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An investigation of whether and to what extent a peer-led model is able to counteract mechanisms underlying bullying in peer groups, seeking clarification of divergence in reported results on the efficacy of peer-led models. Two studies were carried out in Italy within a project tackling bullying and cyberbullying in secondary schools. In the first study (n= 386), concerning the first phase of the project, a significant decrease was found only for cyberbullying, most of all for male peer educators. For the second study (n= 375) the model was improved and significant effects were found for several participating groups (peer educators and the experimental classes), who exhibited a decrease in bullying, victimization, and cybervictimization. Results suggest that peer educators can act as agents of change in the broader context.
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ISSN: 1864–1385
Empowering Students Against Bullying and
Cyberbullying: Evaluation of an Italian Peer-led Model
Ersilia Menesini, Department of Psychology, University of Florence, Italy
Annalaura Nocentini, Department of Psychology, University of Florence, Italy
Benedetta Emanuela Palladino, Department of Psychology, University of Florence, Italy
IJCV: Vol. 6 (2) 2012, pp. XXX – XXX
Vol. 6 (2) 2012
Editorial (p. 165)
Guest Editorial: The Future of Research on Evidence-based Developmental Violence Prevention in Europe –
Introduction to the Focus Section Manuel Eisner / Tina Malti (pp. 166 – 175)
Violence Prevention in Austrian Schools: Implementation and Evaluation of a National Strategy Christiane Spiel /
Petra Wagner / Dagmar Strohmeier (pp. 176 – 186)
Clinical Significance of Parent Training for Children with Conduct Problems Martin Forster / Åsa Kling / Knut
Sundell (pp. 187 – 200)
From Clinical-Developmental Theory to Assessment: The Holistic Student Assessment Tool Gil Noam / Tina Malti /
Martin Guhn (pp. 201 – 213)
Preventing Child Behavior Problems at Preschool Age: The Erlangen-Nuremberg Development and Prevention
Study Friedrich Lösel / Mark Stemmler (pp. 214 – 224)
Introducing, Researching, and Disseminating the Incredible Years Programmes in Wales Judy Hutchings
(pp. 225 – 233)
Implementation of PATHS Through Dutch Municipal Health Services: A Quasi-Experiment Ferry X. Goossens /
Evelien M. J. C. Gooren / Bram Orobio de Castro / Kees W. van Overveld / Goof J. Buijs / Karin Monshouwer /
Simone A. Onrust / Theo G. W. M. Paulussen (pp. 234 – 248)
Effectiveness of a Universal School-Based Social Competence Program: The Role of Child Characteristics and
Economic Factors Tina Malti / Denis Ribeaud / Manuel Eisner (pp. 249 – 259)
The Impact of Three Evidence-Based Programmes Delivered in Public Systems in Birmingham, UK Michael Little /
Vashti Berry / Louise Morpeth / Sarah Blower / Nick Axford / Rod Taylor / Tracey Bywater / Minna Lehtonen / Kate
Tobin (pp. 260 – 272)
Successful Bullying Prevention Programs: Influence of Research Design, Implementation Features, and Program
Components Bryanna Hahn Fox / David P. Farrington / Maria M. Ttofi (pp. 273 – 282)
Tackling Cyberbullying: Review of Empirical Evidence Regarding Successful Responses by Students, Parents, and
Schools Sonja Perren / Lucie Corcoran / Helen Cowie / Francine Dehue/ D’Jamila Garcia / Conor Mc Guckin / Anna
Sevcikova / Panayiota Tsatsou / Trijntje Völlink (pp. 283 – 292)
KiVa Antibullying Program: Overview of Evaluation Studies Based on a Randomized Controlled Trial and National
Rollout in Finland Christina Salmivalli / Elisa Poskiparta (pp. 293 – 301)
Knowing, Building and Living Together on Internet and Social Networks: The ConRed Cyberbullying Prevention
Program Rosario Ortega-Ruiz / Rosario Del Rey / José A. Casas (pp. 302 – 312)
Empowering Students Against Bullying and Cyberbullying: Evaluation of an Italian Peer-led Model Ersilia
Menesini / Annalaura Nocentini / Benedetta Emanuela Palladino (pp. 313 – 320)
Identity Centrality and In-Group Superiority Differentially Predict Reactions to Historical Victimization and Harm
Doing Rezarta Bilali (pp. 321 – 337)
A Farewell to Innocence? African Youth and Violence in the Twenty-First Century Charles Ugochukwu Ukeje / Akin
Iwilade (pp. 338 – 350)
Evidence-based Developmental
Prevention of Bullying and
Violence in Europe
Open Section
IJCV : Vol. 6 (2) 2012, pp. 314 – 321
Menesini, Nocentini, and Palladino: Evaluation of a Peer-led Anti-Bullying Model 314
Empowering Students Against Bullying and
Cyberbullying: Evaluation of an Italian Peer-led Model
Ersilia Menesini, Department of Psychology, University of Florence, Italy
Annalaura Nocentini, Department of Psychology, University of Florence, Italy
Benedetta Emanuela Palladino, Department of Psychology, University of Florence, Italy
An investigation of whether and to what extent a peer-led model is able to counteract mechanisms underlying bullying in peer groups, seeking clarification of
divergence in reported results on the efficacy of peer-led models. Two studies were carried out in Italy within a project tackling bullying and cyberbullying in
secondary schools. In the first study (n= 386), concerning the first phase of the project, a significant decrease was found only for cyberbullying, most of all for
male peer educators. For the second study (n= 375) the model was improved and significant effects were found for several participating groups (peer edu-
cators and the experimental classes), who exhibited a decrease in bullying, victimization, and cybervictimization. Results suggest that peer educators can act
as agents of change in the broader context.
