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Intervention Summary

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CAPSLE: Creating a Peaceful School Learning Environment

CAPSLE: Creating a Peaceful School Learning Environment, a schoolwide climate change intervention for students in kindergarten through 12th grade, is designed to reduce student aggression, victimization, aggressive bystander behavior, and disruptive or off-task classroom behaviors. CAPSLE aims to improve the capacity of students to interpret their own behaviors with greater self-reflection and mentally appreciate the beliefs, wishes, and feelings of others. The intervention is built on a psychodynamic social systems model that views aggressive school behavior (e.g., bullying) as being created and mutually reinforced by a triadic social interaction of the aggressor, the victim, and the bystanders, and it aims to transform bystanders into natural leaders who speak up and intervene in instances of aggression.

CAPSLE is implemented over the course of 3-5 years so schools, families, and the community develop a willingness to work together. The intervention includes the following key components:

  • Classroom Management Plan, which teachers integrate into the classroom by emphasizing the effects of each student's behavior on others and by designating reflection time for the students to set class goals and reflect on progress toward those goals. Teachers also encourage students to use the skills learned in other program components, such as the relaxation response taught in Gentle Warrior lessons.
  • Gentle Warrior lessons, which are presented to students throughout the school year through three sets of nine weekly physical education classes that foster self-protective skills, self-control strategies, and self-esteem and that encourage compassion and respect for self and others.
  • Positive School Climate Campaigns, which are held throughout the school year and include exhibits, outreach events, posters that reflect program concepts, and a flag or banner that indicates a peaceful day in the classroom or school and rewards the positive learning environment.
  • Peer Mentor Program, which recruits high school students who are peer leaders to serve as mentors to elementary school children. The older peer mentors help the younger students with power struggles.
  • Bruno Program, a component for adults who have been recruited from the community (usually through the parent-teacher organization) to serve as role models. These adults, or "brunos," volunteer to interact with students in school hallways and on the playground. The brunos model appropriate behaviors, offer alternatives to aggressive behaviors, and help students solve problems.
  • Family Power Struggle Workshops, which are presented in two 2-hour sessions each semester. The sessions provide parents with information on the bully-victim-bystanders dynamic and how this dynamic can occur at home. The entire CAPSLE school team facilitates the workshops.

CAPSLE trainers assist schools in building a CAPSLE school team, which typically includes the following members:

  • A school principal, who oversees implementation of the intervention and models appropriate behaviors and language associated with the intervention.
  • Teachers, who create a comfortable climate for learning in the classroom by using the Classroom Management Plan to minimize classroom disruptions and off-task behaviors.
  • A school counselor or social worker, who coordinates the Positive School Climate Campaigns and the Peer Mentor Program.
  • A physical education or child safety specialist, who teaches the Gentle Warrior lessons.
  • Adults from the community, who participate in the Bruno Program. Brunos work with the principal, who is the main resource if problems occur.

In the study reviewed for this summary, CAPSLE was implemented with students in kindergarten through fifth grade.

Descriptive Information

Areas of Interest Mental health promotion
Outcomes Review Date: August 2012
1: Perceived aggression
2: Perceived victimization
3: Perceived bystander behavior
4: Classroom behaviors
5: Empathic mentalizing
Outcome Categories Education
Violence
Ages 6-12 (Childhood)
Genders Male
Female
Races/Ethnicities American Indian or Alaska Native
Asian
Black or African American
Hispanic or Latino
White
Settings School
Other community settings
Geographic Locations Urban
Suburban
Implementation History CAPSLE was first implemented in 1990, and it is currently being implemented in 31 schools in Illinois, Kansas, North Carolina, and Texas and in 20 schools in Australia, 1 school in Hungary, and 2 schools in Jamaica.
NIH Funding/CER Studies Partially/fully funded by National Institutes of Health: No
Evaluated in comparative effectiveness research studies: Yes
Adaptations CAPSLE has been culturally adapted for use in Melbourne, Australia; Kobanya, Hungary (with an accompanying translation of program materials into Hungarian); and Montego Bay and Negril, Jamaica.
Adverse Effects No adverse effects, concerns, or unintended consequences were identified by the developer.
IOM Prevention Categories Universal

Quality of Research
Review Date: August 2012

Documents Reviewed

The documents below were reviewed for Quality of Research. The research point of contact can provide information regarding the studies reviewed and the availability of additional materials, including those from more recent studies that may have been conducted.

