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A Randomized Controlled Effectiveness Trial

Our study extends this work by examining the effect of the universal SWPBIS model on bullying and peer rejection. While there has been little systematic research on bullying-related outcomes, SWPBIS includes several core elements found to be effective in a recent meta-analysis of bullying prevention program suggesting that it too might affect bullying behavior. Although the theory of change process has not been explicitly examined, SWPBIS emphasizes schoolwide behavioral expectations (eg, respecting others), which likely address bullying-related behaviors. SWPBIS teaches behavioral expectations through direct instruction, positive reinforcement, and consistent consequences, promoting acceptable social and classroom behaviors. This in turn is theorized to reduce the likelihood of engaging in and rewarding bullying behavior. Furthermore, the emphasis on using data (eg, office discipline referrals, suspensions) to guide adult supervision to hot spots within the school as well as the training that staff receive on how to consistently manage behavior problems across school setting are hypothesized to increase the likelihood that adults will intervene more consistently when they witness bullying. When all 3 tiers are implemented, students at increased risk for involvement in bullying receive more targeted and indicated preventive interventions. Together, these core elements are hypothesized to decrease rates of bullying.