How are Effective Programs Disseminated and Scaled?

October 4, 2021

Scaling and Disseminating Brief Bullying Prevention Programming: Strengths, Challenges, and Considerations. One of the persistent problems in education and other human service disciplines is the research to practice gap (some would call it a chasm).  In an effort to disseminate an effective bullying program (Free2B), Leff and colleagues applied the logic of Diffusion of Innovations (Rogers, 2003).  This logic proposes that innovations are more likely to be adopted if the innovation has (1) a relative advantage over current practices, (2) is easy to use, (3) is compatible with the values, beliefs, experiences of the users, (4) can be implemented on a trial basis before large scale implementation, and (5) the opportunity for others to observe implementation and the effects of implementation.  Leff and colleagues followed these recommendations in implementing the Free2B anti-bullying program in 40 middle schools.  The authors concluded that it was an attractive alternative to many anti-bullying programs because the intervention was delivered in a school assembly that schools were already providing, so it required no additional time allocation.  Additionally, the video format made the delivery very easy compared to school-wide programs that are more time and resource intensive.  The students reported that it addressed important topics. Prior to implementation, Leff and colleagues presented pilot data to key stakeholders at the state’s Office of Safe Schools who were able to leverage adoption by schools across the state.  In addition to measuring adoption they also measured the impact on students and founds positive effects across all measures.

Citations: Leff, S. S., Waasdorp, T. E., Paskewich, B. S., & Winston, F. K. (2020). Scaling and Disseminating Brief Bullying Prevention Programming: Strengths, Challenges, and Considerations. School Psychology Review, 1-15.

Rogers, E. M. (1962). Diffusion of innovations. New York: Free Press of Glencoe.