Bullying is a continuum of destructive behavior, which can lead to depression, anxiety, and the third largest cause of teen mortality in the United States-suicide. In all its forms, bullying affects millions of young people in the U.S. every year (Nansel et al. 2001, Tokunaga 2010), yet prevention efforts have had little impact because they have not recognized the fluidity and complexity of bullying, nor have their messages or delivery platforms resonated with teens (Cook et al. 2010). In addition, as recognized by the White House Conference on Bullying Prevention held in March 2011, few existing programs have been rigorously evaluated and many cost too much to implement in the majority of schools and youth-serving organizations. The Teen-created Online Tolerance and Anti-bullying Library (TOTAL) project will contain bullying prevention programming and resources that are based on a systematic, comprehensive approach incorporating the latest evidence and best practices on bullying prevention and young people's input and involvement. TOTAL will gather into one multimedia resource, a collection of easy-to-use, customizable evidence-based prevention programs, best practices and promising strategies, teen-created bullying prevention activities and content and training materials regarding program adaptation and sustainability. TOTAL will allow teachers and other professionals to implement bullying prevention efforts through three components which will contain: (1) evidence-based modular curricula and teaching lessons for use either as a complete program or as a selected series of modules identified by a sophisticated search tool and curriculum builder to customize content to specific programmatic needs;(2) activities co-created by teens to engage their peers in bullying prevention efforts ranging from public service campaigns or drives, to social media and mobile interfacing exercises or activities;and (3) training modules and tools to enhance teachers'and professionals'skill sets and self-efficacy to refresh, enrich, customize and ultimately, sustain their prevention efforts with their students/clients. Content selection by experts and usability testing by teachers and other youth-serving professionals will result in a product reflecting the contribution of teens and researchers, as well as the recommendations of practitioners. The proposed SBIR Phase I project will investigate the feasibility and usefulness of developing a multimedia library of customizable bullying prevention program modules and youth-created complementary activities for use in schools and other youth-serving organizations. At the conclusion of Phase 1, the following will be accomplished: (1) a prototype of TOTAL's digital platform including its three identified components;(2) three functional prototypes representative of the digital library's core components;(3) a functioning semantic search tool to collate and customize content within a curriculum builder, thus improving the match between the users'programmatic needs and the identification of resources within the library;(4) usability test results;and (5) an action plan for Phase II.
By developing a resource for schools and youth-serving organizations that supports bullying prevention programming, TOTAL (Teen-created Tolerance and Anti-bullying Library) will increase the relevance and reach of existing effective anti-bullying programs or practices and test new promising strategies developed by teens, leading to sustained behavior change at both the individual and aggregate levels. TOTAL integrates scientific evidence, best practice, and technology with a focus on prevention rather than intervention and teens'active participation in the development of prevention efforts.