Methods: A subsample of 130 students from 6 schools (31 dyads in R&W; 34 dyads in control condition) participated. Video-observations of same-sex dyads were coded for prosocial ( “I would ask him to sit with us”) and deviant ( “I would hit him”) verbal and non-verbal communication. Additionally, reinforcement (laughing) of prosocial or of deviant talk was coded.
Results: Preliminary repeated measures ANOVAs conducted for each condition separately showed that within the R&W condition prosocial talk and reinforcement and deviant reinforcement did not change over time (F(1, 61) = 2.30, p = .135; F(1, 61) = 2.05, p = .157; F(1, 61) = 2.74, p = .103). Deviant communication significantly increased over time (F(1, 61) = 10.06, p = .002). Within the control condition prosocial talk and reinforcement decreased over time (F(1, 67) = 4.45, p = .039; F(1, 67) = 6.46, p = .013). Deviant talk and reinforcement increased over time (F(1, 67) = 14.11, p < .001; F(1, 67) = 10.50, p = .002)
However, preliminary multilevel regression analyses comparing the two conditions showed that there were no significant differences between the R&W and control condition on the post measurement concerning prosocial talk (B = .16, p = .111) or reinforcement (B = -.01, p = .816), and deviant talk (B = .38, p = .336) or reinforcement (B = .20, p = .529).
Conclusions: It appeared that R&W did not improve students’ communication compared to the control condition. However, when looking at the conditions separately it seemed that the communication within the R&W condition was fairly stable whereas the communication within the control condition deteriorated. Future research should further examine the effect universal school based interventions could have on students’ communication using an objective measure such as this adapted PIT observation task instead of subjective self-report questionnaires.