Study 1

Fonagy, P., Twemlow, S. W., Vernberg, E. M., Nelson, J. M., Dill, E. J., Little, T. D., et al. (2009). A cluster randomized controlled trial of child-focused psychiatric consultation and a school systems-focused intervention to reduce aggression [Including supplementary tables and supporting materials]. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 50(5), 607-616.  Pub Med icon

Supplementary Materials

Biggs, B. K., Vernberg, E. M., Twemlow, S. W., Fonagy, P., & Dill, E. J. (2008). Teacher adherence and its relation to teacher attitudes and student outcomes in an elementary school-based violence prevention program. School Psychology Review, 37(4), 533-549.

Classroom Observation Procedures and Measure for CAPSLE Outcomes Study

Crick, N. R., & Bigbee, M. A. (1998). Relational and overt forms of peer victimization: A multiinformant approach. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 66(2), 337-347.  Pub Med icon

Fonagy, P., Twemlow, S. W., Vernberg, E., Sacco, F. C., & Little, T. D. (2005). Creating a Peaceful School Learning Environment: The impact of an antibullying program on educational attainment in elementary schools. Medical Science Monitor, 11(7), CR317-CR325.  Pub Med icon

Milich, R., & Fitzgerald, G. (1985). Validation of inattention/overactivity and aggression ratings with classroom observations. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 53(1), 139-140.  Pub Med icon

My Classroom-Student Version: Peer Nominations

Perry, D. G., Kusel, S. J., & Perry, L. C. (1988). Victims of peer aggression. Developmental Psychology, 24(6), 807-814.

Student Survey: Intermediate Version

Teacher Questionnaire

Vernberg, E. M., Jacobs, A. K., & Hershberger, S. L. (1999). Peer victimization and attitudes about violence during early adolescence. Journal of Clinical Child Psychology, 28(3), 386-395.  Pub Med icon

Outcomes

Outcome 1: Perceived aggression
Description of Measures Perceived aggression was measured with 6 overt and relational aggression items in an 18-item survey developed for the study. The items measuring overt aggression (i.e., "hits, kicks, punches others," "pushes and shoves others," "tells other kids that they will beat them up unless the kids do what they say") and relational aggression (i.e., "when mad, gets even by keeping the person from being in their group of friends," "when mad at a person, ignores them or stops talking to them," "tries to make other kids not like a certain person by spreading rumors about them") were from the Victims of Overt Aggression and Victims of Relational Aggression scales of the Social Experience Questionnaire-Peer Report.

Trained research assistants administered the survey in classrooms, and each student was asked to circle the names of all classmates fitting the description of aggression presented in each item. The number of nominations received by each student for each overt and relational aggression item was divided by the total number of students in the classroom to calculate proportions, which were summed to create a total aggression score. A higher total aggression score reflected a more aggressive child, as perceived by classmates.
Key Findings In a 3-year clinical trial with students in kindergarten through fifth grade, nine elementary schools were stratified on the basis of the percentage of low-income students receiving free or reduced-cost lunches and then randomly assigned to one of three study groups:

  • CAPSLE, which was delivered in full during years 1 and 2 of the study and as a maintenance follow-up in year 3 of the study. The year 3 follow-up consisted of in-service refresher training for school staff and the continuation of Gentle Warrior lessons for students.
  • School Psychiatric Consultation (SPC), a school-level intervention that provided already-established mental health teams with 4 hours of weekly, manualized mental health consultation on how to manage children identified by teachers as being difficult and disruptive in the classroom. During the first 2 years of the study, SPC was provided by three child psychiatry residents, who had no direct contact with students and were supervised on a biweekly basis by a senior psychiatrist. In year 3 of the study, SPC was delivered as a maintenance follow-up by two child psychiatry residents, who provided consultation as needed and were no longer supervised.
  • The control group, which received treatment as usual (i.e., regular classroom instruction) during the 3 years of the study. Schools in the control group did not have an assigned mental health professional, although ones were available on an as-needed basis. After the study, schools in the control group were given the option to receive CAPSLE or SPC at no cost.
Students in third, fourth, and fifth grade were assessed twice yearly (October-November and March-April) for 3 years (e.g., students in third grade in year 1 were in fifth grade in year 3); students in kindergarten, first grade, and second grade were not assessed. Findings included the following:

  • Across the first 2 years of the study, the decrease in aggressive behavior of third- through fifth-grade students in CAPSLE schools, as perceived by classmates, was greater than that of third- through fifth-grade students in control schools (p < .05); however, there was no significant difference in perceived aggression between third- through fifth-grade students in CAPSLE schools and those in SPC schools.
  • During year 3 of the study, the perceived aggression reported for third- through fifth-grade students in CAPSLE schools was still less than that reported for third- through fifth-grade students in control schools (p < .01).
Studies Measuring Outcome Study 1
Study Designs Experimental
Quality of Research Rating 3.2 (0.0-4.0 scale)
Outcome 2: Perceived victimization
Description of Measures Perceived victimization was measured with 6 overt and relational victimization items in an 18-item survey developed for the study. The items measuring overt victimization (i.e., "gets hit, kicked, punched by others," "gets pushed and shoved by others," "gets threatened to be beat up by others") and relational victimization (i.e., "gets left out of the group when at play or activity time because one of their friends is mad at them," "gets ignored by other kids when someone is mad at them," "other kids tell rumors about them behind their backs") were from the Victims of Overt Aggression and Victims of Relational Aggression scales of the Social Experience Questionnaire-Peer Report.

Trained research assistants administered the survey in classrooms, and each student was asked to circle the names of all classmates fitting the description of victimization presented in each item. The number of nominations received by each student for each overt and relational victimization item was divided by the total number of students in the classroom to calculate proportions, which were summed to create a total victimization score. A higher total victimization score reflected a more victimized child, as perceived by classmates.
Key Findings In a 3-year clinical trial with students in kindergarten through fifth grade, nine elementary schools were stratified on the basis of the percentage of low-income students receiving free or reduced-cost lunches and then randomly assigned to one of three study groups:

  • CAPSLE, which was delivered in full during years 1 and 2 of the study and as a maintenance follow-up in year 3 of the study. The year 3 follow-up consisted of in-service refresher training for school staff and the continuation of Gentle Warrior lessons for students.
  • School Psychiatric Consultation (SPC), a school-level intervention that provided already-established mental health teams with 4 hours of weekly, manualized mental health consultation on how to manage children identified by teachers as being difficult and disruptive in the classroom. During the first 2 years of the study, SPC was provided by three child psychiatry residents, who had no direct contact with students and were supervised on a biweekly basis by a senior psychiatrist. In year 3 of the study, SPC was delivered as a maintenance follow-up by two child psychiatrists, who provided consultation as needed and were no longer supervised.
  • The control group, which received treatment as usual (i.e., regular classroom instruction) during the 3 years of the study. Schools in the control group did not have an assigned mental health professional, although ones were available on an as-needed basis. After the study, schools in the control group were given the option to receive CAPSLE or SPC at no cost.
Students in third, fourth, and fifth grade were assessed twice yearly (October-November and March-April) for 3 years (e.g., students in third grade in year 1 were in fifth grade in year 3); students in kindergarten, first grade, and second grade were not assessed. Findings included the following:

  • Across the first 2 years of study, the decrease in the victimization of third- through fifth-grade students in CAPSLE schools, as perceived by classmates, was greater than that of third- through fifth-grade students in control schools (p < .01); however, there was no significant difference in perceived victimization between third- through fifth-grade students in CAPSLE schools and those in SPC schools.
  • At the October-November assessment of year 3 of the study, the perceived victimization reported for third- through fifth-grade students in CAPSLE schools was less than that reported for third- through fifth-grade students in control schools (p < .05).
Studies Measuring Outcome Study 1
Study Designs Experimental
Quality of Research Rating 3.2 (0.0-4.0 scale)
Outcome 3: Perceived bystander behavior
Description of Measures Perceived bystander behavior was measured with 6 aggressive and helpful bystanding items in an 18-item survey developed for the study. The items measuring aggressive bystanding behavior (i.e., "joins in or cheers when they see a kid get bullied or picked on," "gets a thrill from seeing a kid get bullied or picked on," "helps to leave kids out of a group of friends") and helpful bystanding behavior (i.e., "tells a teacher when they see bullying," "tries to stop it when they see someone getting picked on," "tries to help when they see someone get left out of things on purpose") were from a student questionnaire previously developed by the investigators to assess peer victimization.

