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Attendance grades studied


Second Step – Attendance

Essa Rating
No. Studies
No. Students
Average Effect Size

Program Description

Second Step: A Violence Prevention Curriculum is designed to teach elementary students social skills and how to respond to others in non-violent ways. The ultimate goal is to prevent violence in schools by providing early training in empathy, impulse control, problem solving, and anger management. Fear of victimization at school and poor school climate have negative impacts on school attendance, so such violence prevention programs are expected to have positive effects on attendance.

Program Outcomes

One matched study, by Neace & Muñoz (2012), was part of a larger evaluation of a comprehensive violence and drug prevention initiative. It found that first graders in schools using Second Step reduced their number of absences after one semester more than students in schools not participating in the program (effect size = + 0.10). While there were no significant differences at the school level, student level effects on number of unexcused absences (average daily attendance) were significant, qualifying Second Step for the ESSA “Promising” category for attendance.

Staffing Requirements

No additional staffing required

Professional Development/Training

2 days of training


None required