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School Based Prevention of Problem Behavior: What's Being Done, Where, and How Well

NCJ Number
Gary Gottfredson Ph.D.
Date Published
0 pages
This presentation reports on studies and evaluations of school-based programs to deal with problem behavior.
A National Study of Delinquency Prevention in Schools attempted to determine what schools were doing to prevent problem behavior and how well they were doing it. Schools were implementing, to various degrees and with different levels of effectiveness, a number of activities, including: recreational activities after school, peer mediation, security and surveillance, reorganizing classes into smaller units, selective admission procedures, designating some schools to enroll only students with behavior problems and redesigning schools to facilitate visual monitoring. There were higher levels of problems in middle schools than in other schools and urban middle schools had much higher rates of problems. Predictors of successful programs included: constant monitoring; large amounts of training; supervised implementation; support and participation by the school principal; scripting of the program, i.e., it was described in written form; it was part of the regular school day, not an after-school or weekend activity depending on volunteers; and it was well planned, with clear goals. The presentation was followed by a brief question-and-answer session.