Trained research assistants administered the survey in classrooms, and each student was asked to circle the names of all classmates fitting the description of bystander behavior presented in each item. The number of nominations received by each student for each aggressive and helpful bystanding behavior item was divided by the total number of students in the classroom to calculate separate proportions for aggressive and helpful bystanding, which were summed to create a total aggressive bystanding score and a total helpful bystanding score. Higher total aggressive bystanding and helpful bystanding scores reflected more aggressive bystander behavior and more helpful bystander behavior, respectively, as perceived by classmates.
Key Findings In a 3-year clinical trial with students in kindergarten through fifth grade, nine elementary schools were stratified on the basis of the percentage of low-income students receiving free or reduced-cost lunches and then randomly assigned to one of three study groups:

  • CAPSLE, which was delivered in full during years 1 and 2 of the study and as a maintenance follow-up in year 3 of the study. The year 3 follow-up consisted of in-service refresher training for school staff and the continuation of Gentle Warrior lessons for students.
  • School Psychiatric Consultation (SPC), a school-level intervention that provided already-established mental health teams with 4 hours of weekly, manualized mental health consultation on how to manage children identified by teachers as being difficult and disruptive in the classroom. During the first 2 years of the study, SPC was provided by three child psychiatry residents, who had no direct contact with students and were supervised on a biweekly basis by a senior psychiatrist. In year 3 of the study, SPC was delivered as a maintenance follow-up by two child psychiatrists, who provided consultation as needed and were no longer supervised.
  • The control group, which received treatment as usual (i.e., regular classroom instruction) during the 3 years of the study. Schools in the control group did not have an assigned mental health professional, although ones were available on an as-needed basis. After the study, schools in the control group were given the option to receive CAPSLE or SPC at no cost.
Students in third, fourth, and fifth grade were assessed twice yearly (October-November and March-April) for 3 years (e.g., students in third grade in year 1 were in fifth grade in year 3); students in kindergarten, first grade, and second grade were not assessed. Findings included the following:

  • Across the first 2 years of the study, the decrease in aggressive bystander behavior of third- through fifth-grade students in CAPSLE schools, as perceived by classmates, was greater than that of third- through fifth-grade students in control schools (p < .05); however, there was no significant difference in perceived aggressive bystander behavior between third- through fifth-grade students in CAPSLE schools and those in SPC schools.
  • Across year 3 of the study, the decrease in aggressive bystander behavior of third- through fifth-grade students in CAPSLE schools and in SPC schools, as perceived by classmates, was greater than that of third- through fifth-grade students in control schools (p < .01 and p < .05, respectively).
  • Across year 3 of the study, the increase in helpful bystander behavior of third- through fifth-grade students in CAPSLE schools was greater than that of third- through fifth-grade students in control schools (p < .05).
  • At the October-November assessment of year 3 of the study, the perceived helpful bystander behavior reported for third- through fifth-grade students in SPC schools was less than that reported for third- through fifth-grade students in CAPSLE schools (p < .01). This group difference was associated with a very small effect size (Cohen's d = 0.18).
Studies Measuring Outcome Study 1
Study Designs Experimental
Quality of Research Rating 3.2 (0.0-4.0 scale)
Outcome 4: Classroom behaviors
Description of Measures Classroom behaviors were assessed by trained research assistants, who observed randomly chosen subgroups of students (three boys and three girls) from third-, fourth-, and fifth-grade classrooms in the nine elementary schools participating in the study. Using a coding sheet, the research assistants indicated the presence or absence of three categories of target behaviors:

  • Off-task behavior (nondisruptive). The student is not engaged in the class assignment (e.g., doodling on paper, staring out into space, not completing work, working on something not assigned).
  • Disruptive behavior. The student is exhibiting behaviors that are distracting other students or adults (e.g., being out of one's seat, talking out of turn, making loud noises, whispering to another student).
  • Teacher redirections. The lead teacher is stopping class instruction to attend to the negative behavior of any student in the classroom. This category includes verbal and nonverbal prompts to get a student to reengage in a class assignment.
The research assistant sat in an unobtrusive part of the classroom and observed the behavior of each student in the subgroup during twenty 30-second intervals, for a total observation time of 10 minutes. For each 30-second interval, the research assistant used the coding sheet to indicate whether or not each student in the subgroup exhibited the target behaviors during the interval. If a student exhibited disruptive behavior during a 30-second interval, the research assistant also coded off-task behavior during that same interval. Observations occurred on three different days for a total of sixty 30-second intervals per student (i.e., a 30-minute assessment). All indicated behaviors were summed across the subgroup students and classrooms, and a school percentage was calculated.
Key Findings In a 3-year clinical trial with students in kindergarten through fifth grade, nine elementary schools were stratified on the basis of the percentage of low-income students receiving free or reduced-cost lunches and then randomly assigned to one of three study groups:

