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.