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Green Dot

Evidence rating
2
Cost rating
Review: February 2023

Note on provider involvement: This provider has agreed to EIF’s terms of reference, and the assessment has been conducted and published with the full cooperation of the programme provider.

Green Dot High School Strategy (Green Dot) is a school-based programme for children between the ages of 14 and 18. It is delivered in secondary school and aims to teach young people the knowledge and skill necessary to intervene safely when faced with concerning behaviours and engage in pro-social behaviours to prevent harm from happening.

  • Green Dot aims to instil in students intrinsic motivation to recognise and respond to behaviours that may constitute dating violence, sexual violence, bullying, or other behaviours that may be immediate precursors to these types of violence.
  • The programme is designed to target all students in a school setting ages 14 to 18.
  • Green Dot is delivered to groups of children/young people. The number of sessions is dependent on the size of the population, with the length of sessions ranging from one to six hours. Using a wide array of individual and group activities such as brief lectures, group discussions, role play, individual writing prompts, small group discussions, use of videos, and multiple choice polling questions

EIF Programme Assessment

Evidence rating
2

Green Dot has preliminary evidence of improving a child outcome, but we cannot be confident that the programme caused the improvement.

What does the evidence rating mean?

Level 2 indicates that the programme has evidence of improving a child outcome from a study involving at least 20 participants, representing 60% of the sample, using validated instruments. 

This programme does not receive a rating of 3 as its best evidence is not from a rigorously conducted RCT or QED evaluation.

What does the plus mean?

The plus rating indicates that a programme’s best available evidence is based on an evaluation that is more rigorous than a level 2 standard but does not meet the criteria for level 3. 

Cost rating

Child outcomes

According to the best available evidence for this programme's impact, it can achieve the following positive outcomes for children:

Preventing crime, violence and antisocial behaviour

based on
based on
Green Dot

Key programme characteristics

Who is it for?

The best available evidence for this programme relates to the following age-groups:

  • Adolescents

How is it delivered?

The best available evidence for this programme relates to implementation through these delivery models:

  • Group

Where is it delivered?

The best available evidence for this programme relates to its implementation in these settings:

  • Secondary school

How is it targeted?

The best available evidence for this programme relates to its implementation as:

  • Universal

Where has it been implemented?

Sweden, United States, United Kingdom, Brazil

UK provision

This programme has been implemented in the UK.

UK evaluation

This programme’s best evidence does not include evaluation conducted in the UK.

Spotlight sets

EIF includes this programme in the following Spotlight sets:

  • School-based social & emotional learning
Green Dot

About the programme

What happens during delivery?

How is it delivered?

  • Green Dot is delivered over multiple years. 
  • Sessions last between one and six hours duration each 
  • The programme is delivered to groups of 25-35 young people
What happens during the intervention?

Green Dot aims to instil in students intrinsic motivation to recognise and respond to behaviours that may constitute dating violence, sexual violence, bullying, or other behaviours that may be immediate precursors to these types of violence. It aims to equip students with knowledge and skills to intervene in order to: reduce harm after possible violence has started, reduce the likelihood that it will happen again, and reduce the likelihood that it will happen at all. The intervention also intends to teach realistic pro-social behaviours that would establish two school norms: (1) dating violence, sexual assault and bullying will not be tolerated, and (2) everyone is expected to do their part.
The programme consists of two parts:

  • Annual 50-minute Green Dot speeches delivered schoolwide for four years; 
  • A five-hour bystander training ( starting Y2) delivered to ‘student leaders’ identified by the educators and school staff. ​ 

What are the implementation requirements?

Who can deliver it?

Not available

What are the training requirements?

Not available

How are the practitioners supervised?

Not available

What are the systems for maintaining fidelity?

Not available

Is there a licensing requirement?

Not available

How does it work? (Theory of Change)

How does it work?

  • The programme aims to teach young people the knowledge and skills necessary to intervene safely when faced with concerning behaviours and engage in pro-social behaviours to prevent harm from happening in the first place.  
  • In the short term, young people will be able to show increased recognition of warning signs for interpersonal violence including sexual assault and dating violence, increased bystander intervention behaviours, and increased pro-social behaviours that make interpersonal violence less likely in their peer environment.  
  • In the longer term, young people will be less likely to perpetrate or experience interpersonal violence.
Intended outcomes

Preventing crime, violence and antisocial behaviour

Contact details

Green Dot

About the evidence

Green Dot High School Strategy’s (Green Dot) most rigorous evidence comes from a cluster-RCT which was conducted in the US. 

