School of Education
Curriculum, Pre-test posttest, Prosocial behavior, Safety Kids, Violence prevention
Childhood aggression is the best-known behavioral predictor of future social adjustment difficulties. Children with early onset aggression are likely to engage in aggressive behavior throughout the life course (Hester, Baltodano, Gable, & Tonelson, 2003). Early aggressive behavior is also strongly associated with later criminal behavior and deviant peer relations, poor school achievement, school dropout, and unemployment (Haemaelaeinen & Pulkinnen, 1996; Hay & Pawlby, 2003; Kokko, Tremblay, Lacourse, Nagin, & Vitaro, 2006; Scourfield, John, Martin, & McGuffin, 2004). Recently, researchers have focused on determining the positive behaviors that could potentially stop aggressive situations from progressing. These helping behaviors are defined broadly as prosocial behaviors (Cashwell, Skinner, & Smith, 2001; Greener, 2000; Goldstein, Carr, Davidson II, & Wehr, 1981; Leffler & Snow, 2001).
The Be a Safety Kid curriculum provides direct instruction to children in Kindergarten through eighth grade by differentiating appropriate and inappropriate behaviors, teaching individual prosocial behaviors and identifying age-appropriate methods for reporting safety concerns in an effort to decrease violent incidents in the school environment. This school-wide curriculum is based on the ideals of "Responsible Reporting" or appropriate telling of information when a dangerous situation is apparent or known to students. This paper will review and elaborate upon the history, development, and recent research of prosocial behaviors. The effectiveness of this school-wide curriculum will be measured using a pre-test/post-test instrument, termed S.T.A.R., on seventh and eighth grade students in a school environment. Children are evaluated in terms of increased knowledge and their actual ability to act. Comparison of subjects and treatment utility are also collected to determine the impact of the curriculum on the school environment. The results indicated the Be a Safety Kid curriculum did not significantly produce improvement in knowledge or hypothetical ability to demonstrate prosocial behavior. The conclusions will add to the growing amount of literature to establish more evidence-based practices in the reduction of violence in the school environment.
Martin, E. (2011). Measuring Prosocial Behavior Through the Implementation of a Violence Prevention Intervention (Doctoral dissertation, Duquesne University). Retrieved from https://dsc.duq.edu/etd/882