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PRB Research - Adolescent Behavior
Preventing Aggression Among Middle School Students
The purpose of this study is to test the efficacy of school-based interventions to increase school engagement and decrease aggressive behavior among middle school students. Three schools in East Baltimore are participating. Students leave an elective school period each week to meet in small groups with the Steppin' Up staff. The youth intervention is based on the possible selves conceptualization and the problem-solving techniques employed previously in Going Places . The intervention was one of the first to investigate the effectiveness of weekly group mentoring (or coaching) to enhance early adolescents' intent/motivation and social competence.
Bruce Simons-Morton, Ed.D., M.P.H.
In-Depth Interview Sub-Studies
Two smaller studies have been conducted with parents whose children are participating in the Steppin' Up studies to gain a more in-depth understanding of parents' and children's perceptions of causes and resolutions for peer-to-peer fighting and strategies for dealing with community violence. In the first of these sub-studies, 68 parents were interviewed. The research purpose was two-fold: to ask parents what would engage them in an intervention, and to examine what parents think and what they communicate to their children about school engagement and aggression. In the second study, researchers interviewed parents and their middle school children to understand communication between parents and their children in regard to fighting and violence.