This study identified statistically significant positive impact on a number of child outcomes, relating to: 

  • Preventing crime, violence and antisocial behaviour 

This programme is underpinned by one study with an Level 2+ rating, hence the programme receives a Level 2+ rating overall.

Study 1

Citation: Coker et al., 2017; Cook-Craig et al., 2014
Design: RCT
Country: United States
Sample: Twenty-six high schools were randomly assigned to treatment (n = 13 schools, 8 228 students at baseline) or to a control group (n = 13 schools, 8 281 students at baseline). At baseline, both groups reported similar sociodemographic characteristics, that is, more than half (54%) were female, almost a third were freshman students, almost half (45%) were in receipt of free or reduced meals, and the majority (more than 80%) of their respective samples were White.
Timing: Post-test (conducted annually for four years)
Child outcomes: Lower sexual violence perpetration rates
Lower sexual violence victimisation rates
Other outcomes: None measured
Study rating: 2+

Coker, A. L., Bush, H. M., Cook-Craig, P. G., DeGue, S. A., Clear, E. R., Brancato, C. J., Fisher, B. S., & Recktenwald, E. A. (2017). RCT testing bystander effectiveness to reduce violence.” American journal of preventive medicine, 52(5), 566-578. 
Available at: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.amepre.2017.01.020 

Cook-Craig, P. G., Coker, A. L., Clear, E. R., Garcia, L. S., Bush, H. M., Brancato, C. J., Williams, C. M., & Fisher, B. S. (2014). Challenge and opportunity in evaluating a diffusion-based active bystanding prevention program: Green dot in high schools. Violence Against Women, 20(10), 1179-1202.
Available at: https://doi.org/10.1177/1077801214551288

Study design and sample

The first study is a cluster-RCT. 

This study involved random assignment of schools to a Green Dot treatment group and a usual care group. This study was conducted in the US. 

Measures

  • Perpetration of sexual violence was measured using items based on the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS) (​child self-report​). 
  • Perpetration of sexual violence was measured using items based on the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS) (​child self-report​). 
  • Perpetration of sexual harassment was measured using items based on the Sexual Experiences Questionnaire (SEQ) (​child self-report​). 
  • Perpetration of stalking was measured using items based on the National Violence Against Women Survey (​child self-report​). 
  • Perpetration of psychological violence in a dating relationship was measured using items based on the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS) (​child self-report​). 
  • Victimisation of sexual violence of sexual violence was measured using items based on the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS) (​child self-report​). 
  • Victimisation of sexual harassment was measured using items based on the Sexual Experiences Questionnaire (SEQ) (​child self-report​). 
  • Victimisation of stalking was measured using items based on the National Violence Against Women Survey (​child self-report​).  
  • Victimisation of physical violence in a dating relationship was measured using items based on the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS) (​child self-report​).
  • Victimisation of psychological violence in a dating relationship was measured using items based on the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS) (​child self-report​). 
  • Measures of violence effects outcomes of unwanted sex or physical violence in a dating relationship were measured using items based on the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS) (​child self-report​). 

Findings 

This study identified statistically significant positive impact on a number of ​child​ outcomes. 

This includes: 

  • Lower sexual violence perpetration rates 
  • Lower sexual violence victimisation rates 
The conclusions that can be drawn from this study are limited by methodological issues pertaining to a lack of clarity in terms of attrition and a lack of clarity around whether the treatment and control group have continued to be equivalent on baseline characteristics after attrition, hence why a higher rating is not achieved.
More Less about study 1

Other studies

The following studies were identified for this programme but did not count towards the programme's overall evidence rating. A programme receives the same rating as its most robust study or studies.

Coker, A. L., Bush, H. M., Cook-Craig, P. G., DeGue, S. A., Clear, E. R., Brancato, C. J., & Recktenwald, E. A. (2017). RCT testing bystander effectiveness to reduce violence. American journal of preventive medicine, 52(5), 566-578. 

Coker, A. L., Bush, H. M., Brancato, C. J., Clear, E. R., & Recktenwald, E. A. (2019). Bystander program effectiveness to reduce violence acceptance: RCT in high schools. Journal of family violence, 34(3), 153-164. 

Coker, A. L., Bush, H. M., Clear, E. R., Brancato, C. J., & McCauley, H. L. (2020a). Bystander program effectiveness to reduce violence and violence acceptance within sexual minority male and female high school students using a cluster RCT. Prevention science, 21(3), 434-444. 

