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01-10-2009 | Uitgave 7/2009

Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology 7/2009

Modeling the Bullying Prevention Program Preferences of Educators: A Discrete Choice Conjoint Experiment

Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology > Uitgave 7/2009
Charles E. Cunningham, Tracy Vaillancourt, Heather Rimas, Ken Deal, Lesley Cunningham, Kathy Short, Yvonne Chen
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Dr. Cunningham is Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences, and the Jack Laidlaw Chair in Patient-Centred Health Care. Dr. Vaillancourt is Associate Professor, Canada Research Chair, Faculty of Education and School of Psychology. Dr. Deal is Associate Professor of Strategic Market Leadership and Health Services Management. This project was supported by a Community University Research Alliance Grant form the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and the Jack Laidlaw Chair in Patient-Centred Health at McMaster University Faculty of Health Sciences. The authors would like to express their appreciation to the school boards and educators that supported this project and for the editorial assistance provided by Donna Bohaychuk, Stephanie Mielko, and Jenna Ratcliff. Address correspondence to Charles E. Cunningham, McMaster Children’s Hospital, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, L8P 1B3. Electronic mail may be sent via Internet to


We used discrete choice conjoint analysis to model the bullying prevention program preferences of educators. Using themes from computerized decision support lab focus groups (n = 45 educators), we composed 20 three-level bullying prevention program design attributes. Each of 1,176 educators completed 25 choice tasks presenting experimentally varied combinations of the study’s attribute levels. Latent class analysis yielded three segments with different preferences. Decision Sensitive educators (31%) preferred that individual schools select bullying prevention programs. In contrast, Support Sensitive educators (51%) preferred that local school boards chose bullying prevention programs. This segment preferred more logistical and social support at every stage of the adoption, training, implementation, and long term maintenance processes. Cost Sensitive educators (16%) showed a stronger preference for programs minimizing costs, training, and implementation time demands. They felt prevention programs were less effective and that the time and space in the curriculum for bullying prevention was less adequate. They were less likely to believe that bullying prevention was their responsibility and more likely to agree that prevention was the responsibility of parents. All segments preferred programs supported by the anecdotal reports of colleagues from other schools rather than those based on scientific evidence. To ensure that the bullying prevention options available reflect the complex combination of attributes influencing real world adoption decisions, program developers need to accommodate the differing views of the Decision, Support, and Cost Sensitive segments while maximizing the support of parents and students.

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