Program

Jun 19, 2013

OVERVIEW

The Flemish Anti-Bullying Intervention is a school-based program to decrease bullying in primary and secondary schools. It has one module for teachers, one for students, and one for bullies and their victims.  An experimental study of the intervention found that it decreased bullying, but only among primary school students (through sixth grade).

DESCRIPTION OF PROGRAM

Target population: Primary and secondary school students ages 10 to 16

The Flemish Anti-Bullying Intervention is a whole-school-based intervention that aims to decrease instances of bullying among primary and secondary students.  The intervention consists of three separate, but related, interventions, or “modules”.

The first module is aimed at teachers, staff, and parents.  Teachers are encouraged to develop a clear anti-bullying policy that will make clear to the students that bullying will not be tolerated.  Information sessions for teachers, staff, and parents are held to raise awareness of bully and victim problems.

The second module is for the students.  The teacher runs four in-classroom, ninety minute sessions, which teach students cognitive perspective-taking, the bullying rules developed in the first module, problem-solving strategies for victims or witnesses of bullying, and social skills training to instruct students how to intervene.  Active teaching methods such as role-play are encouraged, as are booster sessions later in the year.

The third module was designed for bullies and their victims.  When the rules on bullying are violated, the perpetrator is encouraged to make up for the consequences of their actions by doing something for the victim or the class group. The teacher also speaks to the bully about the consequences of unacceptable behavior, other children’s feelings, and the importance of repairing the harm done. This module also includes support for the victim of the encounter, including emotional help, strategies to handle bullying, and the enhancement of social skills.

EVALUATION OF PROGRAM

Stevens, V., De Bourdeaudhuij, I., Van Oost, P. (2000). Bullying in Flemish schools: An evaluation of anti-bullying intervention in primary and secondary schools. British Journal of Educational Psychology, 70, 195-210.

Evaluated population: The sample consisted of students in nine primary and nine secondary schools in Flanders, Belgium.  In Belgium, primary school consists of grades one through six, while secondary school consists of grades seven through 12, though only students ages 10 through 16 were included in the study.  A total of 1,104 students participated.

Approach: Schools were assigned to either one of two treatment conditions (with support from the researchers or without) or to a control condition, and primary and secondary schools were randomized separately.  There were no differences in the treatment conditions besides the level of training and technical support that the schools received – the intervention was identical.  Researchers measured the levels of bullying, victimization, and positive social interactions in October (prior to intervention), May (post-intervention), and the following May (follow-up).  Bullying, victimization, and positive interactions were measured by student report.  At baseline, schools in the “treatment without support” group had higher levels of both victimization and bullying.  Twenty-six percent of the sample dropped out before the conclusion of the study, and those who had bullied were more likely to drop out.

Results: No significant impacts on bullying, victimization, or positive interactions were found in the secondary schools. In the primary schools, there was a decrease in the level of bullying, but no impact on the level of victimization or positive interactions.  There were no significant differences between the two types of treatment.

SOURCES FOR MORE INFORMATION

References

Stevens, V., De Bourdeaudhuij, I., Van Oost, P. (2000). Bullying in Flemish schools: An evaluation of anti-bullying intervention in primary and secondary schools. British Journal of Educational Psychology, 70, 195-210.

Contact Information

Ms Veerle Stevens

University of Ghent

Research Group Health and Behaviour

Henri Dunantlaan 2

B-9000 Ghent, Belgium

Veerle.stevens@rub.ac.be

KEYWORDS: Children, Adolescents, Elementary, Middle School, High School, Males and Females (Co-ed), School-based, Parent or Family Component, Skills Training, Bullying, Other Social/Emotional Health.

Program information last updated on 6/19/2013. 

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