School bullying has become a global problem in Western
society, with potentially high social costs. Relevant per-
centages of primary and secondary school students are in-
volved in peer-to-peer bullying as perpetrators or victims
or both. Along with traditional types, a new form of bully-
ing has appeared: cyberbullying, defined as bullying per-
petrated by the use of electronic devices (Smith et al. 2008;
Menesini, Nocentini, and Calussi 2011). In a recent Italian
survey of a nation-wide sample of adolescents aged 12–18
years, 25.2 percent reported experiencing face-to-face bul-
lying and 10 percent cyberbullying (Eurispes 2011).
Bullying is associated with externalizing behaviors, while
being victimized causes psychological distress, low self-
esteem, depression, anxiety, and psychosomatic symptoms
(Arsenault, Bowes, and Shakoor 2010; Menesini, Modena,
and Tani 2009; Ttofi et al. 2011; Veenstra et al. 2010).
School bullying has also a negative impact on bystanders
and on other children not involved in bullying problems
(Gini et al. 2008).
Given these findings, the need for intervention to limit the
harm caused by bullying is clear and urgent. The question
is how to intervene: what are the psychological mech-
anisms underlying bullying attacks? What anti-bullying in-
terventions are effective, and to what extent?
We know that bullies are usually motivated to gain domi-
nance within the group (Pellegrini 2002; Salmivalli and
Peets 2008), but we do not know why they are not stopped
by the rest of the class. Several mechanisms explain by-
standers’ (non-)reactions. One is diffusion of responsibil-
ity: when an event occurs in front of a group of persons
each individual feels less responsible (Salmivalli 2010).
Other reasons include it being easier to be on the side of
the bullies, as the dominant group in the class, and the at-
titudes of the majority of the class often influencing the by-
standers’ behavior (Gini et al. 2008).
In relation to victimization, Holt and Espelage (2007) find
that moderate levels of peer support can reduce levels of
The authors wish to thank the Province of Lucca for
its financial support for the project and the schools,
teachers, and students for their collaboration.
IJCV : Vol. 6 (2) 2012, pp. 314 – 321
Menesini, Nocentini, and Palladino: Evaluation of a Peer-led Anti-Bullying Model 315
anxiety and depression in victims. Flashpohler et al. (2009)
find that perceived peer social support moderates the rela-
tionship between victimization and quality of life to a
greater extent than teacher social support. Literature on
victim support and on the bystanders’ role underlines the
value of involving the group and specifically uninvolved
children (the so-called “silent majority”) to change the dy-
namics of bullying and to stop negative behaviors (Menesi-
ni et al. 2003; Salmivalli 2010).
The “peer education” and “peer support actions” approaches
focus on peer involvement (Cowie and Wallace 2000; Shiner
1999). These two models are both based on the assumption
that peers learn from and have significant influence on each
other, and that norms and behaviors are most likely to
change when liked and trusted group members take the lead
(Shiner 1999; Turner and Shepherd 1999). Peer-led models
grow out of the spontaneous willingness of children and
adolescents to help one another and create roles and struc-
tures where students, on the role, can be trained and helped
to act in a responsible, sensitive, and empathic way towards
other pupils. These programs can enhance active citizenship
and prosocial behavior among pupils (Cowie and Wallace
2000; Naylor and Cowie 1999). Several studies support the
effectiveness of peer education and peer support action in re-
ducing bullying behavior and pro-bullying attitudes (Mene-
sini et al. 2003), increasing support for victims (Houlston,
Smith, and Jessel 2011), and generating possible benefits for
peer supporters and schools in general (Cowie et al. 2002;
Maticka-Tyndale and Barnett 2010; Naylor and Cowie 1999).
