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Longer-term effects of the Respect –programme

A recently published study indicate that the Respect–program intended to prevent and reduce problem behaviour have effect on these types of behaviour. The effects of the program is sustained and even further improved after the program period.

Disobedient pupils, off-task behaviour, and bullying are common problems in schools in most countries; they interfere with teaching, create an unsafe learning environment, and challenge the staff. Although many effective programs involving entire schools to prevent and reduce such problems have already been designed and implemented, most interventions target one type of problem behaviour and their effect have only been evaluated in the short term. A recently published study indicate that the Respect ?program, a school based development programme intended to prevent and reduce problem behaviour have effect on these types of behaviour. The effects of the program is sustained and even further improved after the program period.

The study included three primary schools and one secondary school piloting the programme. The program period of the pilot version was one year. A cohort longitudinal design was used in evaluating the longer term effects of the programme. Pupils in the four schools reported a decrease in reports of being victim of bullying, being an offender of bullying, off-task behaviour and disobedience. This decrease was sustained or continued after the intervention period for some types of behaviour, even though the results differed between grade levels. In terms of effect size, the results were small to moderate for most grade levels. Although this analysis was non-experimental in nature, id does document sustainable change resulting from intervention in an entire school and suggests that this could be maintained in the long term.

Based on the fact that school development programs, nationally as well as internationally, have revealed meagre results in secondary schools it is especially interesting that the study shows reduction in disobedience and off-task behaviour in secondary school (grade 8-10, age 14-16). However, there was no reduction in report of being a victim of bullying or being a bully.

The main findings indicating that the intervention was associated with a reduction in the four types of behaviour were consistent with previous research on whole school approaches to each of these problem areas.


sigrun-og-grete_205 The results are presented in Ertesvåg, S.K. & Vaaland, G.S. (2007) Prevention and Reduction of Behavioural Problems in School: An evaluation of the Respect program. Educational Psychology vol. 27, 6, pp.713-736