Responding in Peaceful and Positive Ways (RiPP) is a school-based violence prevention program designed to provide students ages 10–14 in middle and junior high schools with conflict resolution strategies and skills. It combines a classroom curriculum of social/cognitive problem solving with real-life skill-building opportunities such as peer mediation. Students learn to apply critical-thinking skills and personal management strategies to personal health and well-being issues. Delivered over three years, RiPP teaches key concepts that include:
Using a variety of lessons and activities, students learn about the physical and mental development that occurs during adolescence, analyze the consequences of personal choices on health and well-being, learn that they have nonviolent options when conflicts arise, and evaluate the benefits of being a positive family and community role model.
In a within-school evaluation of RiPP, compared with control students, RiPP-6 students at posttest were significantly less likely to have disciplinary code violations for carrying weapons, were less likely to have in-school suspensions, had lower reported rates of fight-related injuries, and were more likely to participate in their school’s peer-mediation program. RiPP-7 participants showed a significant increase in their knowledge of curriculum material and a trend for greater decreases in anxiety. At 6-month follow-up, RiPP-7 students reported lower rates of peer pressure to use drugs and showed a significant increase in prosocial responses to hypothetical problem situations. In another study, compared with students at control schools, students at intervention schools reported more favorable attitudes toward nonviolence, less favorable attitudes toward violence, and greater knowledge of the material covered in the intervention. Significant differences on the frequency of aggression were found at posttest. An evaluation of RiPP-8 is currently under way.
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, National Registry of Effective Programs and Practices: Model program
Safe and Drug Free Schools, U.S. Department of Education: Effective program
OJJDP Model Programs Guide: Exemplary program
Aleta Lynn Meyer, Ph.D.
Department of Psychology
Virginia Commonwealth University
808 West Franklin Street
Richmond, VA 23284
Phone: (804) 828-0015
Farrell, A. D., and Meyer, A. L. (1997). “The Effectiveness of a School-Based Curriculum for Reducing Violence Among Urban Sixth-Grade Students.” American Journal of Public Health, 87:979–984.
Meyer, A. L., and Farrell, A. D. (1998). “Social Skills Training to Promote Resilience and Reduce Violence in African-American Middle School Students.” Education and Treatment of Children, 21(4):461–488.
Meyer, A. L.; Farrell, A. D.; Northup, W. B.; Kung, E. M.; and Plybon, L. (2000). Promoting Nonviolence in Early Adolescence: Responding In Peaceful and Positive Ways. New York: Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers.