G.R.E.A.T Program Aims to Prevent Bullying and Delinquent Behaviors
Bullying prevention is a community endeavor. The more resources a community can use to address the problem, the better the chances of having a real impact. Most communities focus their bullying reduction efforts on addressing the problem in their schools.
G.R.E.A.T. (Gang Resistance Education And Training) is an evidence-based gang and violence prevention program. Taught by law enforcement officers, G.R.E.A.T. teaches students skills to avoid delinquency, youth violence, and gang membership. G.R.E.A.T works with students before they are most at risk for these behaviors. The program is effective at addressing some of the behaviors that are also associated with bullying perpetration.
Through role-playing and structured activities, G.R.E.A.T. teaches children about:
- Making choices and decisions
- Setting goals for their future
- Interacting with others
- Communicating effectively
- Resolving conflict
- Managing anger
- A 13-lesson middle school educational program
- A six-lesson elementary school program
- A family training and summer program
The program is available throughout the United States, Canada, and Central America.
G.R.E.A.T. recently enhanced and re-evaluated the program using a randomized field trial. As a result of the study, G.R.E.A.T. rewrote the curriculum using a strengths-based approach and interactive teaching techniques focused on skills building.
From May 2006 through May 2007, 33 officers taught the G.R.E.A.T. program to approximately 4000 students in seven cities. Based on those sessions, evaluators looked at 28 attitudinal or perceptual measures that address potential outcomes of this program and five behavioral outcomes. After one year, data showed that treatment groups had:
- Significantly lower chances of belonging to a gang
- More resistance to peer pressure
- More use of refusal skills
- Less anger
- Fewer associations with delinquent peers
There was no change, however, regarding attitudes towards risk seeking, empathy, or conflict resolution.
G.R.E.A.T. is currently testing a new module for elementary and middle school classrooms to specifically address bullying. “How You Can Stop Bullying and Delinquent Behaviors,” allows instructors to share what they see in the school. The module has three components:
- “G.R.E.A.T. Beginnings: Bully on the Bus” - This module, designed for elementary school students, features a role-playing exercise.
- “Life in the Middle: The Locker Room” - This module, designed for middle school students, features a locker-room scenario and focuses on empathy, responsibility, and knowing when to take action.
- “Reducing Bullying by Developing Personal Character” - This family-focused module consists of six family-strengthening sessions.
This program helps communities break the cycle of accepting bullying as a way of life. Learn more about the G.R.E.A.T. program .