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SMART Team (Students Managing Anger and Resolution Together)

Ages 11-15

Rating: Level 2


SMART Team is an eight-module, multimedia software program designed to teach violence prevention messages and methods to students in grades 6 through 9 (11 to 15 years old). The program’s content fits well with commonly used conflict mediation curricula and other violence prevention strategies that schools may implement. Operation is straightforward, so students can access the modules independently for information, to build skills, or to resolve a conflict. This independence eliminates the need for trained adult implementers.

The program has three major components:

  • Anger management. Animation, interactive assessment interviews, and games teach students to recognize the cycle of anger and situations that will trigger anger as well as how to handle their anger.
  • Perspective taking. Games are used to show students anger-producing situations from the different perspectives of those involved in a situation. Interviews are shown of celebrities and older kids on how they handle conflict.
  • Dispute resolution. An interactive mediation tool guides students on how to generate solutions to their conflict, resulting in a printed contract.


A pilot study was conducted to field-test the SMART Team software. Seventh grade students in a small-city middle school had access to the program for 4 weeks in their computer lab. After each use, students completed a short questionnaire about their satisfaction with the software and suggestions for improvement.

A formal evaluation used a pretest–posttest experimental design. This evaluation took place in a large middle school 10 miles from a major midwestern city. Students were randomly assigned to three teams, or groups, within the school. Two groups were then randomly assigned to the intervention condition (n=321), and the third to the control condition (n=195). Females made up 54 percent of the sample. The ethnic/racial breakdown was 84 percent was white, 9 percent African-American, 4 percent biracial, and 4 percent “other.” SMART Team was available for 13 weeks, during which time data was unobtrusively collected by computer. The pretest–posttest data was assessed for five outcome measures: 1) self-awareness, 2) beliefs supportive of violence, 3) self-efficacy or confidence in using nonviolent strategies, 4) intentions to use nonviolent strategies in a future conflict, and 5) self-reported acts of aggression. For all items, the students rated their level of agreement or disagreement with various statements on a five-point scale.


In the pilot study, SMART team students demonstrated the following, relative to control groups:

  • There were significant increases in self-knowledge of how their behaviors can contribute to escalation of a conflict.
  • There were significant increases in self-reported frequency of prosocial behavior and intention to use nonviolent strategies.
  • Self-reports of never getting into trouble increased whether at home (from 13 percent to 32 percent), school (from 33 percent to 44 percent), or in the community (from 6 percent to 54 percent).
  • Students reacted positively to the software—89 percent found it easy to use, 91 percent agreed it was enjoyable to use, 68 percent reported learning a lot, and 79 percent would recommend it to a friend.
  • Males and females both used the program and accessed a range of modules.

In the formal evaluation, the intervention group, relative to no-treatment controls

  • Showed greater intentions to use nonviolent strategies (p=0.01).
  • Showed a reduction in beliefs supporting the use of violence (p=0.05).
  • The self-awareness measure approached significance at p=0.10, and self-efficacy and aggressive behavior remained essentially unchanged between pretest and posttest in the intervention group while increasing slightly in the control group.

Risk Factors


  • Anti-social behavior and alienation/Delinquent beliefs/General delinquency involvement/Drug dealing
  • Early onset of aggression and/or violence
  • Victimization and exposure to violence


  • Broken home

Protective Factors


  • Healthy / Conventional beliefs and clear standards
  • Positive / Resilient temperament
  • Self-efficacy


  • Involvement with positive peer group activities


  • SAMHSA: Model Programs
  • Department of Education


Bosworth Kris. N.d. “Talking It Out: A Computer-Based Mediation Process for Adolescents.” In Hy Resnick (ed.). Social Work and Technology. Seattle, Wash.: University of Washington Press.

Bosworth, Kris, Dorothy L. Espelage, and Tracy DuBay. 1996. “Using Multimedia to Teach Conflict-Resolution Skills to Young Adolescents.” American Journal of Preventive Medicine 12(5):65–74.

———. 1998. “A Computer-Based Violence Prevention Intervention for Young Adolescents: Pilot Study.” Adolescence 33(132):785–95.

Bosworth, Kris, Dorothy L. Espelage, Tracy DuBay, Gary Daytner, and Kathryn Karageorge. 2000. “A Preliminary Evaluation of a Multimedia Violence Prevention Program for Early Adolescents.” American Journal of Health Behavior 24(4):268–80.


Brad Oltrogge
Learning Multi-Systems, Inc.
1402 Greenway Cross
Madison, WI 53713
Phone: (800) 362-7323
Fax: (608) 273-8065
Web site: