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Olweus Bullying Prevention Program

Blueprints Program Rating: Promising

A multi-level bullying prevention program designed to reduce and prevent school bullying in elementary, middle, and high schools.

Program Outcomes

  • Bullying
  • Delinquency and Criminal Behavior
  • Prosocial with Peers
  • Truancy - School Attendance
  • Violent Victimization

Program Type

  • Bullying Prevention
  • School - Environmental Strategies

Program Setting

  • School

Continuum of Intervention

  • Universal Prevention (Entire Population)
  • Selective Prevention (Elevated Risk)


  • Late Childhood (5-11) - K/Elementary
  • Early Adolescence (12-14) - Middle School
  • Late Adolescence (15-18) - High School


  • Male and Female


  • All Race/Ethnicity


  • Blueprints: Promising

Program Information Contact

Jan Urbanski, Ed.D.
Director of Safe and Humane Schools
Institute on Family & Neighborhood Life
Clemson University
2037 Barre Hall
Clemson, SC 29634
(864) 656-1836

Program Developer/Owner

  • Dan Olweus, Ph.D.
  • University of Bergen

Brief Description of the Program

The Olweus Bullying Prevention Program is a multi-level, multi-component program designed to reduce and prevent school bullying in elementary, middle, and high schools. Secondary goals include increased awareness and knowledge about bullying, involvement of teachers and parents in bullying prevention, development of clear rules against bullying, and providing support and protection to victims. The program includes school-, classroom-, and individual-level components. The school-level components consist of an assessment of the nature and prevalence of bullying in the school, the formation of a committee to coordinate the prevention program, and development of a system ensuring adult supervision of students outside of the classroom. Classroom components include defining and enforcing rules against bullying, discussions and activities to reinforce anti-bullying values and norms and active parental involvement in the program. Individual components intervene with students with a history of bullying and/or victimization.

See: Full Description


  • Reductions in self-reported bullying are mixed across multiple evaluations, but generally positive.
  • Reductions in self-reported victimization are mixed across multiple evaluations.
  • Decreases in other forms of delinquency and anti-social behavior, such as theft, vandalism and truancy found in the original Norway study and South Carolina replication.
  • Improvements in positive social relationships and school climate found in Norway study.
  • In Pennsylvania, improvements in all 14 bullying outcomes, including a 13% decrease in the likelihood of being bullied and a 29% decrease in the likelihood of bullying others.

Study 13

Two years after baseline, Limber et al. (2018) found significant reductions in:

  • Frequency of students being bullied
  • Frequency of students bullying others

Three years after baseline, for a subgroup of schools who completed year three assessments, Limber et al. (2018) found significant reductions in:

  • Frequency of students being bullied
  • Frequency of students bullying others

Risk and Protective Factors

  • Increased empathy for bullied peers
  • Decreased willingness to join in bullying a disliked peer

Race/Ethnicity/Gender Details

The program targets youth of all races and ethnicities but was designed and originally implemented in northern Europe. The program has been evaluated a number of times; some evaluations give few specific details about the ethnicity of participants and the majority do not examine effects by race. Bauer et al. (2007), however, found program effects on relational and physical victimization for white youths only, relative to youths of other ethnicities, in an evaluation of program implementation in Seattle.

Study 13

Limber et al. (2018) found a significant program by sex interaction for students in grades three through five, such that boys reported greater reductions in the frequency with which they were bullied, relative to girls. In addition, White students in grades three through eight reported greater reductions in the frequency with which they were bullied, relative to Black and Hispanic students. White students in grades three through five also reported greater reductions in their own bullying of others, relative to Black and Hispanic Students.

Risk and Protective Factors

Risk Factors
  • Individual: Bullies others*, Early initiation of antisocial behavior, Favorable attitudes towards antisocial behavior, Victim of bullying*
  • Peer: Interaction with antisocial peers
Protective Factors
  • Individual: Clear standards for behavior*, Problem solving skills, Prosocial behavior, Prosocial involvement, Refusal skills, Rewards for prosocial involvement, Skills for social interaction
  • Peer: Interaction with prosocial peers
  • Family: Parental involvement in education
  • School: Opportunities for prosocial involvement in education, Rewards for prosocial involvement in school

*Risk/Protective Factor was significantly impacted by the program.

See also: Olweus Bullying Prevention Program Logic Model (PDF)

Training and Technical Assistance

The Olweus Bullying Prevention Program (OBPP) training and technical assistance purveyor is Clemson University, Institute on Family and Neighborhood Life. The OBPP strives to develop local capacity to implement the program systemically and long term to prevent bullying behavior and to intervene effectively when bullying occurs. A “Readiness Checklist” is available at and an archived webinar program overview is available free of charge at Email and phone consultation is available at no cost for schools interested in implementation. Phone and email contact information can be found at

There are two options for training and technical assistance:

1) Schools may hire an OBPP Certified Olweus Trainer/Consultant to train the school building’s leadership team (Bullying Prevention Coordination Committee [BPCC]) and provide technical assistance for implementation.

2) Schools may sponsor a professional within their community to become a Certified OBPP Trainer/Consultant in order to build implementation sustainability.

In either training option, technical assistance for a minimum of 12 months post-training is provided to assist/coach schools in implementation of the program as intended.

