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Pennsylvania Schools Report Decrease in Bullying Behaviors
Date:11/17/2009

PITTSBURGH, Nov. 17 /PRNewswire/ -- According to "Bullying Prevention: A Statewide Collaborative That Works," a report released by the Highmark Foundation today, incidences of bullying in Pennsylvania schools have decreased. The analysis demonstrates that after only three or more months of schools' implementation of the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program, bullying decreased by 14 percent among elementary students and 25 percent among high school students. After six or more months of implementation, 14 percent of middle school students said that they would try to help another student who was bullied.

"This report evaluated more children in Pennsylvania to determine the effects of a collaborative, statewide bullying prevention initiative than any other previous attempt in the U.S.," said Dr. Matthew Masiello, director of the Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention at Windber Research Institute and lead researcher on behalf of the Highmark Foundation. "More than 56,000 students and 2,400 teachers from 107 Pennsylvania schools participated in a survey to assess changes in school climate, perceptions of teacher effectiveness when responding to bullying incidents and degree of bullying behaviors among students."

The study was conducted by the Highmark Foundation to assess the impact made by its Highmark Healthy High 5 initiative, a five year, $100 million children's health promotion program that focuses on issues that are critical to the lifelong wellness of children and adolescents, including bullying prevention.

"During the past three years, Highmark Healthy High 5 has provided more than 200 schools throughout the state with the tools and resources to implement the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program through the Highmark Healthy High 5 HALT! and PA CARES programs," said Yvonne Cook, president of the Highmark Foundation. "The data from this analysis indicates that we are beginning to see progress and make positi
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SOURCE Highmark Foundation
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