Olweus Bullying Prevention Program


Prevention; Ages 6–15


(Read the criteria for this rating)
  • Effective delinquency program


Bullying Prevention is a multilevel, multicomponent, school-based program designed to prevent or reduce bullying in elementary, middle, and junior high schools (students 6 to 15 years). The program attempts to restructure the existing school environment to reduce opportunities and rewards for bullying. School staff is largely responsible for introducing and implementing the program. Their efforts are directed toward improving peer relations and making the school a safe and positive place for students to learn and develop.

Core components of the program are implemented at the school level, the class level, and the individual level:

  • Schoolwide components include the administration of an anonymous questionnaire to assess the nature and prevalence of bullying at each school, a school conference day to discuss bullying at school and plan interventions, formation of a Bullying Prevention Coordinating Committee to coordinate all aspects of a school’s program, and increased supervision of students at “hot spots” for bullying.
  • Classroom components include the establishment and enforcement of class rules against bullying and holding regular class meetings with students.
  • Individual components include interventions with children identified as bullies and victims and discussions with parents of involved students. Teachers may be assisted in these efforts by counselors and school-based mental health professionals.

The Bullying Prevention Program has been shown to result in:

  • A substantial reduction in boys’ and girls’ reports of bullying and victimization.
  • A significant reduction in students’ reports of general antisocial behavior, such as vandalism, fighting, theft, and truancy.
  • Significant improvements in the “social climate” of the class, as reflected in students’ reports of improved order and discipline, more positive social relationships, and a more positive attitude toward schoolwork and school.

Risk Factors

Antisocial/delinquent beliefs
Conduct disorders (authority conflict/rebellious/stubborn/disruptive/antisocial)
Early and persistent noncompliant behavior
Early onset of aggression/violence
Few social ties (involved in social activities, popularity)
General delinquency involvement
Lack of guilt and empathy
Low perceived likelihood of being caught
Victimization and exposure to violence
Low parental attachment to child/adolescent
Parental use of physical punishment/harsh and/or erratic discipline practices
Poor parental supervision (control, monitoring, and child management)
Poor parent-child relations or communication
Low academic aspirations
Low school attachment/bonding/motivation/commitment to school
Poorly organized and functioning schools/inadequate school climate/negative labeling by teachers
Association with antisocial/aggressive/delinquent peers; high peer delinquency
Association with gang-involved peers/relatives
Peer rejection


Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: Model program

OJJDP Blueprints Project: Model program

University of Colorado Blueprints: Promising


Lydia Arneson
OBP Program Coordinator
Clemson University
2038 Barre Hall
Clemson, SC 29634
Phone: (864) 656-6712
E-mail: lydia@clemson.edu

E-mail: nobully@clemson.edu
Web site: www.clemson.edu/olweus


Olweus, D.; Limber, S.; and Mihalic, S. F. (1999). Blueprints for Violence Prevention, Book Nine: Bullying Prevention Program. Boulder, CO: Center for the Study and Prevention of Violence.

Ttofi, M. M.; Farrington, D. P.; and Baldry, A. (2008). Effectiveness of Programs to Reduce School Bullying: A Systematic Review. Stockholm: Swedish National Council for Crime Prevention.

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