Enhancing Students’ Attitudes About Bullying Using the P3R Classroom Resource
Positive Peer Relationships and Bullying
Positive peer relationships are significantly associated with lower rates of bullying, higher rates of life satisfaction and school connectedness, and increased social support (4). So, seeking to promote such relationships in an attempt to preempt bullying may facilitate multiple beneficial outcomes for students. Positive peer relationships can be achieved by the following:
- increasing students’ awareness of bullying relationships
- teaching them to recognize and manage emotions
- enabling them with cognitive strategies for problem solving; providing character (i.e., moral and ethical) education
- empowering them with general social skills to navigate interpersonal relationships (3).
The purpose of our study was to investigate the effectiveness of a classroom-based intervention that aims to reduce and prevent bullying at school by promoting positive peer relationships among students. The intervention program was the Classroom Resource of the Promoting Positive Peer Relationships (P3R)—Middle School Bullying Prevention Program (1). Given the findings of previous intervention research (2) and recognizing that P3R Classroom Resource includes many of the factors that facilitate positive relationships that were mentioned above, it was hypothesized that the intervention would have the following effects:
- enhance students’ attitudes towards bullies, victims, and bullying in general;
- improve students’ perceptions of their local school’s efforts regarding bullying;
- be implemented with fidelity by a general-education teacher amidst typical school duties.
Approximately 200 seventh-graders participated in this intervention. During the 2008-2009 academic year, the school’s administration adopted the P3R curriculum as a mandatory element of the exploratory Health class, taken by all seventh-graders. Participants attended a junior high school that was located on the south-central coast of California and had a mostly White and Hispanic student population, with less than 10% of students from other ethnic groups.
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