  • CAPSLE, which was delivered in full during years 1 and 2 of the study and as a maintenance follow-up in year 3 of the study. The year 3 follow-up consisted of in-service refresher training for school staff and the continuation of Gentle Warrior lessons for students.
  • School Psychiatric Consultation (SPC), a school-level intervention that provided already-established mental health teams with 4 hours of weekly, manualized mental health consultation on how to manage children identified by teachers as being difficult and disruptive in the classroom. During the first 2 years of the study, SPC was provided by three child psychiatry residents, who had no direct contact with students and were supervised on a biweekly basis by a senior psychiatrist. In year 3 of the study, SPC was delivered as a maintenance follow-up by two child psychiatrists, who provided consultation as needed and were no longer supervised.
  • The control group, which received treatment as usual (i.e., regular classroom instruction) during the 3 years of the study. Schools in the control group did not have an assigned mental health professional, although ones were available on an as-needed basis. After the study, schools in the control group were given the option to receive CAPSLE or SPC at no cost.
Randomly chosen students in third, fourth, and fifth grade were assessed once yearly (January-February) during years 1 and 2 of the study (e.g., students in third grade in year 1 were in fourth grade in year 2); students in kindergarten, first grade, and second grade were not assessed. Findings included the following:

  • From the year 1 assessment to the year 2 assessment, the decrease in off-task behaviors of third- through fifth-grade students in CAPSLE schools was greater than that of third- through fifth-grade students in control schools (p < .001). This group difference was associated with a large effect size (Cohen's d = 1.1).
  • From the year 1 assessment to the year 2 assessment, the decrease in off-task behaviors of third- through fifth-grade students in CAPSLE schools was greater than that of third- through fifth-grade students in SPC schools (p < .001).
  • From the year 1 assessment to the year 2 assessment, the decrease in disruptive behaviors of third- through fifth-grade students in CAPSLE schools was greater than that of third- through fifth-grade students in control schools (p < .01). This group difference was associated with a large effect size (Cohen's d = 0.84).
  • From the year 1 assessment to the year 2 assessment, the decrease in disruptive behaviors of third- through fifth-grade students in CAPSLE schools was greater than that of third- through fifth-grade students in SPC schools (p < .001).
Studies Measuring Outcome Study 1
Study Designs Experimental
Quality of Research Rating 3.0 (0.0-4.0 scale)
Outcome 5: Empathic mentalizing
Description of Measures Empathic mentalizing (i.e., the ability to interpret one's own behavior with greater self-reflection and mutually experience and appreciate the thoughts, emotions, and feelings of others) was measured with 3 items from the Student Survey: Intermediate Version (Part 6. What Happens When a Kid Gets Bullied or Picked On). Trained research assistants administered the survey in classrooms, and students rated each item (i.e., "I feel upset when I see a kid left out of things on purpose," "I feel bad when I see a kid get bullied or picked on," "It bothers me a lot to see a kid get bullied or picked on"), using a 4-point Likert scale ranging from 1 (almost never) to 4 (always). Scores were summed across items, and higher scores reflected a greater capacity for empathic mentalizing.
Key Findings In a 3-year clinical trial with students in kindergarten through fifth grade, nine elementary schools were stratified on the basis of the percentage of low-income students receiving free or reduced-cost lunches and then randomly assigned to one of three study groups:

