Steps to Respect: A Bullying Prevention Program

An Evidence-Based Practice


Steps to Respect®: A Bullying Prevention Program is a research-based, comprehensive bullying prevention program developed for grades 3 through 6 by Committee for Children, a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving children's lives through effective social and emotional learning programs. The program has three components: a schoolwide program guide, staff training, and classroom lessons. The program guide component presents an overview of the curriculum content, goals of the program, research foundations, and a blueprint for developing a schoolwide policy and specific procedures. The foundation of the staff training component is a core instructional session for all school staff and two in-depth training sessions for counselors, administrators, and teachers in which all staff receive an overview of program goals and key features of the program content (e.g., a definition of bullying, a model for responding to bullying reports). Teachers, counselors, and administrators receive additional training in how to coach students involved in bullying. Also, third through sixth grade teachers complete an orientation to classroom materials and instructional strategies. The classroom curriculum component is the core aspect of the program. It comprises skill and literature-based lessons presented by third through sixth grade teachers over a 12- to 14-week period.

Goal / Mission

The goal of the program is to decrease school bullying problems by 1) increasing staff awareness and responsiveness, 2) fostering socially responsible beliefs, and 3) teaching social-emotional skills to counter bullying and promote healthy relationships. Thus the program also aims to promote skills (e.g., group joining, conflict resolution) associated with general social competence.

Results / Accomplishments

The Steps to Respect® program was evaluated with an experimental trial. The evaluation found that the program produced significant improvements 12 weeks after implementation. In terms of bullying-related beliefs and behaviors, students in the intervention schools reported significantly less acceptance of bullying/aggression, perceived greater adult responsiveness, and felt more responsible to intervene with friends who were bullied (bystander responsibility) than students in the control schools. In addition, students in the intervention group tended to report less victimization at the posttest than did those in the control group. There were, however, no differences in direct or indirect aggression in self-reported behavior and teacher ratings of interaction skills. The analyses of changes in playground behavior revealed declines in bullying and argumentative behavior among the students in the intervention group relative to students in the control group, increases in agreeable interactions, and a trend toward reduced destructive bystander behavior.

Compared with girls, boys benefited more from program participation in two respects. Boys in the treatment group showed increases in agreeable behavior and a greater decline in perceived difficulty of responding assertively to bullying (relative to boys in the control group). Girls did not differ from their counterparts on these measures.

About this Promising Practice

Primary Contact
Customer Service
Committee for Children
568 First Avenue South, Suite 600
Seattle, WA 98104-2804
(800) 634-4449
Education / School Environment
Social Environment / Children's Social Environment
Committee for Children
The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention's Model Programs Guide (MPG)
Date of publication
For more details
Target Audience

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