National research shows the effects of bullying can last a lifetime. Victims have an increased chance of academic failure and health problems, low self-esteem and inability to connect socially.
There are long-term implications for bullies as well. Research shows that youths who bully are more likely to have a criminal record by age 24. Bullying has become such a serious problem that many states, including Colorado, have anti-bullying laws.
The Colorado Trust's Bullying Prevention initiative helped schools and community-based organizations to prevent bullying and bullying-related behaviors. The Bullying Prevention initiative revealed higher academic achievement schoolwide when students and teachers are willing to intervene in bullying behavior, and when students perceive trusting, accepting and caring relationships between themselves and their teachers.
The 45 grantees estimate they reached 50,000 young people and adults in 40 Colorado counties through the initiative. Subtle and overt bullying activities include intentional exclusion of targeted youths in activities, gossiping meanly about others, unprovoked physical and verbal attacks and using the Internet to anonymously and repeatedly harass others. The development of new programs and the expansion of existing bullying prevention programs provided both youth and adults with the opportunity to learn how to effectively intervene and prevent bullying activities.
The Trust asked CADRE, in collaboration with JVA Consulting, to find out whether beliefs and behavior about bullying changed over time in schools and community-based organizations funded by the Bullying Prevention initiative. Evaluation findings showed that bullying in funded schools and community-based organizations was prevalent during the initiative's first year—particularly in middle schools—but declined over the three-year period. Click here for the full evaluation report. Also available are an overview of the initiative, and a downloadable brochure for educators, parents and policymakers. Survey instruments used for the Bullying Prevention initiative evaluation included the following:
The survey instruments for the bullying prevention initiative are in the public domain. It is not necessary to request permission to use part or all of them.
Year one findings showed that the majority of students in fifth through 12th grades experienced bullying, including physical, verbal or Internet/cyberbullying, and students from elementary through high school reported that they had bullied others that year. Yet the findings also show that schools and youth centers can reduce bullying over time. The evaluation included surveys of over 3,000 students and 1,500 adults, case studies of four school programs, focus groups with staff and students, and an analysis of demographic and school achievement data. Evaluation contact: nancy [at] coloradotrust.org (Nancy Baughman Csuti, DrPH), Director of Research, Evaluation & Strategic Learning, 303-837-1200.
GRANT AMOUNT: $9 million