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Impacts of a Violence Prevention Program for Middle Schools: Findings After 3 Years of Implementation

NCEE 2011-4017
May 2011

The Curriculum: RiPP Program

RiPP (Meyer and Northup 2002a, 2002b, 2006) is a universal, social-cognitive violence prevention program that focuses on the reduction of situational and relationship violence. The goal of the curriculum is to promote effective social-cognitive problem-solving skills; motivation and self-efficacy for using those skills; and school norms that support those attitudes and skills while reducing the appeal and perceived utility of violent behaviors and related attitudes. By targeting these attitudes and skills, the program is designed to increase social competence and thereby reduce violent behavior.

The RiPP curriculum consists of 16 lessons (each lasting 50 minutes) per year in grades 6 through 8. Each lesson builds on the previous lessons in a cumulative fashion. Similarly, each grade-level curriculum expands on the concepts taught in the previous year. In year one of program implementation, all students in the 6th through 8th grades received lessons designed for use in 6th grade (RiPP-6) because all students were required to receive the foundational lessons before the more advanced RiPP materials. In the second year of program implementation, 6th-graders received the RiPP first-year curriculum, while the 7th- and 8th-graders both received the RiPP second-year curriculum. In the third year of the project, each grade received its grade-specific curriculum. Thus, by the end of the 3-year project, the study sample (6th-graders in the first year of the project) received all 3 years of the curriculum.

The lessons in the RiPP program introduce and then reinforce the problem-solving model. The lessons comprise a variety of activities and strategies, including team building, social-cognitive problem solving, repetition and mental rehearsal, small group work, role playing, rehearsal of specific social skills for preventing violence, and didactic learning. Most lessons contain between four and six of these activities and are estimated to take between 5 minutes and 15 minutes per activity. Each activity is scripted and tied to a specific objective. Most lessons make use of the student workbook as part of the activities.