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Intervention Summary

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Responding in Peaceful and Positive Ways (RiPP)

Responding in Peaceful and Positive Ways (RiPP) is a school-based violence prevention program for middle school students. RiPP is designed to be implemented along with a peer mediation program. Students practice using a social-cognitive problem-solving model to identify and choose nonviolent strategies for dealing with conflict. RiPP emphasizes behavioral repetition and mental rehearsal of the social-cognitive problem-solving model, experiential learning techniques, and didactic learning modalities. RiPP sessions are taught in the classroom by a school-based prevention specialist and are typically incorporated into existing social studies, health, or science classes. The intervention is offered in three grade-specific modules:

  • RiPP-6 (6th grade): 16 sessions over the school year, focusing broadly on violence prevention
  • RiPP-7 (7th grade): 16 sessions at the beginning of the school year, focusing on using conflict resolution skills in friendships
  • RiPP-8 (8th grade): 16 sessions at the end of the school year, focusing on making a successful transition to high school

Descriptive Information

Areas of Interest Mental health promotion
Outcomes Review Date: January 2007
1: School disciplinary code violations
2: Violent/aggressive behavior--self-reports
3: Victimization
4: Peer provocation
5: Life satisfaction
Outcome Categories Education
Quality of life
Trauma/injuries
Violence
Ages 6-12 (Childhood)
13-17 (Adolescent)
Genders Male
Female
Races/Ethnicities Black or African American
Hispanic or Latino
White
Race/ethnicity unspecified
Settings School
Geographic Locations Urban
Rural and/or frontier
Implementation History As of January 2007, RiPP has been implemented in more than 50 middle schools in the United States.
NIH Funding/CER Studies Partially/fully funded by National Institutes of Health: No
Evaluated in comparative effectiveness research studies: No
Adaptations RiPP was originally developed to meet the needs of public school students in Richmond, Virginia. Most 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.
Adverse Effects No adverse effects, concerns, or unintended consequences were identified by the developer.
IOM Prevention Categories Universal

Quality of Research
Review Date: January 2007

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

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.  Pub Med icon

Study 2

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.

Study 3

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.

Study 4

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.

Supplementary Materials

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.

Outcomes

Outcome 1: School disciplinary code violations
Description of Measures This outcome was measured using counts of all reported violations of school disciplinary codes that were related to violence. Types of violations included fighting, assault, weapons possession, and in-school and out-of-school suspensions.
Key Findings At 12-month follow-up, in-school suspension rates among 6th-grade boys who received RiPP were one-third the rate experienced among their peers (p < .05); no similar difference was reported among 6th-grade girls. Postintervention scores indicated that the 6th-grade classes receiving RiPP had more than twice the rate of violence-related disciplinary code violations and five times the rate of in-school suspensions compared with other classes. In another evaluation, 8th graders who had received RiPP the previous year had fewer violence-related disciplinary code violations compared with 8th graders in the same school who had never received RiPP (p < .05). Students who appeared to benefit most from the intervention tended to be those with the highest initial levels of aggression.
Studies Measuring Outcome Study 1, Study 3
Study Designs Quasi-experimental
Quality of Research Rating 2.3 (0.0-4.0 scale)
Outcome 2: Violent/aggressive behavior--self-reports
Description of Measures The frequency of violent behaviors was measured by the seven-item Violent Behavior Frequency Scale (also known as the Physical Aggression Frequency Scale), one of the Problem Behavior Frequency Scales. This scale includes items from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Youth Risk Behavior Survey (e.g., "been in a fight in which someone was hit," "threatened someone with a weapon"). Students were asked how frequently they engaged in the behavior in the past 30 days, using a 6-point anchored scale. Some items with a low base rate were recoded as dichotomous (yes/no) outcomes.
Key Findings 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:

  • Lower rates of being injured in a fight in the past 30 days in which the injuries required medical attention (p < .01)
  • Higher rates of participation in peer mediation (p < .05)
  • Among girls only, lower rates of threatening to hurt a teacher (p < .05)
  • Among 7th-grade RiPP participants, less frequent violent behavior at 6-month follow-up (p < .05)
  • Lower frequency of physical aggression (p < .05), despite the observation that both RiPP participants and their peers demonstrated an increase in problem behaviors over time
  • At 9-month follow-up, reduced rates of bringing a weapon to school, threatening someone with a weapon, and sustaining fight-related injuries in the past 30 days
Studies Measuring Outcome Study 1, Study 2, Study 3, Study 4
Study Designs Quasi-experimental
Quality of Research Rating 2.5 (0.0-4.0 scale)
Outcome 3: Victimization
Description of Measures Victimization was assessed using four items from the Children's Report of Exposure to Violence. Adolescents were asked how frequently they had been (1) beaten up, (2) chased or threatened, (3) robbed or mugged, and (4) shot or stabbed. Responses were on a 4-point frequency scale.
Key Findings At the start of 7th grade, boys who had participated in RiPP in 6th grade reported less victimization compared with peers who did not receive the intervention. The effect size was very small but measurable (Cohen's d = 0.14). No similar findings were reported among 7th-grade girls.
Studies Measuring Outcome Study 4
Study Designs Quasi-experimental
Quality of Research Rating 2.5 (0.0-4.0 scale)
Outcome 4: Peer provocation
Description of Measures The Peer Provocation Scale from the Interpersonal Problem Situation Inventory for Urban Adolescents was used to assess the frequency of victimization and harassment. Students were asked to rate how frequently specific situations happened to them during the past year (e.g., "another student was always picking on you"), using an anchored scale.
Key Findings Two evaluations found reduced frequency of peer provocation reported by RiPP participants compared with reports by peers who did not receive the intervention. Effect sizes for this outcome were small to very small (Cohen's d = 0.11-0.26).
Studies Measuring Outcome Study 2, Study 4
Study Designs Quasi-experimental
Quality of Research Rating 2.4 (0.0-4.0 scale)
Outcome 5: Life satisfaction
Description of Measures The Life Satisfaction Scale was used to assess subjective life satisfaction. Students responded to each item using a 7-point scale.
Key Findings Participants in the intervention tended to increase their life satisfaction scores while their peers' scores decreased. The difference was reflected in small effect sizes (Cohen's d = 0.20-0.27).
Studies Measuring Outcome Study 4
Study Designs Quasi-experimental
Quality of Research Rating 2.5 (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)
13-17 (Adolescent)
50.2% Male
49.8% Female
96% Black or African American
4% Race/ethnicity unspecified
Study 2 6-12 (Childhood)
13-17 (Adolescent)
55% Male
45% Female
61% White
24% Hispanic or Latino
8% Race/ethnicity unspecified
7% Black or African American
Study 3 6-12 (Childhood)
13-17 (Adolescent)
52.9% Female
47.1% Male
97% Black or African American
3% Race/ethnicity unspecified
Study 4 6-12 (Childhood)
13-17 (Adolescent)
Data not reported/available 65% White
22% Hispanic or Latino
11% Black or African American
2% Race/ethnicity unspecified