Coker, A. L., Bush, H. M., Brancato, C. J., Huang, Z., Clear, E. R., & Follingstad, D. R. (2020b). Longer term impact of bystander training to reduce violence acceptance and sexism. Journal of school violence, 19(4), 525-538. 

Bush, Heather M., Ann L. Coker, Sarah DeGue, Emily R. Clear, Candace J. Brancato, and Bonnie S. Fisher (2021). "Do violence acceptance and bystander actions explain the effects of Green Dot on reducing violence perpetration in high schools?." Journal of interpersonal violence 36, no. 21-22. 

Coker, Ann L., Heather M. Bush, Zhengyan Huang, Candace J. Brancato, Emily R. Clear, and Diane R. Follingstad (2021). "How does Green Dot bystander training in high school and beyond impact attitudes toward violence and sexism in a prospective cohort?" Journal of interpersonal violence.

Mennicke, A., Bush, H. M., Brancato, C. J., & Coker, A. L. (2021). Bystander intervention efficacy to reduce teen dating violence among high school youth who did and did not witness parental partner violence: a path analysis of a cluster RCT. Journal of family violence, 36(7), 755-771. 

Coker, A. L., Cook-Craig, P. G., Williams, C. M., Fisher, B. S., Clear, E. R., Garcia, L. S., & Hegge, L. M. (2011). Evaluation of Green Dot: An active bystander intervention to reduce sexual violence on college campuses. Violence against women, 17(6), 777-796. 

Coker, A. L., Fisher, B. S., Bush, H. M., Swan, S. C., Williams, C. M., Clear, E. R., & DeGue, S. (2015). Evaluation of the Green Dot bystander intervention to reduce interpersonal violence among college students across three campuses. Violence against women, 21(12), 1507-1527. 

Starnes, C. P. (2016). Evaluating a Bystander Intervention Program on Reproductive Coercion: Using Quasi-experimental Design Strategies to Address Methodologic Issues in Randomized Community Prevention Trials. Theses and Dissertations--Epidemiology and Biostatistics, 10. https://uknowledge.uky.edu/epb_etds/10

Banyard, V., Edwards, K., & Rizzo, A. (2019). “What would the neighbors do?” Measuring sexual and domestic violence prevention social norms among youth and adults. Journal of community psychology, 47(8), 1817-1833. 

Banyard, V. L., Edwards, K. M., Rizzo, A. J., Rothman, E. F., Greenberg, P., & Kearns, M. C. (2020). Improving social norms and actions to prevent sexual and intimate partner violence: a pilot study of the impact of green dot community on youth. Journal of Prevention and Health Promotion, 1(2), 183-211. 

Coker, A. L., Bush, H. M., Fisher, B. S., Swan, S. C., Williams, C. M., Clear, E. R., & DeGue, S. (2016). Multi-college bystander intervention evaluation for violence prevention. American journal of preventive medicine, 50(3), 295-302. 

Kelly, M., & Wilkinson, L. (2018). Implementing the green dot bystander intervention program to promote respectful workplaces in the construction trades in Oregon (No. NITC-RR-1078). National Institute for Transportation and Communities (NITC)

Hollis, B. F. (2018). A Single Campus Study of the Green Dot Bystander Intervention Program. Dissertation, Psychology, Old Dominion University, DOI: 10.25777/nxdf-fe81

Cooper, C. (2018). Bystander Intervention: Examining Recognition and Response to Sexual Violence on a College Campus. Dissertation, Education Foundation, Leadership, and Technology. Auburn University. http://etd.auburn.edu/handle/10415/6346 

Cristofano, J. (2014). Bystander Behaviors and Attitudes in College Students Before and After Green Dot Bystander Intervention Training. Psychology Honors Papers. 47. https://digitalcommons.conncoll.edu/psychhp/47

Yaakoby, N. R. (2018). Reducing Power Based Personal Violence With The Implementation of the Green Dot Initiative at Kalamazoo College. Doctoral dissertation, Kalamazoo College. 

Azam, M. T., Bush, H. M., Coker, A. L., & Westgate, P. M. (2021). Effect sizes and intra-cluster correlation coefficients measured from the Green Dot High School study for guiding sample size calculations when designing future violence prevention cluster randomized trials in school settings. Contemporary clinical trials communications, 23, 100831. 

Davidov, D. M., Hill, K., Bush, H. M., & Coker, A. L. (2020). The green light for Green Dot: a qualitative study of factors influencing adoption of an efficacious violence prevention program in high school settings. Violence against women, 26(12-13), 1701-1726. 

Published March 2024