Abstract: Testing the Efficacy of Coaching Teachers to Detect, Prevent, and Respond to Bullying Using Mixed-Reality Simulation (Society for Prevention Research 27th Annual Meeting)

179 Testing the Efficacy of Coaching Teachers to Detect, Prevent, and Respond to Bullying Using Mixed-Reality Simulation

Wednesday, May 29, 2019
Seacliff D (Hyatt Regency San Francisco)
* noted as presenting author
Elise Pas, PhD, Assistant Scientist, The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD
Tracy Evian Waasdorp, PhD, Assistant Scientist, Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD
Catherine Bradshaw, PhD, Professor and Associate Dean for Research & Faculty Development, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA
Purpose: Bullying is a commonly-experienced form of aggression experienced by students in schools and has far-reaching negative impacts on both the individual as well as the overall school climate. Unfortunately, teachers struggle to detect bullying and rarely implement effective preventive and responsive strategies in their classrooms. The coaching literature suggests that ongoing, tailored supports are often needed to promote teacher behavior changes. Often absent from coaching is experiential practice opportunities which may be particularly important for increasing teachers’ prevention, detection, and responses to bullying. The purpose of this study was to examine the efficacy of an adapted version of the Classroom Check-Up (CCU) coaching model, which utilized mixed-reality simulation to allow teachers to practice addressing the detection of, prevention of, and responding to bullying in the classroom.

Method: The sample included 78 teachers within 5 middle schools, randomized to either receive coaching or serve as a comparison teacher. Teachers provided survey data regarding their perceptions about the occurrence of bullying and how they respond to bullying. Classroom observations of teacher preventive and responding practices as well as student aggression were conducted by trained observers.

Results: Logistic regression analyses, while controlling for school, race, years teaching, gender and grade, were conducted to examine differences between intervention and comparison teachers, following coaching provided during one school year. The analyses indicated that intervention teachers were more likely to report responding to bullying with referrals to counselors (OR = 5.87, p < .05) and other staff (OR = 3.96, p < .05) and to intervene with the victims (OR = 3.51, p = .05) and perpetrators (OR = 4.83, p <.05). Generalized linear models demonstrated that intervention teachers also reported that they do not perceive adults at their school do enough to address bullying in schools (F = 8.83, p = .004; Mcontrol = 2.83; Mintervention= 2.50). Survey data regarding improved detection approached significance, while observations of student aggression did not increase. Finally, observational data regarding teachers’ preventive practices and responding was not significant.

Conclusions: This study examined a novel teacher-focused bullying intervention that adapted existing coaching and professional development tools to address bullying in schools. Taken with prior research findings showing that the intervention was acceptable and feasible, these results demonstrate the promise of this preventive intervention for improving responding to and detection of bullying by classroom teachers.