  • CAPSLE, which was delivered in full during years 1 and 2 of the study and as a maintenance follow-up in year 3 of the study. The year 3 follow-up consisted of in-service refresher training for school staff and the continuation of Gentle Warrior lessons for students.
  • School Psychiatric Consultation (SPC), a school-level intervention that provided already-established mental health teams with 4 hours of weekly, manualized mental health consultation on how to manage children identified by teachers as being difficult and disruptive in the classroom. During the first 2 years of the study, SPC was provided by three child psychiatry residents, who had no direct contact with students and were supervised on a biweekly basis by a senior psychiatrist. In year 3 of the study, SPC was delivered as a maintenance follow-up by two child psychiatrists, who provided consultation as needed and were no longer supervised.
  • The control group, which received treatment as usual (i.e., regular classroom instruction) during the 3 years of the study. Schools in the control group did not have an assigned mental health professional, although ones were available on an as-needed basis. After the study, schools in the control group were given the option to receive CAPSLE or SPC at no cost.
Students in third, fourth, and fifth grade were assessed twice yearly (October-November and March-April) for 3 years (e.g., students in third grade in year 1 were in fifth grade in year 3); students in kindergarten, first grade, and second grade were not assessed. Findings included the following:

  • Across the first 2 years of the study, the increase in empathic mentalizing of third- through fifth-grade students in CAPSLE schools was greater than that of third- through fifth-grade students in control schools (p < .01).
  • Across the first 2 years of the study, the increase in empathic mentalizing of third- through fifth-grade students in CAPSLE schools was greater than that of third- through fifth-grade students in SPC schools (p < .01). This group difference was associated with a very small effect size (Cohen's d = 0.19).
  • Across all 3 years of the study, the increase in empathic mentalizing of third- through fifth-grade students in CAPSLE schools was greater than that of third- through fifth-grade students in control schools (p < .05).
Studies Measuring Outcome Study 1
Study Designs Experimental
Quality of Research Rating 3.1 (0.0-4.0 scale)

Study Populations

The following populations were identified in the studies reviewed for Quality of Research.

Study Age Gender Race/Ethnicity
Study 1 6-12 (Childhood) 53% Male
47% Female
57% White
22% Black or African American
18% Hispanic or Latino
2% American Indian or Alaska Native
1% Asian

Quality of Research Ratings by Criteria (0.0-4.0 scale)

External reviewers independently evaluate the Quality of Research for an intervention's reported results using six criteria:

  1. Reliability of measures
  2. Validity of measures
  3. Intervention fidelity
  4. Missing data and attrition
  5. Potential confounding variables
  6. Appropriateness of analysis

For more information about these criteria and the meaning of the ratings, see Quality of Research.

Outcome Reliability
of Measures
Validity
of Measures
Fidelity Missing
Data/Attrition
Confounding
Variables
Data
Analysis
Overall
Rating
1: Perceived aggression 4.0 2.5 2.5 4.0 2.5 3.5 3.2
2: Perceived victimization 4.0 2.5 2.5 4.0 2.5 3.5 3.2
3: Perceived bystander behavior 4.0 2.5 2.5 4.0 2.5 3.5 3.2
4: Classroom behaviors 3.0 2.5 2.5 4.0 2.5 3.5 3.0
5: Empathic mentalizing 3.5 2.5 2.5 4.0 2.5 3.5 3.1

Study Strengths

The 18-item peer nomination instrument used to assess perceived aggression, victimization, and bystander behavior had high internal reliability in the study sample across all six assessment time points, had been used successfully in prior studies, and had face validity. The procedures for observing classroom behaviors were very detailed, and the recording system had high interrater reliability for the presence or absence of each target behavior and high intraclass correlations for the ratings of behaviors across the 3 days of measurement for each assessment point, suggesting that the target behaviors being rated were reliable indicators of child behavior in the classroom. Both CAPSLE and SPC are manual driven, and within each school, considerable attention was given to implementation fidelity. The study design was enhanced by the use of cluster randomization at the level of school assignment and stratification to match conditions at baseline on the basis of the percentage of low-income students (i.e., those receiving free or reduced-cost lunches), which controlled for many potential confounding variables. Missing data were addressed through the use of sophisticated imputation methodology, and statistical modeling of the data was state of the art in school-based research.