Recent meta-analyses show that on average bullying can be
reduced by 20–23 percent and victimization by 20 percent
in intervention schools compared with control schools
(Ttofi and Farrington 2009). Findings on the effectiveness
of peer support and peer mediation in schools are more
controversial. A first meta-analysis found working with
peers to be effective, particularly for reducing victimization
(Ttofi and Farrington 2009), whereas a more recent paper
(Ttofi and Farrington 2011) reports it as having a negative
effect on bullying reduction.
The presents study aims to: 1) contribute to the literature
in relation to the contradictory results on peer-led models;
2) understand whether and to what extent a peer-led
model against bullying and cyberbullying applied in Italy is
able to counteract some of the mechanisms underlying
bullying in peer groups. We report results from two studies
carried out in Italy within an ongoing project tackling bul-
lying and cyberbullying in secondary schools. Although
certain elements of rigorous program evaluation are lack-
ing, the findings are nonetheless relevant to understanding
the role of particular mechanisms and program com-
1. Study 1: Noncadiamointrappola Phase One
The web-based Noncadiamointrappola (Let’s not fall
into a trap) project was launched in 2008. It involved
students from two schools in designing and developing a
website to promote peer-to-peer content against bullying
and cyberbullying. More schools became involved during
the following school year (2009–2010). The present
study examines the following stages between December
2009 and June 2010 (Menesini, Calussi, and Nocentini
Initial evaluation (December 2009): questionnaires ad-
ministered to the experimental and control groups
Launch of the project and awareness-raising. Presenta-
tion of the project to the participating schools and
classes to raise awareness and generate communication
on issues related to cyberbullying and bullying.
Selection of four on-line peer educators and four face-
to-face peer educators in each participating class.
Training day for peer-educators (eight hours), focused
on communication skills, problem-solving, and social
skills in real and virtual interactions.
Intervention by online educators in the Noncadia-
mointrappola forum through a rotation schedule
where each educator worked for a period of two weeks,
each day controlling the forum posting new threads,
answering questions posted by users, moderating dis-
Intervention by face-to-face peer educators. In par-
ticular, 1) conducting an awareness meeting on bullying
and cyberbullying with a school class that had not par-
ticipated in the previous steps; 2) participating in a
meeting with local administrators, police, etc., to ask for
IJCV : Vol. 6 (2) 2012, pp. 314 – 321
Menesini, Nocentini, and Palladino: Evaluation of a Peer-led Anti-Bullying Model 316
specific help making life safer in their city; 3) preparing
a TV program about bullying and cyberbullying for a
local network.
Final evaluation (June 2010): the initial questionnaire
was re-administered to evaluate the outcome (T2).
The present study evaluates the effectiveness of the inter-
vention, comparing the peer educators, the awareness
group, and the control group.
1.1. Methodology
The sample comprised 386 adolescents (62 percent fe-
males) enrolled in 9th to 13th grade at eight high schools
in Tuscany, Italy. The age of participants ranged from 14 to
20 years (mean 16.29; SD=1.29). The schools were selected
using a self-selection process and the classes were selected
by the school staff. The consent procedure consisted of for-
mal approval by the schools and consent by the parents.
Overall 236 adolescents were included in the analyses on
the basis of complete data at T1 and T2 (62 percent of the
sample). Participants who dropped out of the study did not
differ from those who remained with regard to the initial
study variables. The sample was divided into three groups
based on level of involvement in the intervention: 1) the
control group (students who did not receive any kind of
intervention: N=47); 2) experimental group 1 (awareness)
(students who received only an intervention based on
raising awareness of cyberbullying; N= 126); 3) experi-
mental group 2 (peer educators) (students who were highly
involved, took part in training, and worked actively in the
real or virtual community; N= 63).
1.2. Measures
Bullying and Victimization
Bullying and victimization scales were used (Menesini,
Calussi, and Nocentini 2012). Each scale consists of elev-
en items, asking how often respondents had experienced
particular behaviors as perpetrator or victim during the
past couple of months. Each item was evaluated on a
5-point scale from “never” to “several times a week.”
Alpha coefficients at T1 and T2 were .80 and .80 for bul-
lying and .59 and .69 for victimization. Although victim-
ization showed low levels, the reliability of the
victimization scale is confirmed by previous studies (see
Menesini et al. 2012).
