IVDB Annual Update 2009

Update and Progress Report on IVDB Activities and Achievements
July 2009

University of Oregon
Institute on Violence and Destructive Behavior
Oregon Center on School Safety
Clinical Services Building, Floor 3
Telephone (541) 346‐3592
Website: http://uoregon.edu/~ivdb/
Jeffrey R. Sprague and Hill M. Walker, Co‐Directors

    The Institute on Violence and Destructive Behavior (IVDB) celebrated its fifteenth
anniversary this spring as an OUS‐authorized research institute. As a designated Oregon
University System Center of Excellence, this branding means that the University of Oregon is
considered to be the lead institution of the OUS campus network in the areas of violence
prevention and school safety. In the past fourteen years, the IVDB and its programs have
developed and maintained a strong statewide presence; demonstrated substantive national
and international leadership based on the excellence and value of their research and outreach
activities and its investigators have been recognized internationally for their expertise and
    The mission of the Institute is to empower schools and social service agencies to
address violence and destructive behavior, at the point of school entry and beyond, in order to
ensure safety and to facilitate the academic achievement and healthy social development of
children and youth. IVDB personnel study the developmental trajectories, and risk‐protective
factors and interventions that are related to the prevention of violence, school failure,
delinquency and other destructive outcomes among at‐risk children and adolescents from
diverse communities and cultures. IVDB research and outreach activities encompass the
    1. Translating evidence‐based, technical knowledge and procedures into consumer
friendly forms that practitioners can use in applied, culturally diverse contexts;
    2. Conducting original research on tools and interventions that make schools and
communities safer, healthier, and more effective and violence free;
    3. Using social marketing and best practices in dissemination to promote adoption,
implementation and maintenance of evidence‐based best professional practices;
    4. Sharing our expertise through legislative testimony, outreach training, and technical
assistance provided to federal and state legislative bodies, policy centers, state and local
education agencies, and other public and private agencies serving at‐risk children and youth and their families;
    5. Training and coaching key implementation agents who serve as collaborative partners
for our intervention programs located in school districts and social service agencies in Oregon, across the United States, and internationally. And,
    6. Supporting the academic mission of the University and the College of Education by
integrating knowledge gained in our research and outreach activities into undergraduate and
graduate classes, academic advising, and university service.

Expertise Areas
    The IVDB is a tightly focused, cohesive organization that has attracted individuals who,
collectively, have a broad range of expertise in addressing the needs of at‐risk children and
youth and who are dedicated to making schools safe, effective settings for student learning and social‐emotional development. Attachment 1 lists current IVDB expertise areas.

IVDB Current Status, Progress, and Achievements
    This update describes our collective research, development, and outreach activities of
the past several years, including key training and technical assistance efforts that have been
focused on the prevention and treatment of antisocial, and sometimes violent, behavior among
behaviorally at‐risk children and youth. Seminal IVDB achievements are noted herein, as are
emerging, future areas of IVDB influence and impact.

IVDB Grant Awards
    The IVDB has been able to secure a diverse portfolio of competitively‐awarded,
externally‐funded grants and contracts during its brief history. The IVDB was initially funded in 1994 with a $70,000 start‐up investment by the U of O under the aegis of Stead Upham, then Vice Provost for Research. This initial investment provided critical capacity to leverage funding and to compete successfully in grant competitions from a range of federal agencies. To date, the IVBD has received competitively‐awarded funding from the following agencies:
* The National Institute of Child Health and Development
* The National Institute on Drug Abuse (National Institutes of Health)
* The U.S. Office of Special Education Programs
* The U.S. Department of Education, Institute on Education Sciences
* The U.S. Agency for Children, Youth and Families
* The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
* The U.S. Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention
* The U.S. Office of Safe and Drug Free Schools
* The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
* The Institute for Education Sciences
* The National Institute of Mental Health
* The Bureau of Indian Affairs, Bureau of Indian Education
* The Oregon Department of Education
* The Oregon Governor’s Juvenile Crime Prevention Commission
* The Oregon Commission on Children and Families
* The California State Department of Education
* The Mississippi State Department of Education
* The Nebraska State Department of Education
* The Texas State Department of Education
* The Deschutes County Commission on Children and Families
* The Small Business Administration Through its SBIR Program
* The Lane County Council of Governments
* The UO Center for Women in Society
* Multiple Oregon school districts and school districts in other states

    The diversity of funding support represented here is a cherished accomplishment of the
IVDB and reflects the skills, expertise and creativity of IVDB investigators as well as the breadth and range of their activities and accomplishments. This portfolio also confirms the value of our contributions and competitiveness in addressing Oregon’s social agenda and national priorities in our field. It also documents the range of valuable working relationships forged by the IVDB within the State of Oregon and across the U.S. involving grant and contractual arrangements as compensation for the delivery of our expertise, programs, and products. This recognition of the IVDB as a community resource and an international leader in these areas is a harbinger of our continued growth and development in meeting the needs of the state and nation and leading the U of O and College of Education's research and outreach mission.

    We also have partnerships and cooperative working relationships with a number of
agencies and organizations in Lane County and the State of Oregon. These include: The
Oregon Governor’s Office; The Oregon Department of Education; The Oregon Youth
Authority; The Oregon Juvenile Justice Directors Association; The Oregon Citizen’s Crime Commission; The California Department of Education; Los Angeles Unified School District; The Nebraska Department of Education; The New Mexico Department of Education; The New Mexico Children Youth and Families Department (Juvenile Justice); Multiple Oregon and other State School Districts; The Lane Education Service District (ESD); The Linn Benton Lincoln ESD; The Mid‐Valley Partnership (Marion and Polk counties); Self Enhancement Incorporated; The Committee for Children; The Oregon Social Learning Center; The Oregon Research Institute; The Lane County Department of Youth Services; The Oregon Attorney General’s Office; The Emerald Valley Boys and Girls Clubs; IRIS Media, Inc.; The San Diego Center for Children; the Douglas County Commission on Children and Families; and, Looking Glass Youth and Family Services. Each of these entities shares the IVDB goal of protecting our children and youth from risk factors and promoting their healthy development through the enhancement and strengthening of protective influences.

Collaborating Faculty
An impressive group of U of O investigators, and researchers from other universities,
continue to collaborate through the IVDB in producing research, refereed journal articles,
position papers, book chapters and other materials that define best practices in preventing
antisocial and violent behaviors in schools and communities. In the past few years, IVDB affiliated faculty have produced books addressing the topics of violence prevention, school
safety, and making schools more effective in meeting the challenges posed by behaviorally atrisk and failing students. They include the following titles: (1) Making Schools Safer and
Violence Free: Critical Issues, Solutions, and Recommended Practices, by Hill Walker and
Michael Epstein, PRO‐ED, Inc. (2001); (2) Safe School Design: A Handbook for Educational Leaders, by Tod Schneider, Hill Walker, and Jeffrey Sprague, ERIC Clearinghouse on Educational Management, University of Oregon (2001); (3) Interventions for Academic and Behavior Problems II: Preventive and Remedial Approaches, by Mark Shinn, Hill Walker, and Gary Stoner, National Association of School Psychologists (January, 2002), (4) Safe and Healthy Schools: Practical Prevention Strategies (January 2005), a book on school safety by Jeffrey Sprague, Hill Walker, Vicki Nishioka and Stephen Smith published by Guilford Publications School Practitioner Series (edited by our COE colleague Ken Merrell), (5) Best Behavior: Building Positive Behavior Supports in Schools is guidebook for positive behavioral interventions and supports from Sopris West Publishing, authored by Jeffrey Sprague and Annemieke Golly (2004), (6) Hill Walker completed the second edition of Antisocial Behavior in Schools: Strategies and Best Practices with Betsy Ramsey and Frank Gresham (2005), and (7) Jeffrey Sprague published RTI and behavior: A guide to integrating behavioral and academic supports with Diana Browning‐Wright, Clayton Cook and Carol Sadler (2008). In 2009 Jeffrey Sprague co‐authored a book with Jorge Varela and Cecila Tijmes for Chilean Educators called Paz Educa Programa de prevención de la violencia escolar. These books are valuable in helping to establish the credibility and influence of the IVDB within these critically‐important areas to our society.
    In addition, we continue to work with faculty in the COE and across the university and
nation to develop new proposals for funding that coincide with the IVDB's mission, focus, and
goals. Key collaborating faculty are listed here:
    Anthony Biglan, Ph.D. (Oregon Research Institute), Shawn Boles, Ph.D. (Oregon
Research Institute), Michael Bullis, Ph.D.; Daniel Close, Ph.D.; Thomas Dishion, Ph.D. (UO
Family Resource Center), Debra Eisert, Ph.D.; Dennis Embry, Ph.D. (Paxis Institute), Michael
Epstein, Ph.D. (University of Nebraska, Lincoln); Edward Feil, Ph.D. (Oregon Research
Institute; Brian Flay (Oregon State University) Annemieke Golly, Ph.D. (Oregon Research
Institute; Mark Greenberg, Ph.D. (Pennsylvania State University); Frank Gresham, Ph.D.
(Louisiana State University); Robert Horner, Ph.D.; Peter Jensen, M.D. (Columbia University);
Mark Katz, Ph.D. (San Diego Center for Children), Carol Metzler, Ph.D. (Oregon Research
Institute); Vicki Nishioka, Ph.D. (Education Northwest); John Reid, Ph.D. (Oregon Social
Learning Center); Julie Rusby, Ph.D. (Oregon Research Institute); Herbert Severson, Ph.D.
(Oregon Research Institute; Mark Shinn, Ph.D. (University of Chicago); Steve Stieber, Ph.D.;
Beth Stormshak, Ph.D.; George Sugai, Ph.D. (University of Conneticut); Tary Tobin, Ph.D.; and Richard Zeller, Ph.D.

