CHOP’s Partner for Prevention (P4P) program addresses youth violence through an innovative peer bullying prevention program for vulnerable third-to-fifth grade youth in partnering Philadelphia schools. P4P utilizes a whole-school, multi-level approach to reduce student and school exposure to violence and aggression.
Since 2005, our team has provided bullying prevention programming in 10 schools within Southwest Philadelphia with ongoing research evaluation and refinement of the pilot program. P4P represents the unique way that CHOP, as one of the leading pediatric hospitals in the country, is addressing the growing recognition that healthcare providers must work hand-in-hand with the schools and communities from which their patients are drawn to educate youth of the harmful effects of bullying and teach strategies for problem-solving and anger management.
The Issue: Bullying
Peer aggression and bullying impact approximately 30 percent of school-age youth, and are especially concerning for minority urban youth who are also commonly exposed to high levels of poverty, single-parent homes, drug use, and community violence. Bullying has an extremely harmful impact on students’ social and emotional development and academic achievement and is also associated with feeling unsafe at school as well as school dropout as students reach adolescence.
As such, universal prevention efforts such as P4P have the potential to curb a variety of negative behavioral, social, emotional and academic outcomes for this at-risk population. Learn more about youth bullying and aggression in schools.
The P4P Approach
P4P is a multi-component school-based bullying prevention program designed to help at-risk students learn to recognize and control their anger while promoting their friendship-making skills. The P4P program has four components that address bullying at the individual, peer group, classroom, and school-wide level within the School District of Philadelphia. The four components are:
- Preventing Relational Aggression in Schools Everyday (PRAISE) Program: A classroom-based prevention program that teaches third to fifth grade youth problem-solving strategies for multiple forms of bullying, empathy and perspective taking skills, and strategies for bystanders of bullying.
- Playground, Lunchroom, and Youth Success (PLAYS) Program: Consultation for playground and lunchroom staff in order to improve supervision, communication, rules, and structured activities during the lunch-recess period.
- Teacher training and coaching: Support for teachers related to classroom behavior management, student engagement, and reinforcement of bullying prevention strategies.
- Parent and community outreach: Activities that are intended to build more positive community-school relationships, including workshops, forums, and resources for parents focused on aggression and bullying prevention, and other areas of concern.
P4P’s unique approach to bullying prevention extends beyond a focus on the aggressor/bully to address broader classroom and school climate issues. The program also focuses on aspects of relational aggression such as starting rumors and threatening to withdraw friendships, the most common form among girls, as well as cyber-bullying, an increasingly prevalent form of bullying characterized by behaviors that are intended to harm others through the use of electronic media.
P4P was developed by combining best practice approaches with the integration of critical feedback from students, teachers, administrators, and community members to ensure an engaging, community-responsive, and powerful approach to reduce peer bullying and violence. The PRAISE component of P4P is one of only a handful of programs demonstrating positive results in the reduction of relational/social as well as physical aggression (especially for girls). The PLAYS component of P4P has demonstrated success in reducing rough play on the playground and improving recess climate.
Integration of these two components with support for teachers and parents through P4P’s comprehensive approach holds great promise for maximizing results of the program and the number of at-risk youth who will benefit from bullying and violence prevention efforts.
Published Research for the Partner for Prevention Program
- Leff SS, Costigan TE, Power TJ (2004). Using participatory-action research to develop a playground-based prevention program. Journal of School Psychology, 42, 3-21.
- Leff SS, Crick NR, Angelucci J, Haye K, Jawad AF, Grossman M, et al. Social cognition in context: Validating a cartoon-based attributional measure for urban girls. Child Development. 2006;77(5):1351–1358.
- Leff SS, Waasdorp TE, Paskewich B, Gullan RL, Jawad AF, Macevoy JP, Feinberg BE, Power TJ. The Preventing Relational Aggression in Schools Everyday Program: A Preliminary Evaluation of Acceptability and Impact. School Psychology Review. 2010 Dec; 39(4):569-587.
- Leff SS, Gullan RL, Paskewich B, Abdul-Kabir S, Jawad A, Grossman M, et al. An initial evaluation of a culturally-adapted social problem solving program for urban African American girls. Journal of Prevention and Intervention in the Community. 2009;37(4):260-74.
Sources of Funding for P4P Research
In addition to support from the Violence Prevention Initiative, P4P research has grant awards from:
- Pew Charitable Trusts Foundation
- The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Department of Pediatrics Chair’s Initiative
- National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Mental Health
- National Institutes of Health, National Center for Research Resources
- United States Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences