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STAC-T: A Bystander Bullying Intervention for Middle Schools

STAC-T: A Bystander Bullying Intervention for Middle Schools

Nationally, 20.8% of students age 12-18 report being bullied at school and 11.5% report being cyberbullied (1). Bullying peaks in middle school with 26% of students reporting being a target of bullying (1). Among middle schoolers, bullying victimization is associated with a variety of mental health problems including anxiety, depression, and suicide attempts. In addition, negative consequences linked with bullying extend to students who observe bullying (2). Student bystanders are also at increased risk for mental health problems, such as helplessness, isolation, and guilt. With 8 out of 10 students witnessing bullying (2), students need to know how to appropriately intervene.

The goal of Klein Buendel’s new Phase I STTR project is to begin to develop and test the feasibility of a middle school intervention to reduce bullying and its negative consequences. The project is being led by Dr. Aida Midgett (Principal Investigator) and Dr. Diana Doumas (Co-Investigator) of Boise State University, and Dr. Valerie Myers (Co-Investigator) of Klein Buendel.  The project is entitled “Translation of an In-Person Brief, Bystander Bullying Intervention (STAC) into a Technology-Based Program”.

Research has shown that bystanders can stop bullying by intervening (3, 4). Yet, most students do not intervene to defend targets because they do not know what to do (5). Comprehensive, school-wide bullying programs can be effective (6), but time- and labor-intensive resources required for program implementation pose significant barriers for schools, particularly in low-income and rural communities, which can reduce program uptake. To reduce these barriers, Dr. Midgett developed a brief bullying bystander intervention, using four strategies: “Stealing the show,” “Turning it over,” “Accompanying others,” and “Coaching compassion” (STAC) (7). STAC has been shown to be effective in reducing bullying perpetration (8,9) and victimization (8) and negative mental health consequences for bystanders who witness bullying (10-15).

Although brief interventions reduce implementation barriers, in-person programs still require training and delivery by school personnel, placing significant demands on schools. The product developed in this Phase I project is a technology-based, brief bystander bullying intervention (STAC-T) that can impact current bullying prevention approaches by: (a) significantly reducing implementation barriers for middle schools, particularly those in low-income and rural communities that can face educational, social, and health disparities; (b) training bystanders to effectively intervene, reducing bullying while simultaneously improving the mental health of bystanders; and (c) improving the program sustainability potential at the middle school level when bullying behavior typically reaches its peak.

This research project is funded by a grant from the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities at the National Institutes of Health (MD014943; Dr. Aida Midgett, Principal Investigator).

References

  1. National Center for Education Statistics. Student Reports of Bullying: Results from the 2015 School Crime Supplement to the National Crime Victimization Survey. U.S. Department of Education;2016. NCES 2017-015.
  2. Rivers I, Poteat VP, Noret N, Ashurst N. Observing bullying at school: the mental health implications of witness status. Sch Psychol Q. 2009;24(4):211-223.
  3. Salmivalli C, Voeten M, Poskiparta E. Bystanders matter: associations between reinforcing, defending, and the frequency of bullying behavior in classrooms. J Clin Child Adolesc Psychol. 2011;40(5):668-676.
  4. Padgett S, Notar CE. Bystanders are the key to stopping bullying. Universal Journal of Educational Research. 2013;1(2):33-41.
  5. Hutchinson M. Exploring the impact of bullying on young bystanders. Educational Psychology in Practice. 2012;28(4):425-442.
  6. Gaffney H, Ttofi MM, Farrington DP. Evaluating the effectiveness of school-bullying prevention programs: an updated meta-analytical review [published online ahead of print July 20]. Aggr Violent Behav. 2018 doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.avb.2018.07.001
  7. Midgett A, Doumas D, Sears D, Lundquist A, Hausheer R. A bystander bullying psychoeducation program with middle school students: a preliminary report. Professional Counselor. 2015;5(4):486-500.
  8. Midgett A, Doumas DM, Johnston AD. Establishing school counselors as leaders in bullying curriculum delivery:Evaluation of a brief, school-wide bystander intervention. Professional School Counseling. 2017;21(1):1-9.
  9. Midgett A, Doumas DM, Trull R, Johnson J. Training students who occasionally bully to be peer advocates: is a bystander intervention effective in reducing bullying behavior? Journal of Child and Adolescent Counseling. 2017;3(1):1-13.
  10. Moran M, Midgett A, Doumas DM, Porchia S, Moody S. A mixed method evaluation of a culturally adapted, brief, bullying bystander intervention for middle school students. Under review
  11. Doumas DM, Midgett A, Watts AD. The impact of a brief, bullying bystander intervention on internalizing symptoms: Is gender a moderator of intervention effects? [published online ahead of print February 14]. Sch Psychol Int. 2019 doi: 10.1177/0143034319830149
  12. Watts A, Doumas DM, Midgett A. The efficacy of a brief, bystander bullying intervention on alcohol use among high school students. Journal of Addictions and Offender Counseling. In press
  13. Midgett A, Doumas DM. The impact of a brief, bullying bystander intervention on depressive symptoms. Journal of Counseling and Development. In press
  14. Midgett A, Doumas DM, Trull R. Evaluation of a bystander bullying intervention program for elementary school students. Professional School Counselor. 2018;20(1):172-183.
  15. Midgett A, Doumas DM, Trull R, Johnston A. A randomized controlled study evaluating a brief, bystander bullying intervention with junior high school students. Journal of School Counseling. 2017;15
Parenting Now Launch

Parenting Now Launch

Klein Buendel, Inc. is collaborating with Dr. Michael Hecht and his team at REAL Prevention LLC on a new research project to develop and evaluate Parenting Now, a digitized adaptation of Dr. Robert Turrisi’s parent-based teen alcohol prevention program, the Parent Handbook. The Parent Handbook is one of only two family-based interventions recommended in FACING ADDICTION IN AMERICA: The Surgeon General’s Report on Alcohol, Drugs, and Health.

In this new study, the hard copy/pdf-formatted Parent Handbook, which targets parents of college-bound youth, is being adapted for parents of high school-aged children and being programmed for interactive technology-based delivery. “Parenting Now will give parents in the digital age access to content on the go and at convenient intervals through their multiple and mobile devices,” explained Dr. Michael Hecht, the Parenting Now Project’s Principal Investigator.

The Phase II SBIR research team is (1) developing core Parenting Now modules to address essential topics such as improving communication and parent permissiveness toward adolescent drinking, (2) customizing additional topics to parents’ specific interests, and (3) personalizing the program to parents’ communication styles. “Having both core modules and optional content will allow parents to customize or click through the curriculum, a feature of digital information that makes it more engaging,” said Dr. Hecht. “Parenting Now will personalize the skills to match the parent’s existing communication style, a key feature of engaging technology.

The research project will conduct a rigorous randomized controlled trial using a nationally-representative sample through GfK Global and an active control condition. The study is evaluating Parenting Now’s effects on youth alcohol use and other substance use (marijuana use, nicotine use, and their combined use with alcohol). Researchers are examining the process of how Parenting Now influences parents’ behaviors and how these in turn influence students’ behaviors.

The Parenting Now Project is funded by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (AA025293; Dr. Michael Hecht, REAL Prevention, Principal Investigator). Research collaborators include Dr. Anne Ray from Rutgers University and Dr. David Buller from Klein Buendel. Klein Buendel’s Creative Team is building the latest version of Parenting Now, expanding on the prototype they developed for the companion Phase I SBIR project.

Klein Buendel Opens a Second Location

Klein Buendel Opens a Second Location

Klein Buendel is pleased to announce the opening of its first satellite location in New Mexico. The new Albuquerque office will house Klein Buendel Senior Scientist Dr. Gill Woodall and a small staff, to conduct multiple health communication and behavior research projects with people in New Mexico and Texas.

The Vacteens project aims to raise the public health profile of human papillomavirus (HPV), increase the need for responsible health services, and examine the cost-effectiveness of risk-based screening to pave the way for the development of new strategies for the prevention of HPV-induced cancers. The objectives of the project are to develop and evaluate a mobile web app to encourage HPV vaccination in New Mexico, an ethnically-diverse state. Current ongoing randomized controlled efficacy trials with parents and their adolescent children in New Mexico clinics provide data to determine the impact of these mobile web apps on informed decision making and uptake for the HPV vaccine. This research was funded by a grant from the National Cancer Institute (CA210125; Dr. W. Gill Woodall, Principal Investigator). Collaborators include Dr. Alberta Kong, Dr. Lance Chilton, and Dr. Tamar Ginossar from the University of New Mexico; Dr. Greg Zimet from Indiana University; and Dr. David Buller from Klein Buendel.

B-SMART is a project aimed at reducing intoxicated driving by people with court-ordered ignition interlock devices (IIDs) through improved communication and support from family members. Using smartphone web app technology, B-SMART teaches coping skills, communication skills, and strategies to help deter Driving While Impaired (DWI). Unique to this intervention are the involvement of family members in supporting the DWI offender to not drink and drive, English and Spanish language options, and the use of smartphone technology to make that support immediate, accessible, and diffusible. The research is funded by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (AA022850; Dr. W. Gill Woodall, Principal Investigator) through the Small Business Innovation Research Program (SBIR). Collaborators include Dr. Barbara McCrady and Dr. Vern Westerberg from the University of New Mexico; Dr. Gary Cutter from Pythagorus, Inc. in Alabama; and Julia Berteletti from Klein Buendel.

WayToServe Espanol: A Culturally-Appropriate Online Responsible Beverage Service Training for Spanish-Speaking Servers is a redesign of WayToServe®, an evidence-based training to promote responsible alcohol beverage service (RBS). WayToServe Espanol was created after discovering current RBS training had not been tailored to address Spanish-speaking populations that represent disproportionately high rates of alcohol-related injury and death in the United States. This project promotes a culturally and linguistically adapted RBS training for Spanish-speaking servers, and changes to organizational and community norms because preventing alcohol-related injury and death is a national priority. This research is funded by the National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities at the National Institutes of Health (MD010405; Dr. Gill Woodall, Principal Investigator) through the SBIR. Collaborators include Dr. Victoria Sanchez from the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center; and Dr. Areli Chacon Silva and Dr. Frank Perez from the University of Texas at El Paso.

B-SMART Study Launches at KB

B-SMART Study Launches at KB

Klein Buendel (KB) Senior Scientist, Dr. Gill Woodall, is the Principal Investigator leading a new research project aimed at reducing intoxicated driving by people with court-ordered ignition interlock devices (IIDs) through improved communication and support from family members.

Driving while intoxicated (DWI) remains a substantial and preventable source of morbidity and mortality in the U.S. The IID, which requires a driver to blow into a breathalyzer unit installed in an automobile to establish sobriety, reduces drunk driving while installed. However, research has shown that once IIDs are removed from DWI offenders’ cars, DWI recidivism levels return to those comparable to offenders who did not have an IID installed.

This new project will fully develop and evaluate B-SMART — smartphone technology to teach coping skills, communication skills, and strategies to help deter DWI. Unique to this intervention are the involvement of family members in supporting the DWI offender to not drink and drive, English and Spanish language options, and the use of smartphone technology to make that support immediate, accessible, and diffusible. The core content of the intervention is based on empirically-validated couples therapy curriculum developed by Dr. Barbara McCrady from the University of New Mexico. It will be adapted for concerned DWI offender family members and delivered through a convenient smartphone web app platform. Programming and usability testing will be done by KB designers and developers.

Results of a Phase I feasibility study of an initial module of B-SMART presented at the Research Society on Alcoholism by Dr. Woodall in 2016, showed very positive reactions by users. Thirty-two concerned family members of DWI offenders browsed the communication skills module of B-SMART and then rated the module on the System Usability Scale (SUS – Bangor, et al., 2011). Results indicated an average SUS rating of 44.2 (sd=4.78, scale range: 10-50), with 87% of participants rating the B-SMART module 40 or above. These results indicate that users found the prototype B-SMART module easy to use, informative, and very positive.

For the new Phase II evaluation, a randomized efficacy trial will be conducted with DWI offenders and their concerned family members recruited through the New Mexico court system. The research is funded by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (R44AA022850) through the Small Business Innovation Research Program. Dr. Woodall’s scientific collaborators include Ms. Julia Berteletti from KB, Dr. Barbara McCrady and Dr. Vern Westerberg from the University of New Mexico, and Dr. Gary Cutter from Pythagorus, Inc. in Alabama.

Pinpoint: A Pain Management Tool for Teens with Sickle Cell Disease

Pinpoint: A Pain Management Tool for Teens with Sickle Cell Disease

Klein Buendel (KB) Senior Scientist, Dr. Valerie Myers, is the Principal Investigator leading a new research project to improve a self-care and pain management tool for teens with Sickle Cell Disease (SCD). SCD is the most common inherited blood disorder in the U.S. It affects primarily African Americans and Hispanics. Approximately, 100,000 people in the U.S. suffer from SCD and serious, painful complications can have a significant impact on well-being and quality of life.

Using interactive technology accessible on computers, tablets, and smartphones, the Pinpoint app will combine education, healthy living tips, and tools for managing pain through at-home techniques like relaxation, self-reflection, and a better understanding of the different types of pain teens might experience (acute versus chronic pain).

In a Phase I project, an initial prototype of Pinpoint was developed and reviewed. It included a Pain Assessment Tool, vocabulary game, body scanner reflection, educational self-disclosure activity, and excerpts from the Hope and Destiny Jr. book authored by Hsu, Rodrigues, and Brandalise. Four healthcare providers were interviewed on the app’s acceptability and potential function within the clinical practice. Sixteen teens participated in cognitive interviews, focus groups, and usability testing. The System Usability Scale (SUS; Bangor et al., 2011), a validated tool for assessing the usability and acceptability of technological products, served as the primary outcome. The preliminary SUS score well above average, suggesting a high level of acceptability and usability among users.

The full Pinpoint app being developed in the new Phase II study can be used in healthcare settings to reduce barriers in obtaining information from adolescents by using technology they are comfortable with and enjoy using, while also providing important pain data to healthcare teams and family that affect treatment options. By empowering teens with knowledge and enhanced communication skills, Pinpoint can help reduce emergency room visits and assist SCD teens to transition more successfully to adulthood with independence.

The Pinpoint project is being funded by the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities at the National Institutes of Health (MD010746). It is being conducted in close partnership with the Hilton Publishing Company (HPC), the publisher of Hope & Destiny Jr., a leading book for teens on SCD management. Dr. Myers’ research collaborators include Ms. Mary Buller from KB, Dr. Lewis Hsu from the University of Illinois, Mr. Allan Platt from Emory University in Georgia, Dr. Gary Cutter from Pythagorus, Inc. and the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and Dr. Hilton Hudson from HPC. KB’s developers will design and program the Pinpoint app.

Way to Serve Tops 75,000 Trainings

Way to Serve Tops 75,000 Trainings

WayToServe®an evidence-based online responsible alcohol server training program, has achieved a significant milestone by surpassing 75,000 completed trainings. The program, developed by scientists at Klein Buendel, Inc. (KB), the University of New Mexico (UNM), and the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation, was initially evaluated in a controlled randomized trial that resulted in increased refusal of sales to intoxicated patrons. WayToServe® was then transferred from its research phase to commercialization in 2012. It was licensed to Wedge Communications LLC for marketing and distribution initially in New Mexico for training of on- and off-site alcohol servers.

Additional state-specific versions of WayToServe® have been created that conform to the Responsible Beverage Service curriculum requirements of the State of California, the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission, Washington State Liquor Control Board, and Oregon Liquor Control Commission. WayToServe® is now sold in California, New Mexico, Texas, and Washington. The Spanish version, WayToServe Español, is scheduled to be tested in New Mexico and Texas later this year.

Commenting on the milestone achievement, Dr. David Buller, KB Director of Research and WayToServe® Co-Investigator, said “Plans are underway to refresh the entire online training for the next 75,000 servers to learn to sell alcohol responsibly and keep their customers and communities safe.”

The creation and evaluation of the original WayToServe® program was sponsored by two grants from National Institutes of Health to UNM (Dr. W. Gill Woodall, Principal Investigator). The WayToServe Español research project is being funded by a Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) grant to KB from the National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities (R44MD010405; Dr. W. Gill Woodall, KB Senior Scientist, Principal Investigator).

Real Health Photos – National Safety Month

Real Health Photos – National Safety Month

For 100 years, the National Safety Council has been the leading safety advocate preventing unintentional injuries and death in the United States. The Council’s National Safety Month, Observed annually in June, focuses on reducing leading causes of injury and death on the job, on the road, in the home, and in all communities. Specific areas they address include workplace violence prevention, safe driving, poisoning prevention, ergonomics, and fall prevention.

More than 33,000 people, for example, died in falls in 2015, according to the National Safety Council. “Falling is the third leading cause of unintentional injury-related deaths over all age groups, but it’s the #1 cause of death for those 65 and older” (Injury Facts 2017, National Safety Council). Strategies for preventing falls include securing carpets to the floor, wiping up spills immediately, installing grab bars in tubs, in showers, and near toilets, and if necessary, provide personal walking devices, such as canes or walkers, to aid in stability.

Klein Buendel’s Real Health Photos stock photography enterprise includes numerous images of older adults using personal walking devices. These unique photographs can be used in educational materials to show older adult populations how easy and typical it is for people to use devices for safe walking.

Real Health Photos images show a diversity of gender, race, ethnicity, age, income level, and health condition. Use Real Health Photos for improving the impact of health campaigns for people from all walks of life, including older adults.

Senior lady with caneSenior man with caneSenior lady with cane 2Senior man with cane 2
For more images, visit Real Health Photos.

Real Health Photos Logo

Real Health Photos is a stock photography service owned and operated by KB. It was created and evaluated with a research grant (R44MD003338, Mary Buller, Principal Investigator) from the National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities at the National Institutes of Health. Real Health Photos is designed to capture the diversity of health through photography and promote the inclusion of all populations in health promotion materials and media.

Real Health Photos® is a KB registered trademark.

KB Receives Train to Tend® Trademark

KB Receives Train to Tend® Trademark

Klein Buendel has received trademark registration through the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for the Train To Tend® product name and logo. This is the sixth registered trademark for a KB-owned or co-owned product. KB also has registered trademarks for the following technology-based health education programs:

  • Real Health Photos® – a stock photography website of diverse, under-represented people
  • Way To Serve® (with the University of New Mexico) – an online responsible alcohol server training program
  • Sunny Days, Healthy Ways® – a sun safety curriculum for grade K-5
  • Momzing® – a collection of videos for moms to exercise with their babies and toddlers
  • sunZapp® – a mobile phone app for personal sun protection advice

According to the USPTO, “A trademark is a brand name. A trademark or service mark includes any word, name, symbol, device, or any combination, used or intended to be used to identify and distinguish the goods/services of one seller or provider from those of others, and to indicate the source of the goods/services.”

The Train To Tend® logo was designed by Steve Fullmer, KB Creative Director, for a research project funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (R44DA038933). The Principal Investigator for the study is Dr. David Buller, KB Director of Research. His KB lead Co-Investigator is Dr. W. Gill Woodall, KB Senior Scientist. This project’s specific aims are to produce a comprehensive, compliant online responsible marijuana vendor training program —TrainToTend®. The training for the retail and recreational marijuana industry is intended to increase knowledge of state regulations for the sale of cannabis products in states that have legalized recreational cannabis, such as Colorado, Oregon, and Washington. The training also covers responsible sales practices, such as ID checking, safe storage, robbery prevention, the health effects of marijuana, and other industry-related content.

Welcome to the new KB Collaboratory!

Welcome to the new KB Collaboratory!

Welcome to the new KB Collaboratory – a fresh new edition of Klein Buendel’s blog. The KB Collaboratory complements our newly-designed website and disseminates timely information about our behavioral health research and collaborations.

Because we’re a “small bunch,” KB’s behavioral scientists, research staff, and developers collaborate with researchers, clinicians, and creatives from companies, universities, research institutes, and cancer centers around the world to design programs and products to prevent chronic disease. Along with our research publications, conference presentations, website, and social media, this blog is a dynamic outlet for sharing the health communication, education, and technology research that we do in collaboration with our distinguished research, business, and creative partners.

Watch for articles and features in the KB Collaboratory on our:

  • Research collaborators
  • Abstracts and conference presentations
  • Publications
  • New research projects
  • Technology and products
  • Outreach and education
  • News and announcements

If you’d like to get in touch, please email Mary Buller at mbuller@kleinbuendel.com.