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CABYA— Research Behind the Model

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In California, nearly 37% of middle and high school students were bullied our physically assaulted at school, and about 75% of these experiences were bias-related.1 Students without a strong connection to school are more than three times more likely to be bullied repeatedly.2

Traditional, top-down disciplinary strategies have failed to turn this tide because they focus on policing individual offenders, instead of addressing the root causes of negative school climate.3 Yet we know that sustainable, positive school climate, and the Social and Emotional Learning it enhances, improves a range of essential factors, including students' physical and mental health, school connectedness, academic achievement, graduation rates and risk prevention, as well as teacher retention and performance-based funding for schools.4

Improving school climate requires a comprehensive approach, harnessing student, school and community assets to change schools from the inside out.5 Efforts must be student-focused, relationship-oriented, and involve classroom and school-level organizational changes.6 These efforts boost student engagement, while providing youth with the social capital to solve problems and desist from negative behavior.7 When young people are empowered to shape and embrace positive norms, the entire system benefits.9

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1. Heck, K., et al.
(2005.) Bias-Related
Harassment among California Students
Los Alamitos: WestEd.

2. California
Healthy Kids Survey 2010

3. American
Psychological Association, Zero Tolerance Task Force (2008). Are
zero tolerance policies effective in the schools? An
evidentiary review and recommendations. American
63(9), 852-862.

4. Durlak, J., et
al. (2011). The Impact of Enhancing Students' Social and Emotional
Learning: A Meta-Analysis of School-Based Universal Interventions.

82(1), 405-432.

National Center for
Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Division of
Adolescent and School Health, 2010.

Healthy Kids Survey 2010.

J. & Geier, V.K. (2010). School Climate Research Summary:
January 2010. New York, N.Y. National School Climate Center.

R. W. (2005). A case for school connectedness. Educational

Benson, P. L., et al. (2006). Positive youth development so far:
Core hypotheses and their implications for policy and practice.
Institute Insights & Evidence
3(1), 1-13.

6. Greenberg,
M. T., et al. (2003). Enhancing school-based prevention and youth
development through coordinated social, emotional and academic
learning. American
58(6/7), 466-474. 

7. Jones, K. R.
(2006). Relationships matter:
A mixed-methods evaluation of youth and adults working together as
partners. Journal of Youth Development,
1(2), 31-47.

Rodine, et al.
(2006). Potential protective
effect of the community involvement asset on adolescent risk
behaviors. Journal of Youth Development, 1(1),

Laub, J. H., &
Sampson, R. J. (2003). Shared beginnings, divergent lives:
Delinquent boys to age 70.
Cambridge: Harvard University

Lilly, J. R.,
Cullen, F. T., & Ball, R. A. (2007). Criminological theory:
Context and consequences
(4th ed.). Thousand Oaks:

Sampson, R. J., &
Laub, J. H. (2005). A life-course view of the development of
crime. The Annals of the American Academy of Political and
Social Science,
12- 45.

8. Dupper, D. R., &
Meyer-Adams, N. (2002). Low-level violence: A neglected aspect of
school culture. Urban Education, 37(3),