Program

Jun 05, 2013

OVERVIEW

This intervention aims to have impacts on secondary schools students’ attitudes toward, definition of, and involvement in bullying.  Students are shown a video, entitled Sticks and Stones, during one lesson of a regularly scheduled class and then guided in a discussion about bullying by their teacher.  An experimental evaluation found that the intervention expanded participants’ definition of bullying approximately a week later, but did not have significant impacts on their attitude toward or involvement in bullying.

DESCRIPTION OF PROGRAM

Target Population: Secondary school students in a semi-rural community in England; Aged 11 to 14.

The intervention involves a video entitled, Sticks and Stones.  Immediately after the video, the class teacher leads participants in a discussion about bullying, including topics such as the emotions involved in bullying and its definitions. Sticks and Stones is a video produced by Central ITV plc and includes students, shown both in groups and on their own, talking about bullying as well as scenes of bullying portrayed by actors.  The scenes contain examples of both physical and emotional bullying, and portrayals of bystanders intervening or passively observing.

EVALUATION(S) of PROGRAM

Boulton, M.J., Flemington, I. (1996) “The Effects of a Short Video Intervention on Secondary School Pupil’s Involvement in Definitions of and Attitudes towards Bullying”. School of Psychology International, 17 (331-345).

Evaluated population: Participants included 82 girls and 88 boys, a total of 170 students, in Years 7 – 10, aged 11 – 14 from one semi-rural secondary school in England.  All participants approached agreed to be in and completed the study.

Approach:  This study was carried out in one semi-rural secondary school in England, chosen by the researchers because of its close location to their university and not because of any reported bullying issues.  One class from each year (7-10) was randomly assigned to the experimental condition and the other to control conditions, for a total of eight participating classesParticipants completed a questionnaire on two occasions: once at the start of the study and another two weeks later.  Mid-way through the two-week period, students in the experimental group were shown the video, Sticks and Stones, and participated in a discussion led by their Personal and Social Education teacher.  The self-reported questionnaire measured three main topics about bullying: the respondent’s definition of bullying, their tendency to bully others, and their attitude towards bullying.

Results:  A significant proportion of the students in the group shown the video changed their understanding of bullying to include three types of behavior (“name-calling”, “telling nasty stories about other people”, and “forcing people to do things they don’t want to do”) compared with the control group.  There was no evidence, however, that the video intervention changed participants’ attitudes towards bullying or led to participants reporting less bullying of others.

Sources for more information:

References: Boulton, M.J., Flemington, I. (1996) “The Effects of a Short Video Intervention on Secondary School Pupil’s Involvement in Definitions of and Attitudes towards Bullying”. School of Psychology International, 17 (331-345).

Contact Information: Michael J. Boulton, Department of Psychology, University of Keele, Staffs ST5 5BG

Keywords:Children (3-11); Adolescents (12-17); Middle School; Males and Females (Co-ed); Rural and/or Small Towns; School-based; Bullying

Program information was last updated on 6/5/2013

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