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Social-Emotional grades studied


Youth Matters


Program Description

Youth Matters is a whole-school bullying prevention program designed to build norms discouraging bullying and aggression while promoting healthy relationships among students and between students and adults. It consists of a series of instructional modules. For example, students discuss what it means to be a good friend, showing empathy for classmates who are being teased or bullied, and doing projects to promote prosocial norms. Students discuss skills such as asking for help, coping with bullying, and standing up for themselves.

Program Outcomes

Jenson & Dieterich (2007) carried out an evaluation of Youth Matters with fourth graders in 28 urban elementary schools with high rates of suspension and expulsion, and a high percentage of students qualifying for free lunches. 65% of students were Hispanic. The schools were randomly assigned to receive the program (n=14) or to participate in a control group (n=14). There were a total of 456 students in the Youth Matters group and 670 in the control group. The program operated for a year.

The study outcomes were from questionnaires students filled out. These focused on bully victimization and bullying behavior (e.g., “Have you been bullied since the start of the school year?”). Students also indicated what types of bullying they had received. The bullying behavior asked similar questions of students who reported bullying others. The analyses showed a small positive effect of Youth Matters on reducing bully victimization (ES=+0.18) but no effect on bullying behavior. The differences on bullying victimization qualified Youth Matters for an ESSA “Promising” rating.

Staffing Requirements

No additional staff required

Professional Development/Training

Not stated


None required