Cyberbullying and Cybervictimization
A revised version of the cyberbullying scale described by
Menesini, Nocentini, and Calussi (2011) was used. It con-
sists of two scales, one for perpetration and one for victim-
ization. Each scale consists of eighteen items, asking how
often respondents had experienced particular behaviors
during the past couple of months. Each item was evaluated
on a 5-point scale from “never” to “several times a week.”
Alpha coefficients at T1 and T2 were .67 and .75 for cy-
berbullying and .72 and .84 for cybervictimization.
1.3. Results of the First Study
A series of mixed repeated measures ANOVAs analyses
were carried out in order to evaluate the effect of time on
bullying, victimization, cyberbullying, and cy-
bervictimization across the three groups (peer educators,
awareness, and control), controlling for gender. For cy-
berbullying, results showed a significant effect of time
(F(4, 228) = 7.64; p<.001; η2
p = .03), and a significant inter-
action of time*group (F(4, 228) = 3.408; p<.05; η2
p = .02)
and of time*group*gender (F(4, 288) = 3.039; p<.05; η2
p =
.02). The main time effect is that the mean for cy-
berbullying decreases significantly from T1 to T2 (Figure
1). However, interaction effects reveal that this decrease
varies across groups and gender. As Figure 2 shows, a sig-
nificant decrease over time was found only for peer edu-
cators, and in particular male peer educators (respectively
F(2, 63) = 4.277; p<.05; η2
p = .07 and F(2, 21) = 5.251; p<.05;
p = .25 ). No other significant effect was found for bul-
lying, victimization, or cybervictimization.
Figure 1: Change in cyberbullying over time (total sample)
IJCV : Vol. 6 (2) 2012, pp. 314 – 321
Menesini, Nocentini, and Palladino: Evaluation of a Peer-led Anti-Bullying Model 317
1.4. Discussion
This first peer-led model produced more strongly positive
effects for cyberbullying than for traditional bullying and
stronger effects among male peer educators, who were the
students involved in a very active and responsible role. The
project was less effective for the other participants. This
can be related to the type of intervention we carried out
with these two groups: the peer educators’ group worked
more intensively, through the training and other tasks they
were asked to fulfill. By comparison, the awareness group
was less involved in the intervention and did not take part
in an active process of empowerment. As an overall con-
clusion, the intervention showed some benefits but it was
not so effective for the rest of the class, for victims, or for
face-to-face bullying and victimization.
2. Study 2: Noncadiamointrappola Phase Two
Phase two of Noncadiamointrappola built on the initial re-
sults and sought to improve certain aspects of the model
that were found to be underdeveloped in the first trial.
Four elements were added:
stronger attention to the victim’s role and to support
for the victims;
more efforts to involve the bystanders;
greater involvement of subject teachers in order to im-
prove action on face-to-face bullying. Face-to-face edu-
cators were supported by class teachers and adapted
their intervention to school needs. Specifically they tried
to involve the whole class and produced a short movie
on cyberbullying, a guide for safer use of e-mail and so-
cial networks, and a poster against cyberbullying. In one
school they ran a peer-to-peer counseling space.
creation of a Facebook group to integrate the web
forum: online peer educators posted photos, links, and
video clips as facebook group administrators.
In order to evaluate the effects of Noncadiamointrappola
phase two we analyzed data concerning bullying and cy-
berbullying in a before-after comparison of two groups: the
control group (students who did not receive any kind of in-
tervention) and the experimental group (all students at-
tending classes participating in the project). In a second
step, differences between peer educators and the other stu-
dents of participant classes were analyzed: this last group
comprised students who received the intervention provided
by the trained peer educators within their class. This second
study sought to evaluate the effectiveness of the intervention
carried out by the peer educators by measuring the impact
on the whole class. In particular, the question was: did the
introduction of structured activities run by peer educators
lead to change in the experimental classes as a whole? Were
peer educators agents of change in these classes?
2.1. Methodology
The sample comprised 375 adolescents (males=20.3 per-
cent), enrolled in 9th to 13th grade at four high schools in
Tuscany. The experimental group composed 231 adoles-
Figure 2: Change in cyberbullying over time by gender
IJCV : Vol. 6 (2) 2012, pp. 314 – 321
Menesini, Nocentini, and Palladino: Evaluation of a Peer-led Anti-Bullying Model 318
cents (males = 15.4 percent; mean age = 16.80; SD = 1.92)
attending ten classes at three high schools, and the control
group comprised 144 adolescents (males = 20.8 percent;
mean age = 15.15; SD = .90). Forty-two students from the
experimental group were enrolled as peer educators
(males = 23.8 percent). The schools were selected using a
self-selection process and the classes were selected by the
school staff. Self-report questionnaires were administered
in class during school time by trained researchers (in De-
cember 2010 and May 2011). The consent procedure for
research consisted of formal approval by the schools and
consent by the parents. Participants who dropped out of
the study represented 12 percent of the sample (N=55) and
they did not differ from those who remained with regard to
the initial study variables.
2.2. Measure
The same bullying and victimization scales and cyber -
bullying scales used in the first study were administered.
Reliability coefficients at T1 and T2 were .75 and .82 for
bullying, .74 and .71 for victimization, .79 and .82 for cy-
berbullying, and .80 and .87 for cybervictimization.
2.3. Results
2.3.1. Experimental vs Control group
Bullying and victimization: Repeated measures ANOVAs
were conducted to evaluate the change in bullying and
victimization over time in the two groups. Results
showed no significant effect of time for both outcome
measures but a significant interaction of time*group for
bullying (F(2, 375) = 5.993; p<.05; η2
p = .016) and for vic-
timization (F(2, 375) = 11.848; p<.01; η2
p = .031) (see Fig-
ure 3). For both dimensions, the experimental group
showed a decrease across time as compared to the control
Cyberbullying and cybervictimization: Repeated measures
ANOVAs were conducted on both variables. The results
show a non-significant effect of time for both cy-
berbullying and cybervictimization, and a non-significant
interaction of time*group for cyberbullying. For cy-
bervictimization, a significant interaction of time*group
was found (F(2, 375) = 5.706; p<.05; η2
p = .015), showing a
decrease over time in the experimental group as compared
to the control group (see Figure 3).
Figure 3: Change in bullying, victimization, and cybervictimization over time in control group and experimental group
IJCV : Vol. 6 (2) 2012, pp. 314 – 321
Menesini, Nocentini, and Palladino: Evaluation of a Peer-led Anti-Bullying Model 319
2.3.2 Peer Educators vs Other Students in Experimental Classes
Repeated measures ANOVAs were conducted to evaluate
the effect of time on the dependent variable across the
two groups (peer educators and other students in experi-
mental classes). The results show: 1) for bullying an al-
most significant effect of time (F(2, 231) = 3.453; p = .06)
and a non-significant interaction of time*group; 2) for
victimization a significant effect of time (F(2, 231) = 4.178;
Figure 4: Change in bullying, victimization, and cybervictimization over time for peer educators and other students in experimental classes
3. General Discussion
In the second study, the results show a significant pattern
of decrease in bullying, victimization, and cy-
bervictimization among peer educators and the other stu-
dents in the experimental classes, as compared with the
control group. Particularly, they highlight that Phase Two
of Noncadiamointrappola is an effective approach to pre-
vent and reduce bullying and cyberbullying among adoles-
cents. It showed positive effects on the students involved
(albeit the effect size is not very large), reducing bullying
and cyberbullying in the whole class and not simply among
peer educators. We can hypothesize that in this second
study the peer educators had the capacity to act as agents of
change, promoting a reduction of bullying and cy-
berbullying in the whole class.
The main effects applied to both victimization and cy-
bervictimization, showing that greater attention to this
side of the problem can help reduce the percentage of stu-
dents victimized in the class. These approaches seem able
to work directly on peer educators and indirectly on the
whole group, through awareness processes and group dy-
It appears that the underlying mechanisms behind these
positive results are the new elements introduced in Phase
Two, particularly deeper involvement of school teachers
and of the whole class, and greater attention to victim sup-
port. Overall we obtained greater involvement by the ma-
jority of students by providing more intervention
opportunities in class and online (forum and Facebook in-
teractions). These results suggest that within a peer-led
model the type of roles peer educators take on is highly rel-
evant. If they start a process of personal change but are un-
able to involve the other students in this process, this
approach can have limited effects (see Study 1). But if they
are supported in their capacity to promote initiatives and
active participation by other students, the process of
change can involve the entire class. In this regard, a class
approach and the involvement of class teachers as practiced
p<.05; η2
p = .018) and a non-significant interaction of
time*group; 3) for cybervictimization a significant effect
of time (F(2, 231) = 8.919; p<.01; η2
p = .037) and a non sig-
nificant interaction of time*group. These results show
that the decrease across time in bullying, victimization,
and cybervictimization was the same for both peer edu-
cators and the other students in experimental classes (see
Figure 4).
