Program

Jun 03, 2013

OVERVIEW

Bulli and Pupe’ (Bullies and Dolls) is an Italian intervention program that seeks to not only alter individuals’ behavior , but also to strengthen the peer group, in order to lower rates of bullying and victimization. This intervention runs during the course of the school year, using videos, booklets, discussion, and other activities to teach students that bullying and victimization can lead to a variety of negative outcomes. Results for the effectiveness of the program vary by age group, with older students reporting lower levels of victimization, and younger students reporting higher levels of victimization, if they were participants in the experimental group.

DESCRIPTION OF PROGRAM

Target population: Middle school students

Bulli and Pupe’ is designed to target peer groups and individuals for an entire school year. The intervention consisted of one three-hour session once a week for three weeks. Through a series of videos, an activity booklet, role playing, active group discussion, and focus groups, the students are taught about the negative effects of violence, helped to find alternatives for aggression, and taught empathy and perspective-taking skills. The specific lesson units are as follows:

  1. Bullying among peers: Focuses on teaching students that bullying can lead to other forms of violent behavior.
  2. Children witnessing domestic violence: Shows participants videos of women speaking from a battered women shelter. Focuses on showing how bullying and violence can be learned at home.
  3. Cycle of violence: Focuses on potential long-term social and relational consequences of violence.

EVALUATION(S) OF PROGRAM

Baldry, A. C., & Farrington, D. P. (2004). Evaluation of an intervention program for the reduction of bullying and victimization in schools. Aggressive Behavior, 30, 1-15.  

Evaluated population: The experimental group was composed of 131 students, evenly distributed with respect to gender, from middle schools in Rome. Over half of the sample was considered to be lower class. The control group was comprised of 103 students with similar demographics.

Approach: Participants were randomly assigned to the intervention or to a control group. Students in both the control and the experimental groups were given a pre-test survey on the first day of the intervention, and a post-test survey four months after the conclusion of the intervention. The surveys included items on the frequency of bulling and victimization, and the types of bullying and victimization that they perpetrated or received.

Results: Overall, there were no significant differences between the experimental group and the control group in the frequency of bullying and victimization. Significant differences were found in the types of victimization experienced, such that students in the experimental group were more likely to be called names, excluded, or have belongings stolen than were students in the control group.

Older students in the experimental group reported significantly lower levels of verbal and physical victimization than older participants in the control group. However, younger participants in the experimental group were victimized significantly more than younger participants in the control group.

SOURCES FOR MORE INFORMATION

References:

Baldry, A. C., & Farrington, D. P. (2004). Evaluation of an intervention program for the reduction of bullying and victimization in schools. Aggressive Behavior, 30, 1-15.

KEYWORDS:

children (3-11), adolescents (12-17), middle school, males and females (co-ed), school-based, bullying,

Program information last updated 6/3/2013.

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