Feasibility of the Olweus bullying prevention program in low-income schools

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This article examines school response to bullying and youth aggression in upper/middle-class and low socioeconomic neighborhoods, and the feasibility of successfully implementing the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program in schools located in impoverished communities. The Olweus Bullying Prevention Program is one of the few programs that has proven efficacy in upper/middle-class areas for reducing the incidence of bullying and improving attitudes towards school and academic achievement, but the effectiveness of the program has not been tested in low-income schools. However, research indicates that in both upper/ middle-class and low socioeconomic neighborhoods, children are reluctant to seek assistance, and school teachers are not well-informed of effective bullying prevention measures. Researchers have pointed out that although children of low socioeconomic status (particularly minorities) have higher incidence of behavioral problems than their upper/middle-class counterparts, socioeconomic and cultural differences pose a major challenge to implementing effective anti-bullying interventions in schools that are located in impoverished communities. Suggestions for enhancing the applicability of anti-bullying programs to low-income schools are included.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)81-97
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of School Violence
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2009

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Barbara B. Stern is Professor of Marketing, Faculty of Management, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. The author thanks the Rutgers University Research Council for its support in funding the study. The author also thanks the reviewers and especially the editor for patience, good advice, and supportive sugges tions.


  • Bullying
  • Low-income schools
  • Olweus Bullying Prevention Program
  • Poverty
  • Youth aggression


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