IJCV : Vol. 6 (2) 2012, pp. 314 – 321
Menesini, Nocentini, and Palladino: Evaluation of a Peer-led Anti-Bullying Model 320
in the Italian model can be more promising than a school
approach (Cowie and Wallace 2000).
Although these models highlight the importance of stu-
dents’ active involvement, it is crucial to promote adult in-
volvement and supervision in order to create space and
time for student intervention. Finally, consideration should
be devoted to cost-benefit evaluation of the peer-led
model, given that this model usually has a low cost and can
be highly profitable for schools and community.
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Ersilia Menesini
Annalaura Nocentini
Benedetta Emanuela Palladino
... Еще одна программа «Noncadiamointrappola» («Не попадем в ловушку»), ориентированная на подростков 14-19 лет, применяется в Италии (Palladino et al., 2012;Menesini et al., 2012). Восемь участников (4 -онлайн, 4 -оффлайн) проходят обучение мерам предотвращения травли, а затем принимают участие в ряде общешкольных мероприятий, направленных, например, на повышение осведомленности о проблемах буллинга или на разработку руководства для школьников по безопасному использованию электронных ресурсов. ...
... Еще одна программа «Noncadiamointrappola» («Не попадем в ловушку»), ориентированная на подростков 14-19 лет, применяется в Италии (Palladino et al., 2012;Menesini et al., 2012). Восемь участников (4 -онлайн, 4 -оффлайн) проходят обучение мерам предотвращения травли, а затем принимают участие в ряде общешкольных мероприятий, направленных, например, на повышение осведомленности о проблемах буллинга или на разработку руководства для школьников по безопасному использованию электронных ресурсов. ...
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The monograph (in Russian) presents the results of scientific research in the field of age, legal, pedagogical and clinical psychology and pedagogy , aimed at studying the features of the implementation of the concept of comprehensive prevention of aggressive behavior in the educational environment. It is useful for administrative employees of the system of general and secondary vocational education, psychologists, teachers, social work specialists, tutors, class teachers: 1) when drawing up methodological recommendations to ensure the process of prevention, psychocorrection and for- development of a comprehensive system for the prevention of aggressive behavior in educational organizations; 2) at the stage of seminars, conversations, trainings with specialists responsible for the implementation of preventive measures on the basis of educational organizations, institutions of additional education for children and youth centers; 3) for employees of regional ministries and departments responsible for the organization of preventive employees in educational institutions.
... Particularly, components such as a whole school policy, cooperative peer work, playground monitoring, school conferences, and parental involvement have been shown to be effective in reducing face-to-face bullying (Chen et al., 2021;Farrington & Ttofi, 2010). Involving the stakeholder agency (e.g., experts) in training programs, peer tutoring, adult supervision, and home-school cooperation could also help curtail cyberbullying (Lan et al., 2022;Menesini et al., 2012). Feasibility and effectiveness of preventive and interventive practices should therefore be further explored among the Chinese youths. ...
Though bullying was predominantly documented in Western societies, increasing attention has been paid to bullying in Chinese communities during recent years. It remains unknown whether bullying among youngsters in the Chinese communities is similar to or different from their counterparts in Western societies. A systematic review was primarily conducted in English and Chinese databases from the start to December 31, 2021. This study estimated the prevalence of overall (integrating both face-to-face and cyber forms), face-to-face, and cyber bullying victimization and perpetration using random-effects models. Based on 68 eligible studies, this study revealed a pooled prevalence of overall bullying victimization of 22.7% (95% Confidence Interval [CI] [17.7, 28.6]) and a pooled prevalence of overall bullying perpetration of 15.7% (95% CI [6.7, 32.3]). Besides, the estimated prevalence were 20.8% and 10.3% for face-to-face bullying victimization and perpetration, while 9.6% and 8.4% for cyberbullying victimization and perpetration. The subgroup analyses showed that the high heterogeneity of prevalence among the studies estimating bullying victimization and perpetration could be accounted for by sample characteristics and the measurement approaches. This study suggests that bullying is prevalent in the Chinese communities, comparable to, if not higher than, in the Western societies. Prevention and intervention programs are urgently required to reduce bullying among the school-aged population in Chinese communities.
... Although we cannot compare the effectiveness of different cyberbullying intervention programmes in this present study, knowing how vital the role of bystander is in the outcome of cyberbullying situations, we believe that involving peer educators-despite critical views in this matter (Farrington & Ttofi, 2009)-can be effective. With proper supervision and preparation, peer educators can have substantial effect on their peers, especially if they come from the students' class or school (Menesini et al., 2012;Smith et al., 2012;Von Kaenel-Flatt & Douglas, 2012;McCoy et al., 2017). Such peer education programmes in health education are not only cost-effective but can also have long-term effects (Turner & Shepherd, 1999). ...
