Volume 30, Issue 3 (2001)
School-Based Aggression Prevention Programs for Young Children: Current Status and Implications for Violence Prevention
Stephen S. Leff, Thomas J. Power, Patricia H. Manz, Tracy E. Costigan, Laura A. Nabors
Abstract. There is a growing consensus that school psychologists, researchers, and policy makers need to work together to define policies and promote procedures for keeping schools safe for young children. This article advocates for the need to design, evaluate, and implement school-based prevention programs that focus upon decreasing the daily aggression and victimization that occur in elementary schools across the nation. Not only do these daily occurrences of aggression affect young children’s school and social adjustment in elementary school, but they also have the potential to result in more serious outbreaks of school violence in the future.Five model programs are reviewed in an effort to define best practices in aggression prevention programming and to outline future directions for the field. The importance of defining school aggression broadly, designing comprehensive prevention and intervention services, utilizing culturally sensitive outcome measures across informants and important school contexts, and providing empirical support to document program efficacy are discussed in detail. In addition, policy implications and the key role that school psychologists play in the challenge to reduce aggression is highlighted.
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