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IES Grant

Title: Creating Upstanders: The Development of Norms And Bystander Intervention Training (NAB IT!) to Reduce Bullying and Sexual Harassment
Center: NCER Year: 2019
Principal Investigator: Nickerson, Amanda Awardee: State University of New York (SUNY), Buffalo
Program: Social and Behavioral Context for Academic Learning      [Program Details]
Award Period: 3.5 years (07/01/2019 - 12/31/2022) Award Amount: $1,381,579
Type: Development and Innovation Award Number: R305A190139

Purpose: The purpose of this study is to develop and test a social norms and bystander intervention training to reduce bullying and sexual harassment in high schools. NAB IT! (Norms And Bystander Intervention Training) relies on influential peer leaders in high schools to establish social norms and bystander intervention training to promote peer intervention in instances of bullying and sexual harassment to improve school climate.

Project Activities: The researchers will work with high school students and staff to develop NAB IT! through an iterative development process. They will investigate the feasibility and promise of NAB IT! in a pilot study to assess the impact of the intervention on students' empathy; knowledge, attitudes, and perceptions related to bystander intervention behavior; bullying and sexual harassment victimization and perpetration; and school climate.

Products: The products of this project include a social norms and bystander intervention to address bullying and sexual harassment in high schools. The researchers will develop manuals and other resources to support the implementation of NAB IT! and assess fidelity and outcomes. The researchers will produce an evaluation report for educators, policy makers, researchers and organizations who wish to further adapt and/or evaluate the intervention. They will also prepare manuscripts and presentations for academic and practitioner audiences. They will share findings through the website for the Alberti Center for Bullying Abuse and Prevention at the University of Buffalo, social media outlets, colloquia, and an annual conference.

Structured Abstract

Setting: This study will take place in three suburban high schools in New York.

Sample: The team will work with one high school to develop and test the social norms campaign (approximately 200 students) in Year 1 and the bystander intervention training (25 influential peer leaders in the intervention and another 20 teachers/staff members in focus groups) in Year 2. Participants in the pilot study in Year 3 will include about 800 to 1,400 students and 140 teachers and staff from two separate high schools.

Intervention: NAB IT! will include a universal social norms campaign developed through an iterative process with high school students. It will also include an educational, motivational, and skill-building bystander intervention training with socially influential students in each grade.

Research Design and Methods: In Years 1 and 2, the researchers will work with one high school to develop the social norms campaign and the bystander intervention using an iterative process. In Year 3, they will pilot test NAB IT! using a quasi-experimental design in two new high schools. The researchers will conduct focus groups at the end of each project phase with both student leaders and school staff to assess program usability, feasibility, and social validity.

Control Condition: Students in the control school will receive business as usual programs.

Key Measures: The researchers will assess students' attitudes, knowledge, and behaviors related to bullying and sexual harassment. They will assess school climate using the Delaware School Climate Survey. They will assess usability and acceptability through focus groups and rating scales.

Data Analytic Strategy: In the development phase, the researchers will conduct paired samples t-tests and calculate descriptive statistics to determine acceptability and feasibility. They will analyze focus group data using thematic analysis. For the pilot study, they will use propensity score matching schemes to estimate the average treatment effect on the treated. They will use multiple regression to assess dosage effects.

Cost Analysis: The research team will track all ingredients of the intervention, including personnel expenditures, materials, space and facilities used at the school and at the university by intervention component (social norms campaign and bystander intervention), and for the whole school. They will also derive a cost-effectiveness ratio.

Project Website: