The first evaluated the program on 7th grade students, and the second was on students in the 9th through 12th grades. The evaluation for the seventh graders suggests that from pretest to the initial posttest the experimental group improved on a greater number of items and digressed on fewer items than the control group during each time period. The experimental group was significantly less likely than the control group to act verbally aggressive toward another person and was more likely to think that being verbally aggressive would cause someone else harm. Experimental group participants indicated they were less likely to watch a fight or spread rumors about a fight that was going to happen, were more likely to believe that getting into a fight would hurt their own family, and that if someone tried to start a fight with them they would try to avoid it.

The evaluation of the high school curriculum showed that the two groups did not differ in the amount of relational or physical aggression witnessed. This suggests that both groups experienced similar school environments. The treatment group was significantly more likely to view adults as reacting positively if a student was to report an aggressive act. The control group was more likely to perceive adults as making it worse for the student. There were no significant differences between the two groups on the scales measuring peer norms. Both groups reported that peers would be skeptical of going to an adult for help. Students in the treatment group were more likely to choose prosocial responses as a witness to or victim of violence; they were more likely to try to help a victim of a fight, less likely to join in a fight, and less likely to retaliate to aggression with aggression.

About this Promising Practice

Primary Contact
Jim McColl, M.B.A.
United Learning
1560 Sherman Avenue, Suite 100
Evanston, IL 60201
(847) 328-6700
Health / Mental Health & Mental Disorders
Public Safety / Crime & Crime Prevention
Education / School Environment
United Learning
The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention's Model Programs Guide (MPG)
Date of publication
Evanston, IL
For more details
Target Audience
Children, Teens