U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

Olweus Bullying Prevention Program



Bullying Prevention is a multilevel, multicomponent, school-based program designed to prevent or reduce bullying in elementary, middle, and junior high schools (students 6 to 15 years). The program attempts to restructure the existing school environment to reduce opportunities and rewards for bullying. School staff is largely responsible for introducing and implementing the program. Their efforts are directed toward improving peer relations and making the school a safe and positive place for students to learn and develop.

Core components of the program are implemented at the school level, the class level, and the individual level:

  • Schoolwide components include the administration of an anonymous questionnaire to assess the nature and prevalence of bullying at each school, a school conference day to discuss bullying at school and plan interventions, formation of a Bullying Prevention Coordinating Committee to coordinate all aspects of a school’s program, and increased supervision of students at “hot spots” for bullying.
  • Classroom components include the establishment and enforcement of class rules against bullying and holding regular class meetings with students.
  • Individual components include interventions with children identified as bullies and victims and discussions with parents of involved students. Teachers may be assisted in these efforts by counselors and school-based mental health professionals.

The Bullying Prevention Program has been shown to result in:

  • A substantial reduction in boys’ and girls’ reports of bullying and victimization.
  • A significant reduction in students’ reports of general antisocial behavior, such as vandalism, fighting, theft, and truancy.
  • Significant improvements in the “social climate” of the class, as reflected in students’ reports of improved order and discipline, more positive social relationships, and a more positive attitude toward schoolwork and school.

Risk Factors


Antisocial/delinquent beliefs

Conduct disorders (authority conflict/rebellious/stubborn/disruptive/antisocial)

Early and persistent noncompliant behavior

Early onset of aggression/violence

Few social ties (involved in social activities, popularity)

General delinquency involvement


Lack of guilt and empathy

Low perceived likelihood of being caught

Victimization and exposure to violence


Low parental attachment to child/adolescent

Parental use of physical punishment/harsh and/or erratic discipline practices

Poor parental supervision (control, monitoring, and child management)

Poor parent-child relations or communication


Low academic aspirations

Low school attachment/bonding/motivation/commitment to school

Poorly organized and functioning schools/inadequate school climate/negative labeling by teachers


Association with antisocial/aggressive/delinquent peers; high peer delinquency

Association with gang-involved peers/relatives

Peer rejection


University of Colorado Blueprints: Promising


Lydia Arneson
OBP Program Coordinator
Clemson University
2038 Barre Hall
Clemson, SC 29634
Phone: (864) 656-6712
E-mail: [email protected]

E-mail: [email protected]
Web site: www.clemson.edu/olweus


Olweus, D.; Limber, S.; and Mihalic, S. F. (1999). Blueprints for Violence Prevention, Book Nine: Bullying Prevention Program. Boulder, CO: Center for the Study and Prevention of Violence.

Ttofi, M. M.; Farrington, D. P.; and Baldry, A. (2008). Effectiveness of Programs to Reduce School Bullying: A Systematic Review. Stockholm: Swedish National Council for Crime Prevention.

Date Created: April 7, 2021