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Background With the increase of cyberbullying, several intervention programmes have been created that aim at reducing cyber-victimisation and perpetration. Objective Our study presents the effects of the STAnD anti-cyberbullying programme with peer-education both on the short and the long run among lower and upper primary school students, with a focus on the participants’ cyberbullying roles. Method The sample comprised of 536 students who participated in the intervention programme, involving 36% lower and 64% upper primary school students. Participants were measured by a self-reported questionnaire before and right after the programme, then six months later. Results The main effect of the STAnD programme was a positive change in the participants’ willingness to engage in help-seeking and their active-defending reaction, although this effect decreased after six months. The changes were larger among lower primary school students compared to upper primary school participants. Conclusion Our results imply that long-lasting and intensive health promotion programmes are necessary to reach a long-term intervention effect. Anti-cyberbullying programmes should take into consideration participants’ involvement and roles in cyberbullying. As our study was a non-randomised uncontrolled study design, thus interpretation of the effectiveness of the programme is limited.
... However, other approaches have emphasised the need to take into account the particular characteristics of the digital media as well as specific cyberbullying mechanisms in the methodology of preventive measures, which should, accordingly, be tailored to the specifics of cyberbullying [24][25][26]. Programmes that address this second aspect tend to focus more on highlighting interventions aimed at specific roles in bullying following the triadic approach, such as mobilising bystanders [14,[27][28][29]. ...
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The purpose of this article is to present the results of the study on the specific aspects of cyberbullying and prevention measures viewed from both the students' and teachers' perspectives. Cyberbullying is a severe threat to the individual and social well-being of young people. For this reason, it is important to understand how they perceive the phenomenon of cyberbullying, how they identify its causes, what they think about support, and the preventive measures offered through the lens of their own cyberbullying experiences. The study was conducted in a qualitative research paradigm. Students (N = 55) aged 13-16 from 25 junior high schools located in different regions of (blinded for the review) who had experienced cyberbullying incidents as victims, perpetrators , or bystanders, and their teachers (N = 45) were interviewed. They provided in-depth answers regarding cyberbullying incidents they had experienced and presented their attitudes and interpretations concerning those cases. The raw data were analysed by competent judges who defined a posteriori important categories that were useful for understanding the psychosocial mechanisms of cyberbullying and important dimensions of its prevention. The results proved a clear connection between participation in offline and online peer violence. The analysis of the statements showed that public/private types of cyberbullying involve different psychological and social mechanisms. Our findings confirm the importance of empathy as the buffering factor in cyberbullying perpetration. In addition, the limitations and inadequacy of the support and interventions offered by adults in cyberbullying cases have been emphasised in teens' testimonies. The results may constitute grounds for formulating recommendations on the prevention of cyberbul-lying in the school context, taking into account the perspective of all actors involved.
... Given the detrimental effects of school bullying on youths' adjustment, it is understandable that growing interest has developed over the decades for carrying out effective anti-bullying prevention efforts [18]. Several systematic and meta-analytical reviews (e.g., [18,19]) highlighted the effectiveness of some school-based programs in reducing bullying perpetration and victimization [1,[20][21][22][23]. However, given the high variability in the effectiveness of these programs, it has been suggested by Smith et al. [24] to pay greater attention in exploring the principles of "what and why, for whom, and under what circumstances" some interventions work. ...
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School bullying is a serious public health concern in many countries worldwide. Over recent decades, several effective anti-bullying prevention programs have been developed. This study aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of an adapted version of the “Equipping Youth to Help One Another (EQUIP) for Educators” (EfE) program in reducing adolescents’ engagement in school bullying perpetration by correcting their use of self-serving cognitive distortions (CDs). Furthermore, guided by the vantage sensitivity framework, we investigated whether the intervention effects varied depending on the adolescents’ gender and environmental sensitivity. A quasi-experimental pre-test/post-test with a control group design involved 354 Italian middle and high school adolescents (51.7% males; Mage = 14.86, SD = 2.54). Both the control (n = 187) and experimental group (n = 167) completed self-report questionnaires, before and after the intervention. Structural equation modeling revealed a significant moderated mediation effect: highly sensitive males participating in the EfE program decreased their engagement in bullying by reducing CDs, compared to females and those with low- and medium- sensitivity. These findings support the effectiveness of the EfE program in equipping youth to think and act more responsible and shed light on “why” and “for whom” the intervention might work better to counteract school bullying during adolescence.
