Tier 2 – Targeted Prevention: Risk Reduction

The middle level of intervention, often called secondary, or targeted prevention, directs early intervening services to students with group level and/or individual risk factors, with the goal of strengthening resiliency, reducing risk and warding off serious problems. This level of prevention focuses on specific attitudes and skills that have been shown to reduce the risk of becoming either perpetrator or victim of specific unsafe, unhealthy or unlawful behavior, like bullying, fighting, or bias activity. For example, perspective taking is a specific ability linked to appreciating diversity. Identifying with others is the basis for bystanders’ feelings of solidarity with the victim in bullying situations. Assertiveness is what enables them to act on those feelings. The ability to put together an “if/then” sentence is essential to predicting consequences, which in turn is needed as part of a behavior management program for students who tend toward impulsivity.

This targeted prevention also addresses specific attitudes and behavior that disproportionately affect social groups who share the same risk factors. For instance, ambivalence about academic success is more often an issue for African American, urban boys than Asian American, suburban girls. So the “success-phobia” tutorial might be in order for the first group. “Discrimination” is more likely to be a real world experience of poor children of color, than for wealthy, Anglo children. Thus the tutorial with practical strategies for dealing with discrimination will have more relevance to the former group than the latter one.

Targeted prevention manual