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IES Grant

Title: Social and Character Development in Rural Youth: The Competence Support Program
Center: NCER Year: 2003
Principal Investigator: Farmer, Thomas Awardee: University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Program: Social and Character Development      [Program Details]
Award Period: 4 years Award Amount: $1,797,932
Type: Efficacy and Replication Award Number: R305L030162

Co-Principal Investigator: Mark Fraser

The purpose of this project is to evaluate the Competence Support Program, a multi-level program that includes social skills training, school-wide behavior management, and school-wide training in classroom social dynamics management. The researchers are evaluating the effects of this program in ethnically diverse, impoverished, rural schools—schools that are often neglected in intervention research.

In their complementary study, the researchers are examining how students' personal characteristics (such as risk status), social roles (such as bully or victim), and peer affiliations (either prosocial or antisocial) interact with the broader classroom and school social context. They are testing the ways in which the Competence Support Program trains teachers to identify student peer groups, the leaders of those groups, and the socially aggressive students in the classroom. It is hypothesized that along with direct instruction of students on making choices about how to behave in social situations, teacher training will in turn influence students' aggressive behavior and relationships with their peers in the classroom, school engagement, academic achievement, and bonding with school adults.



Fraser, M.W., Richman, J.M., Galinsky, M.J., and Day, S.H. (2009). Intervention Research: Developing Social Programs. New York: Oxford University Press.

Guo, S., and Fraser, M.W. (2010). Propensity Score Analysis: Statistical Methods and Applications. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Press.

Book chapter

Farmer, T.W., Xie, H., Cairns, B.D., and Hutchins, B.C. (2007). Social Synchrony, Peer Networks, and Aggression in School. In P.H. Hawley, T.D. Little, and P.C. Rodkin (Eds.), Aggression and Adaptation: The Bright Side to Bad Behavior (pp. 209–233). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Journal article, monograph, or newsletter

Farmer, T.W., and Xie, H.L. (2007). Aggression and School Social Dynamics: The Good, the Bad, and the Ordinary. Journal of School Psychology, 45(5): 461–478.

Farmer, T.W., Farmer, E.M.Z., and Brooks, D.S. (2010). Recasting the Ecological and Developmental Roots of Intervention for Students With Emotional and Behavior Problems: The Promise of Strength-Based Perspectives. Exceptionality: A Special Education Journal, 18(2): 53–57.

Farmer, T.W., Irvin, M.J., Sgammato, A., Dadisman, K., and Thompson, J.H. (2009). Interpersonal Competence Configurations in Rural Appalachian Fifth Graders: Academic Achievement and Associated Adjustment Factors. Elementary School Journal, 109(3): 301–321.

Farmer, T.W., Petrin, R.A., Robertson, D.L., Fraser, M.W., Hall, C.M., Day, S.H., and Dadisman, K. (2010). Peer Relations of Bullies, Bully-Victims, and Victims: The Two Social Worlds of Bullying in Second Grade Classrooms. The Elementary School Journal, 110(3): 364–392.

Li, J., and Fraser, M. W. (2015). Evaluating Dosage Effects in a Social-Emotional Skills Training Program for Children: An Application of Generalized Propensity Scores. Journal of Social Service Research, 41(3), 345–364.

Robertson, D.L., Farmer, T.W., Fraser, M.W., Day, S.H., Duncan, T., Crowther, A., and Dadisman, K.A. (2010). Interpersonal Competence Configurations and Peer Relations in Early Elementary Classrooms: Perceived Popular and Unpopular Aggressive Subtypes. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 34(1): 73–87.

Wike, T.L., and Fraser, M.W. (2009). School Shootings: Making Sense of the Senseless. Aggression and Violent Behavior, 14(3): 162–169.