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Translating an In-Person Brief, Bystander Bullying Intervention (STAC) to a Technology-Based - Phase II

Award Information
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services
Branch: National Institutes of Health
Contract: 2R42MD014943-02A1
Agency Tracking Number: R42MD014943
Amount: $1,669,128.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: STTR
Solicitation Topic Code: 102
Solicitation Number: PA21-261
Solicitation Year: 2021
Award Year: 2022
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2022-05-26
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2025-02-28
Small Business Information
1667 Cole Blvd, Ste 220
Golden, CO 80401-3313
United States
DUNS: 117936042
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: Yes
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 (208) 426-1214
Business Contact
Phone: (303) 565-4330
Research Institution
BOISE, ID 83725-0001
United States

 Nonprofit College or University

While studies support the efficacy of comprehensive, school-wide interventions in reducing bullying, these
types of programs can require significant time and financial resources for implementation, resulting in barriers
to providing school-based bullying prevention, especially in low-income and rural communities. Additionally,
although training bystanders to act as “defenders” on behalf of targets of bullying is an important intervention
component, few programs include this as part of their comprehensive strategy. Brief programs that focus on
bystander training and require fewer resources are needed to reduce bullying and its negative consequences.
The PI (Dr. Midgett) developed STAC, a brief, stand-alone bullying bystander intervention for middle school
students, to reduce bullying and mental health risks for bystanders. Brief, in-person programs, however, still
pose implementation barrier such as training school personnel, providing external support, and not allowing for
large groups of students to be trained at the same time. For this project, we propose to develop a technology-
based STAC intervention (STAC-T) that will allow students to customize their experience by selecting avatars
and bullying scenarios based on our previous studies conducted in a range of middle schools, including those
in low-income and rural communities. We will also incorporate an assessment and personalized feedback
component to promote behavior change. The innovative, user-centered design proposed will be inherently
sensitive to cultural needs of students and identify personally-appropriate strategies. The specific aims of this
application include building the program leveraging our prior work and expertise of an external advisory board,
usability and effectiveness testing with middle school students and stakeholders to evaluate feasibility, and
testing the efficacy of the program with a randomized controlled trial. The technology-based platform will
increase the overall reach, impact, and sustainability of the STAC intervention for bullying prevention. It will
substantially reduce cost to increase reach and its interactivity and algorithms can tailor program content to
adapt it further for students attending low-income and rural schools. Thus, this low-cost, easy to disseminate
technology-based bullying bystander intervention has the potential to have a substantial impact on the problem
of bullying and the negative associated consequences for both students who are targets and bystanders in
middle school when the problem of bullying peaks. There is a large market for the STAC-T intervention with
approximately 100,000 public and private schools with middle-school grades in the United States. Globally, the
online education market is growing at 10% a year and the digital health market exceeds $220 billion annually.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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