IVDB Highlights
    The ensuing highlights reflect the competence and commitment of all who contribute to
and support the work of the IVDB. Only selected highlights from the recent past are presented here.
    Jeffrey Sprague received two Goal 2 grants from the U.S. Department of Education, Institute on Education Sciences through Iris Media, Inc. Jeff is partnering as a Co‐Investigator with Brion Marquez at Iris media to develop and test the feasibility of two state of the art online staff development programs. Online School Staff Training: Establishing Positive Behavior Supports in Elementary School Instructional Settings is funded by the Institute for Education Science, National Center on Special Education Research. We are developing an online video, coaching and fidelity assessment system to assist Kindergarten  through grade 3 teachers to implement Positive Behavior Support practices in their classrooms. Online Teacher Training: Promoting Student Social Competence to Improve Academic and Behavioral Outcomes in Grades K – 3 is funded by the Institute for Education Science, National Center on Educational Research. We are developing and testing an online universal screening application and an associated skills curriculum matched to the assessment.
    Hill Walker is also collaborating with Jeff Sprague, Brion Marquez, and Pam Yeaton in
implementing these two projects over the next three years. In October, Iris Media submitted a new online IES Goal 2 grant to develop an integrated, online school and home module that will strengthen connections between families and educators in the enhancement of students’
school success. Pam Yeaton and Hill Walker will serve as Co‐Principal Investigators on this new application should it be funded.
    Jeffrey Sprague and Pamela Yeaton are conducting two Safe Schools/Healthy Students Evaluations. The IVDB has a broad portfolio of program evaluation activities, and we have recently received two additional local evaluation contracts for the coveted four‐year Safe Schools/Healthy Students initiative funded by the U.S. Department of Education and the
Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration. IVDB staff members co‐design and
implement a complex evaluation logic model focusing on schools, police, mental health
providers, students and family members.
    Jeffrey Sprague and Stephen Smith are conducting a randomized trial of the
Systematic Supervision program with Iris Media. Through a grant from the National Institutes of Health, Jeff and Stephen are collaborating with our development partners at Iris Media to conduct a large scale randomized trial of the efficacy of the Systematic Supervision program. This Phase II project is being conducted in 40 elementary schools across the country.
    Jeffrey Sprague is a co‐investigator for an NIH study on middle school Teacher
wellbeing. Jeff is a co‐investigator on this project with Drs. Anthony Biglan (principal
investigator) and Laura Backen Jones of the Oregon Research Institute. The project will conduct an experimental evaluation of a series of acceptance‐focused workshops for reducing teacher distress, increasing school collegiality, and improving implementation of behavior support strategies for middle school teachers. This is the first study of its kind focused on middle school teachers and will lead us to better understand how to help them move from adoption to implementation and maintanence of effective prevention practices.
    Jeffrey Sprague received a 5‐year R01 grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse to conduct the first ever randomized trial of Positive Behavior Supports in Oregon Middle Schools. The National Institute on Drug Abuse‐funded research project will experimentally evaluate the impact of PBS on early adolescent development through a randomized control trial involving 36 middle schools. The impact of PBS on school staff discipline practices and student behavior will be evaluated. The study will examine whether the likely reductions in negative behavior in school are accompanied by reductions in peer harassment and victimization, peer rejection, deviant peer formation, and the development of antisocial behavior, substance use, high risk sexual behavior, and depression.
    Hill Walker is collaborating with investigators at the Oregon Research Institute, the