Costs for OBPP Trainer/Consultant traveling to school:

Training costs are negotiated with a Certified Olweus Trainer directly. A list of OBPP Trainers is found at or Jane Riese, Director of Training at may be contacted for assistance in finding a trainer to fit a school's needs. A single OBPP Certified Trainer/Consultant will set his/her own fees when contracting for training and consultation, but may charge no more than:

  • $3,000 for a 2-day training involving 1 or 2 schools’ Bullying Prevention Coordinating Committees (BPCC).
  • An additional $250 per half-day of travel time for the trainer to travel to and from the training site.
  • Travel costs for the trainer, including airfare or mileage, lodging, meals, and local transportation, if needed.
  • Maximum of $125/hour for 12 to 24 months for telephone consultation for each school site. The fee is negotiated with the selected OBPP Trainer and includes the cost of phone calls. Consultation is required for schools to coach leadership teams to implement with fidelity.
  • If two trainers are present (required when 3 schools' BPCCs are being trained at one time), fees may increase accordingly, up to a maximum of $4,500 for the 2-day training. (No more than 3 schools may be trained at one time without prior permission from program leaders.) For more information, visit
  • If there is a need for further training in following years, the trainer/consultant fees will be determined per agreed upon contract for the work required.

Training Certification Process

Costs for the Trainer Certification Course (TCC) to develop training and consultation expertise locally within district for sustainability:

The cost of participation in the TCC is $3,925, which includes:

  • 40 hours of training
    • Part I (prepares participants to train BPCCs (leadership teams)).
    • Part II (focuses on consultation skills for sustaining program with fidelity).
  • Participation in regular phone consultation with an Olweus Technical Assistance Consultant (OTAC) (12-15 hours of consultation over a 24-month period).
  • One complete set of OBPP program materials plus additional trainer/consultant materials for use when training BPCCs, educators and staff and program implementation guidance.
  • Access to the trainer-only section of the OBPP website and access to ongoing program communications.

The price does not include costs of travel, lodging or meals associated with either training session, or program materials needed for school-level implementation (committee and staff training). Those who have had training costs paid by their district or state usually provide training to BPCCs and school staff at no cost; this training and consultation may become a part of their job responsibilities.

Requirements for Certification, Trainer/Consultant Application Packets, scheduled TCC locations and upcoming dates are available at

Following Part 1 of the training, it usually takes an individual two years to achieve full certification. Certification of OBPP Trainers/Consultants lasts for three years. Trainers must then participate in a recertification protocol. Recertification cost is $325 for an additional three year period. Recertification is done on-line through Clemson University.

Brief Evaluation Methodology

All studies have used quasi-experimental designs. The original Norway study and several subsequent replications used comparisons of adjacent age-cohorts. All but the Toronto, Ireland, and most recent Oslo studies had comparison groups, but none used random assignment to treatment and comparison groups. The primary sources of data for evaluations presented were self-report data using the Bully/Victim Questionnaire (or a modified version of it) and teacher surveys.

Study 13

Limber et al. (2018) evaluated the program in a quasi-experimental extended age cohort design in which posttest results for one cohort were compared to pretest results for the previous cohort for students in the same grade and same school. Bullying and being bullied by others, as well as two risk and protective factors for bullying, were measured at baseline and for up to three consecutive years following the beginning of the intervention, though most schools only completed assessments at baseline and two years after baseline.

Peer Implementation Sites

Stark County, Ohio
Maureen Capellas
Olweus Bullying Prevention Program Coordinator Stark County ESC
2100 38th Street NW
Canton, OH 44709
Phone: (330) 492-8136 ext.1585
Fax: (330) 491-9731

Everardo Marquez, Principal
Sherwood Elementary School
110 S. Wood St. Salinas, CA, 93905
Fax # 831 751-3616


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Bauer, N.S., Lozano, P., & Rivara, F.P. (2007). The effectiveness of the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program in public middle schools: A controlled trial. Journal of Adolescent Health, 40(3), 266-274.

Bowllan, N. M. (2011). Implementation and evaluation of a comprehensive, school-wide bullying prevention program in an urban/suburban middle school. Journal of School Health, 81(4), 167-173.

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Melton, G. B., Limber, S. P., Cunningham, P., Osgood, D. W., Chambers, J., Flerx, V., ... Nation, M. (1998). Violence among rural youth. Final report to the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. Washington, DC: Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.

Limber, S. P., Olweus, D., Massiello, M., Molnar-Main, S., & Moore, D. (2012). Evaluation of the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program in a large scale study in Pennsylvania. Unpublished.

O'Moore, A. M., & Minton, S.J. (2005). Evaluation of the effectiveness of an anti-bullying programme in primary schools. Aggressive Behavior, 31, 609-622.

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Olweus, D. (1992). Bullying among school children: Intervention and prevention. In R.D. Peters, R.J. McMahon, & V.L. Quinsey (eds.), Aggression and violence throughout the life span(pp.100-125). Newbury Park, CA: Sage Publications.

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Olweus, D., & Alsaker, F. D. (1991). Assessing change in a cohort-longitudinal study with hierarchical data. In D. Magnusson, L.R. Bergman, G. Rudinger, & B. Torestad (Eds.), Problems and methods in longitudinal research: Stability and change(pp. 107-132). New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.

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Whitney, I., Rivers, I., Smith, P. K., & Sharp, S. (1994). The Sheffield Project: Methodology and findings. In P.K. Smith and S. Sharp (eds.), School bullying: Insights and perspectives(pp. 20-56). London, England: Routledge.

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