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. RiPP is designed to be implemented along with a peer mediation program. It combines a classroom curriculum of social/cognitive problem solving with real-life skill-building opportunities. Students learn to apply critical-thinking skills and personal management strategies to personal health and well-being issues. Delivered over the school year, 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, how to analyze the consequences of personal choices on health and well-being, learn that they have nonviolent options when conflicts arise, and experience the benefits of being a positive family and community role model.
RiPP was originally developed to meet the needs of public school students in Richmond, Virginia. Most of the students in this school system are African Americans, and many come from low-income, single-parent households in neighborhoods with high rates of crime and drug use. RiPP also has been implemented in racially diverse, rural school systems in Florida. The empirical and theoretical foundations of RiPP suggest that it could be adapted for many types of communities. RiPP has been implemented in more than 50 middle schools in the United States.
Multiple studies reported benefits in self-reported experience of violent and aggressive behavior for students who received RiPP compared with peers who did not receive the intervention, including:
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, National Registry of Effective Programs and Practices: Effective program
Safe and Drug Free Schools, U.S. Department of Education: Promising program
CrimeSolutions.gov: Promising program
Wendy B. Northup, M.A.
Phone: (804) 301-4909
Albert D. Farrell, Ph.D.
Phone: (804) 828-8796
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.
Farrell, A. D., Meyer, A. L., & White, K. S. (2001). “Evaluation of Responding in Peaceful and Positive Ways (RIPP): A school-based prevention program for reducing violence among urban adolescents.” Journal of Clinical Child Psychology, 30(4): 451-463.
Farrell, A. D., Valois, R. F., & Meyer, A. L. (2002). “Evaluation of the RiPP-6 violence prevention program at a rural middle school.” American Journal of Health Education, 33(3): 167-172.
Farrell, A. D., Meyer, A. L., Sullivan, T. N., & Kung, E. M. (2003). “Evaluation of the Responding in Peaceful and Positive Ways (RIPP) seventh grade violence prevention curriculum.” Journal of Child and Family Studies, 12(1): 101-120.
Farrell, A. D., Valois, R. F., Meyer, A. L., & Tidwell, R. P. (2003). “Impact of the RIPP violence prevention program on rural middle school students.” Journal of Primary Prevention, 24(2): 143-167.
Meyer, A. L., & Farrell, A. D. (1998). Social skills training to promote resilience in urban sixth grade students: One product of an action research strategy to prevent youth violence in high-risk environments.” Education and Treatment of Children, 21(4): 461-488.