University of Louisville School of Social Work, and Deschutes Research, Inc. of Eugene on three new grants focused on the First Step to Success early intervention program. Ed Feil and Hill Walker are co‐project directors of a 5‐year research award from the National Institute of Child Health and Development to investigate the efficacy of the preschool version of the First Step program. A second, 3‐year goal 2 grant from the IES is focused on development and validation of an enhanced version of the HomeBase parent component of the First Step program that will address the needs and problems of children having severe behavioral challenges of an externalizing nature. Finally, a phase one STTR grant has been received by Deschutes Research, Inc. to develop an interactive, online module that would allow professionals to train themselves in implementation of the First Step program. John Seeley, Herb Severson, Annemieke Golly, Bonnie Seibert and Hill Walker are the principal investigators on this grant. If phase one is successful, an application will be made for a more comprehensive, phase two development grant to finalize the module and to conduct an evaluation of its efficacy and acceptability to consumers.
    Jeffrey Sprague and Pamela Yeaton have completed an evaluation of Self‐
Enhancement Incorporated, a nationally recognized program in Portland serving primarily
African‐American children and youth. IVDB is providing an ongoing evaluation to illustrate the
individual and collective impact of SEI programs on the lives of identified students, families, and staff members. The results will be used to rigorously document SEI program outcomes, and to inform the development of the information/data system (being separately contracted between SEI and Social Solutions), specifically assisting in the development of data‐based decision rules for program improvement.
    Sprague is also leading the development of their staff development model to expand SEI
services in Portland, and to replicate the program in other U.S. cities. SEI currently serves over 2500 children and youth in the Portland, Oregon area.
    Hill Walker, Herb Seversen, & Annemieke Golly received a 4‐year IES grant, in the
amount of 4.5 million dollars to conduct a randomized trial of the First Step to Success early intervention program for antisocial children (Walker et al., 1997) within the Albuquerque, New Mexico public schools. This grant also includes an annual subcontract to the U of O ECS program, directed by Rob Horner, to conduct a series of concurrent studies on implementation issues associated with the program. This grant provided support for a large scale randomized control trial of the First Step to Success early intervention program within the Albuquerque Public Schools. This center grant concluded on Sept. 30, 2009 and has generated a diverse, comprehensive data base that will results in numerous publications of study outcomes over the next few years. The main effects outcomes of the RCT will be published in a forthcoming issue of the Journal of Emotional and Behavioral Disorders.
    Jeffrey Sprague and Stephen Smith have completed a project with Research Triangle Incorporated to test School wide Positive Behavior Supports in a national randomized trial of “violence prevention” U.S. Middle Schools in Combination with Responding in Peaceful and Positive Ways (RIPP) (Northrup et al.). Best Behavior is a positive behavior supports staff development curriculum that includes methods for school wide, classroom, common area, individual student and family supports. Best Behavior will provide the structure, training and tools to support the school wide intervention component. In this project Best Behavior will be used in conjunction with Responding in Peaceful and Positive Ways (RIPP) a classroom‐based curriculum designed to teach a positive approach to conflict resolution.
    Jeffrey Sprague continues to collaborate with Anthony Biglan, Thomas Dishion, Carol Metzler and others on an NIH Center on the Prevention of Behavior Problems in Middle
Adolescence. Center researchers conduct high quality research on the development,
treatment, and prevention of problems of early adolescence and the effective dissemination of empirically based interventions in order to ensure successful social and academic development of all adolescents and to bring about a measurable reduction in the prevalence of adolescents with psychological or behavioral problems. The Center will also disseminate improved methods for research on early adolescence and build a comprehensive program for new investigator development.
    Jeffrey Sprague contributes to international prevention initiatives. Jeffrey Sprague has worked with the Behavioral Research Center in Norway (www.atferd.unirand.no/ ) to train and consult on a quasi‐experimental trial of PBS in Norwegian elementary schools. The success of the original experiment resulted in the Norwegian government consenting to support a major scaling up of PBS in Norway with a goal of implementing in 200 schools over the next three years. This project has included translating the highly successful School‐Wide Information System (www.swis.org) into Norwegian. Jeff is grateful to Jerry Patterson, Marion Forgatch and Nancy Bank of Oregon Social Learning Center for facilitating this relationship.
    Jeffrey Sprague recently traveled to Santiago, Chile at the request of the Fundacion Paz
Ciudadana to assist them in starting and implementing a school violence prevention project in
