Journal of Primary Prevention

, Volume 26, Issue 1, pp 5–23 | Cite as

Prevention of Peer Rejection Through a Classroom-Level Intervention in Middle School

  • Amori Yee Mikami
  • Margaret A. Boucher
  • Keith Humphreys


This project evaluated an intervention for preventing peer rejection in middle school that promoted social acceptance in the classroom environment. The systems-level and preventive focus of this intervention differed markedly from traditional interventions that target putative deficits within individual rejected children. In collaboration with 24 teachers and their classrooms, the intervention team led mixed groups of accepted and rejected children in cooperative games that required teamwork and mutual respect among all members in order to succeed. To reinforce these alliances between children, as well as to prevent future peer rejection, teachers were encouraged to use cooperative, teamwork-based group activities for academic instruction. The intervention was evaluated using a randomized control (waitlist) design. Results suggested that the intervention reduced the amount of self-reported peer rejection in classrooms. Implications for the further development and evaluation of systems-level interventions to prevent peer rejection are discussed.

Editors’ Strategic Implications: The use of a systems-based prevention program shows promise for the prevention of children’s perceived peer rejection. The authors demonstrate a model of university-community collaboration with a plan for sustainability and a focus on low-income and minority populations. Educators, school administrators, and researchers will be intrigued by the positive experiences of non-rejected peers and teachers in promoting a socially accepting school climate.

peer rejection intervention prevention cooperative learning community psychology 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Amori Yee Mikami
    • 1
    • 3
  • Margaret A. Boucher
    • 1
  • Keith Humphreys
    • 2
  1. 1.University of CaliforniaBerkeley
  2. 2.Stanford University School of MedicineUSA
  3. 3.Department of PsychiatryUniversity of CaliforniaSan Francisco

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