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Aggressors, Victims and Bystanders: Thinking and Acting to Prevent Violence

Page history last edited by wilkes.andrew@... 13 years, 7 months ago





  • The AVB program is designed to deal with behaviors of youth as they become involved in violence either as aggressors, victims or bystanders. The role of each person is evaluated and the thought patterns that go along with those roles are discussed. The students learn how to effectively problem solve and use conflict resolution skills in a way that keeps them safe and allows them to retain self-respect while still respecting others.



  • The cost of the AVB program is $59.95. Training costs are additional and depend upon the scope of the program.
  • The program cost includes the teacher’s curriculum manual. The manual also comes with reproducible handouts for the students. The training cost would need to be determined based on the number of facilitators participating and the number of trainers necessary. Also based on the needs of the school, the training sessions can range anywhere from a half-day to three days.



  • Service Area: Originally this program was designed for use in high-risk urban communities. The program has also been used as a universal prevention strategy in other settings. Therefore the service area would include local middle schools and possibly some high school classrooms.
  • Target Population: As stated the program was originally for high-risk adolescents living in urban communities. However, the target population can be expanded to include all sixth through ninth graders.
  • Number Served: Depends on the number of classrooms implementing the program.



  • The AVB program can be implemented by classroom teachers, counselors/health care professionals, police officers, youth service providers, or physical education teachers. The program can be used for a total of four years, although it does not need to be implemented on a continued basis every year. There are generally 12 sessions that last 45 minutes each that are presented as part of one implementation cycle. The different units covered include, discussion about violence prevention efforts, self-assessments of beliefs and attitudes regarding conflicts and violence, thought patterns that promote/facilitate/prevent violence, the role that each actor plays in the conflict, and different ways that each actor can respond to conflict in order to avoid violence. There are group discussions, small group activities, role-plays, homework and multi-media materials used to enhance each session.



  • AVB has been evaluated at least once in an urban community that was at high-risk for violence. The students involved in the study were 69% African American, 6% Caucasian, 5% Latino/a, and 4% Puerto-Rican, Asian-American, and Haitian (4% each).
  • The study found that students who participated in AVB did not significantly differ from the control group in beliefs, behavioral intents, or self-reported behaviors.
    • There was a significant decrease in support of bystander aggression for the students involved in AVB.
    • There were significant changes however across the three schools involved in the study.
    • There was a decreased belief in the use of aggression, decreased preference for use of physical aggression and an increase in intentions to seek information in order to avoid conflicts.
  • Overall, the study found some significant changes, however there were small groups of students used in the control groups, which may have led to a lack of statistical significance for some of the other measures involved in the study.


Contact Information

  • Education Development Center, Inc. 55 Chapel Street Newton, MA 02458 617-969-7100 ext. 2315 Contact person: Dr. Ronald G. Slaby Rslaby@edc.org



  • This program is highlighted as a Violence Prevention Resource for Schools in Illinois.


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