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: School disciplinary code violations 1.0 2.5 2.3 2.0 2.3 3.5 2.3
2: Violent/aggressive behavior--self-reports 2.5 2.5 2.3 2.0 2.3 3.5 2.5
3: Victimization 2.5 2.5 2.0 2.0 2.5 3.5 2.5
4: Peer provocation 2.5 2.5 2.0 2.0 2.3 3.3 2.4
5: Life satisfaction 2.5 2.5 2.0 2.0 2.5 3.5 2.5

Study Strengths

The developer/research team has done a very good job evaluating the various grade modules (RiPP-6, RiPP-7, and RiPP-8). Adequate psychometric properties were provided for most of the measures. Intervention fidelity was addressed by the use of checklists, attendance records, facilitator training with the use of a manual, classroom observations, and enhanced supervision. Good statistical analysis methods were used, although no power analyses were provided.

Study Weaknesses

No evidence of reliability was provided for school record data. However, school records are widely used, and it is standard not to report reliability. Limited information was provided about the manual. Fidelity measures were put in place, but there were some problems with intervention implementation (e.g., not examining the impact of classroom disruptions, some schools not completing the program), and it is unclear how implementation changes may have impacted the findings. Attrition was statistically examined but high in a number of studies; studies also had missing data. While the intervention has produced statistically significant findings, it is unclear how many of these findings may be tied to the pretest differences in violent behavior reported between the treatment and control group students. Issues related to the within-school design, intent-to-treat approach, and attrition and missing data may present other confounding variables.

Readiness for Dissemination
Review Date: January 2007

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.

Cain, J. (n.d.). Raccoon circles: A handbook for facilitators. Brockport, NY: Teamwork & Teamplay.

Meyer, A., & Northup, W. (2002). RiPP: A violence prevention curriculum for the seventh grade. Ashland, VA: Authors.

Meyer, A., & Northup, W. (2002). RiPP: A violence prevention curriculum for the sixth grade. Ashland, VA: Authors.

Meyer, A., & Northup, W. (2002). The Power of Responding in Peaceful and Positive Ways (2-Day Training). Ashland, VA: Authors.

Meyer, A., & Northup, W. (2006). RiPP: A violence prevention curriculum for the eighth grade. Ashland, VA: Authors.

Prevention Opportunities & Tanglewood Research. (2006). RiPP Teacher Training: Day 1, Disk 1 [DVD].

Prevention Opportunities & Tanglewood Research. (2006). RiPP Teacher Training: Day 1, Disk 2 [DVD].

Prevention Opportunities & Tanglewood Research. (2006). RiPP Teacher Training: Day 1, Disk 3 [DVD].

Prevention Opportunities & Tanglewood Research. (2006). RiPP Teacher Training: Day 2, Disk 1 [DVD].

Prevention Opportunities & Tanglewood Research. (2006). RiPP Teacher Training: Day 2, Disk 2 [DVD].

Prevention Opportunities & Tanglewood Research. (2006). RiPP Teacher Training: Day 2, Disk 3 [DVD].

RiPP student handouts in English (6th, 7th, and 8th grades) and Spanish (6th grade)

RiPP student journal (8th grade)

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
3.0 3.8 2.0 2.9

Dissemination Strengths

The instructor and student implementation materials provide detailed and well-organized lesson plans and activities for each grade level. The training materials for instructors are comprehensive and offer a thorough preparation for program delivery. A site liaison is available to help support program implementation. Fidelity standards described in the training manual emphasize use of student surveys and adherence to lesson plans to support quality assurance.

Dissemination Weaknesses

Graphics and formatting are inconsistent in some implementation materials, which may make it difficult for readers to follow materials in some cases. Expected outcomes are described, but no instrument is provided to assess these outcomes.

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
Student workbooks $5 each Yes
Instructor manual $350 per grade level Yes
3-day, on-site training (includes instructor manual) $850 per person plus travel expenses No
Phone and email support Free No
Replications

Selected citations are presented below. An asterisk indicates that the document was reviewed for Quality of Research.

* 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., 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.  Pub Med icon

* 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., 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.

Contact Information

To learn more about implementation, contact:
Wendy B. Northup, M.A.
(804) 301-4909
wendynorthup@hughes.net

To learn more about research, contact:
Albert D. Farrell, Ph.D.
(804) 828-8796
afarrell@vcu.edu

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