three schools in one of the poorest municipalities in Santiago. Puente Alto is southeast of
downtown Santiago and the project schools were selected based on a number of factors,
including the density of delinquent youth, poverty, single parent households, and neighborhood
crime. While there, Jeff visited the three schools to get acquainted and to provide an
introductory presentation, and he also presented to about 200 school administrators, mental
health professionals, and the Mayor of Puente Alto. Jeff will return in the winter of 2010 to help them kick off a three year intervention project and will consult with the Fundacion regularly as they design their project. Jeff also published a book with his Chilean colleagues describing the PBS intervention and it’s adaptation to Chilean culture.
    Jeffrey Sprague and Stephen Smith have an ongoing collaboration with the California Department of Education to implement School Wide Positive Behavior Supports, for over 400 schools in California. This initiative will continue this year with advanced training, and training of trainers/coaches in California special education regions. Sprague assisted the CDE to successfully apply for an OSEP State Improvement Grant to enhance and expand Positive
Behavior Supports in schools and school districts across the state.
    IVDB continues to develop partnerships and compacts with agencies and school
districts that empower us to engage in broad‐based prevention and intervention efforts.
IVDB faculty continue to work collaboratively with local school districts, state and local police
agencies, state and local departments of youth services, and OUS institutions to develop, fund, and implement prevention and treatment programs for at‐risk and antisocial youth in schools and communities.
The IVDB as a COE Resource to Faculty and Students
    The IVDB views one of its key roles as serving in a resource capacity to support the
research related needs of COE faculty and students. All faculty members are invited to
collaborate with IVDB investigators in designing research initiatives and in the development submission of grant applications to competitive requests for proposals opportunities from
federal agencies. IVDB faculty has worked with a number of younger faculty members in this
effort over the last several years. We urge graduate students to discuss possible dissertation
topics with IVDB project directors and to apply for GTFs and research assistantships when they are available.
Emerging Areas of IVDB Activity and Impact
    The IVDB has emerged as a state and national leader in the area of school safety. We
expect that the IVDB’s stature and influence will continue to expand in this area.
    Finally, perhaps reflecting the IVDB's growing maturity and impact, Jeff Sprague and Hill
Walker have been approached by sites in Southern California, Idaho, Nebraska, and Chile about the possibilities of establishing IVDB satellites. These sites represent, respectively, (1) a private residential setting for tertiary‐level children and youth that provides outreach technical
assistance to school districts and other agencies, (2) a semi‐public facility serving secondary and tertiary‐level children and youth across three levels of care (day treatment, regular
residential, and secure treatment) that also provides outreach staff development training to
school‐based personnel, (3) a public school district that wishes to increase its capacity for
serving effectively the full range of at‐risk children and youth, and (4) foundations and
government agencies in Chile that have a goal of translating IVDB products for use in the Latin
world. In each case, these sites wish to become certified trainers of others in IVDB interventions and to be able to broker their services to local and regional consumers. This development will require us to develop rules and specifications as to how best to manage such partnership arrangements.
Appreciation of IVDB research and support staff
    The IVDB is blessed with a competent and committed research and support staff
members who carry out the daily tasks of operating each grant, manage fiscal and personnel
resources, keep our computers running, and make the IVDB a great place to work. We thank
them all heartily for their ongoing contributions to the success of the IVDB.
    We also are blessed with a competent and dedicated research staff, including (in
alphabetical order) Jeremy Jones, Sarah Pedersen, Heather Robbins, Stephen Smith, Steve
Stieber, and Pam Yeaton.
Looking forward to another great year
    We are looking forward to another productive year of IVDB activities, which will include
building new relationships and providing local, state, national and international leadership in
our areas of expertise. Again, we welcome both incoming and current students‐faculty
interested in collaborating with us to contact either Jeffrey Sprague or Hill Walker at 346‐3592.