Study Weaknesses

The internal reliability for the items that measured empathic mentalizing was low across all six assessment time points. Face validity was the only type of validity established for the two main outcome instruments. Intervention fidelity for CAPSLE focused on teacher reports of the intervention's classroom management components (e.g., the use of CAPSLE behavior management concepts, prosocial concepts, reflection time, self-control strategies); no information was provided on whether the other components of the intervention (i.e., Positive School Climate Campaigns, Gentle Warrior lessons, Peer Mentor Program) were implemented consistently as designed across schools. Potential confounding variables were a concern: a small number of schools were randomized to each of the three conditions, and one school assigned to the control group dropped out right after randomization but was not assessed for its degree of similarity to the three schools remaining in the control condition.

Readiness for Dissemination
Review Date: August 2012

Materials Reviewed

The materials below were reviewed for Readiness for Dissemination. The implementation point of contact can provide information regarding implementation of the intervention and the availability of additional, updated, or new materials.

Program Web site, http://www.intaaps.org

Twemlow, S. W., & Sacco, F. C. (2008). Why school anti-bullying programs don't work. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.

Twemlow, S. W., Sacco, F. C., & Twemlow, S. W. (1999). Creating a Peaceful School Learning Environment: A training manual for elementary schools. Agawam, MA: T & S Publishing Group.

Other program materials:

  • CAPSLE Appendix
  • CAPSLE Comic Book
  • CAPSLE Workbook
  • Core Components
  • K-6 Grade Questionnaires
  • Standards for CAPSLE Framework

Readiness for Dissemination Ratings by Criteria (0.0-4.0 scale)

External reviewers independently evaluate the intervention's Readiness for Dissemination using three criteria:

  1. Availability of implementation materials
  2. Availability of training and support resources
  3. Availability of quality assurance procedures

For more information about these criteria and the meaning of the ratings, see Readiness for Dissemination.

Implementation
Materials
Training and Support
Resources
Quality Assurance
Procedures
Overall
Rating
3.3 3.0 2.8 3.0

Dissemination Strengths

The implementation materials provide a clear explanation and rationale for the intervention and also address its format, which the developer describes as a philosophy more than a program. The inherent flexibility of the intervention allows it to fit into most school environments. Implementation materials include clear steps for determining organizational readiness, including staffing requirements and guidance on implementer roles and responsibilities. Different types of program materials (e.g., DVDs, comic books, songs, workbooks) are used to enhance student and family learning. After the initial required senior training, implementers must participate in weekly consultation sessions during the first 6-9 months of the implementation. Many quality assurance processes are strongly encouraged for sites, including a minimum 3-year evaluation commitment with the developer. Analysis of data from the student and teacher surveys is available from the developer for use in program review and quality improvement.

Dissemination Weaknesses

The program lacks a cohesive document that explains how all components of the intervention work together. The information in some materials is repetitious, and the quality of the writing is inconsistent. The intervention Web site lacks sufficient information about the various training options, including descriptions of who should be trained and information on the availability of trainers or schedules. Clear descriptions of evaluation requirements and quality assurance processes are not available; it is unclear how some measures are scored and how outcome data are used to support program improvement.

Costs

The cost information below was provided by the developer. Although this cost information may have been updated by the developer since the time of review, it may not reflect the current costs or availability of items (including newly developed or discontinued items). The implementation point of contact can provide current information and discuss implementation requirements.

Item Description Cost Required by Developer
Why School Anti-Bullying Programs Don't Work $40 per book Yes
CAPSLE Toolkit (includes CAPSLE training manual and appendix, CAPSLE standards guide, Back Off Bully DVDs, program songs, training videos, and games) Included in the cost of training Yes
Additional copies of the Back Off Bully DVD $19.95 each No
1- to 3-day, on-site senior training for one elementary school Up to $1,500 per day for an unlimited number of participants at one site, plus travel expenses, depending on school type and number of trainers Yes
1-hour consultation via Skype or phone $200 per hour Yes, for the first 6-9 months of implementation
Comprehensive evaluation administration (includes survey for students in grades 2-12, teacher survey, and a PowerPoint summary of survey results) $2,000 per year No
Contact Information

To learn more about research, contact:
Peter Fonagy, Ph.D., FBA
+ 442076791943
p.fonagy@ucl.ac.uk

Eric M. Vernberg, Ph.D., ABPP
(785) 864-3582
vernberg@ku.edu

To learn more about implementation or research, contact:
Stuart W. Twemlow, M.D.
(832) 660-4584
stuart.twemlow@gmail.com

Consider these Questions to Ask (PDF, 54KB) as you explore the possible use of this intervention.

Web Site(s):