David CrossFollow




School of Education


Doctor of Education (EdD)


Richard J. Silvey


Bullying in School, Olweus Bullying Prevention Program, Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports, Peer Relations Questionnaire, Mann-Whitney U Test


The harmful effects of bullying are a rising concern in schools, and officials are implementing bullying prevention programs to strengthen peer relationships and build social equity within school communities. The purpose of this causal-comparative study was to examine the effectiveness of the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program and Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports to see which program had a more significant impact on self-perception of building positive relationships among middle school students. With each program offering different bullying prevention strategies, it is important that educational leaders fully analyze the effectiveness of each program so the needs of the school can be met. Through examining the ideals of Adams’s equity theory and how people view social relationships, the following research question was developed: Is there a difference in the perceptions of building positive relationships between students who participated in Olweus and students who participated in PBIS training, as measured by the Peer Relations Questionnaire (PRQ)? Two hundred forty seventh-grade students from two rural middle schools in the central part of North Carolina participated in this study. One hundred twenty students from each school were selected to complete the PRQ for children based on the expectation that they had been exposed to their programs for one full year. Due to the lack of normality in student reporting, student responses were compared by the Mann-Whitney U test. Based on the results of this nonparametric test, there is no evidence that the distribution of scores was different between schools, neither for the whole population nor for females or males considered separately. The lack of normality discovered in the findings shows this study cannot be generalized across all middle school settings, which suggests more research in rural middle schools across various districts and states needs to be conducted.