... The cybervictimization experiences related to ethnicity and race should warrant for the implementation of evidenced-based general anti-cyberbullying programs in school settings and beyond (e.g., the NoTrap! intervention program by Menesini et al., 2012; the KiVa antibullying program by Salmivalli et al., 2013; or the Media Heroes program by . Additionally, interventions for adolescents with diverse cultural background and immigration experiences that support a positive integration should be implemented in work with youth (e.g., the Identity Project, Juang et al., 2020; or the promotion of intergroup contact between refugee and native children, Pfetsch et al., In press). ...
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Cyberbullying is repeated aggression via digital media. There is extensive research analyzing forms of cyberbullying (e.g., relational or picture-based cyberbullying) and coping reactions (e.g., passive coping, seeking social support, retaliation). However, the mechanisms of cyberbullying in a multicultural society are not well-understood yet. Studies from the US show lower rates of cybervictimization for ethnic minorities, but comparable outcomes, studies from outside the US show different results. The present study focuses on the prevalence of ethnic/racist motives for cybervictimization as compared to non-ethnic/racist motives among adolescent students in a sample from Germany. Moreover, this study examines whether students with a migration background experience more strain and employ the same coping strategies as students without a migration background. An ethnically diverse sample of N = 348 adolescents, aged M = 14.1 (SD = 1.2) years, 50% males, completed a questionnaire about cyberbullying, perceived strain, motives for cybervictimization and coping behavior. Twenty-one percentage of the sample had no, 14% had a first-generation, and 66% had a second-generation migration background. Adolescents with a migration background generally reported higher levels of all victimization motives. No difference in perceived strain was found between the migration status groups. Ethnicity-based motives only significantly predicted ethnic/racist victimization, while dispute-related motives predicted all types of cybervictimization. First-generation migration background, ethnicity-based cybervictimization and perceived strain all played an important role in the different coping strategies. In sum, ethnic/racist cybervictimization seems prevalent especially among first generation adolescents, who are affected in a comparable manner as non-immigrants. Adolescents with a first-generation migration background seem to be especially vulnerable. Prevention and intervention efforts should focus on functional coping strategies especially for this group on the one hand. On the other hand, evidence-based intervention programs should be implemented to reduce bias and ethnicity-/race-based perpetration and victimization to foster successful acculturation and integration.
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Background Cyberbullying perpetration and victimization are prevalent issues in adolescent development and are a rising public health concern. Numerous interventions have been developed and implemented to decrease cyberbullying perpetration and victimization. Through an updated systematic review and meta-analysis, this study aimed to tackle a significant gap in the cyberbullying literature by addressing the need to empirically determine the effectiveness of programs with non-school-aged samples with a specific focus on studies conducted within the Asia-Pacific region. Methods A systematic literature review was conducted to identify intervention research to reduce cyberbullying perpetration and victimization published from January 1995 to February 2022. Ten electronic databases—Cambridge Journal Online, EBSCOHOST, ERIC, IEEE XPLORE, Oxford Journal Online, ProQuest Dissertations and Theses, PubMed (Medline), Science Direct, Scopus, Springerlink—and a subsequent manual search were conducted. Detailed information was extracted, including the summary data that could be used to estimate effect sizes. The studies’ methodological quality was assessed using the Effective Public Health Practice Project (EPHPP) quality assessment tool. Findings Eleven studies were included in the review of the 2,540 studies identified through databases, and 114 additional records were discovered through citation searching. Only four studies were included in the meta-analysis, exploring game-based, skill-building, school-based, and whole-school interventions. The first meta-analysis pooled estimates from these four studies that assessed cyberbullying perpetration frequency using continuous data post-intervention. These studies reported data from 3,273 participants (intervention n = 1,802 and control n = 1,471). A small but not statistically significant improvement favoring the intervention group from pre- to post-intervention was shown by the pooled effect size, −0.04 (95% CI [−0.10,0.03], Z = 1.11, P = 0.27). The second meta-analysis included two qualified studies investigating cyberbullying victimization frequency using continuous data at post-intervention among 2,954 participants (intervention n = 1,623 and control n = 1,331). A very small but non-significant effect favoring the intervention group was discovered. Conclusion This research primarily highlights that the endeavor for cyberbullying intervention is still developing in the Asia-Pacific region, currently involving a limited set of stakeholders, settings, and delivery modes. Overall, meta-analyses of cyberbullying interventions conducted in the Asia Pacific found no significant effects in reducing cyberbullying perpetration and victimization. Systematic review registration , identifier CRD42022313369.
The purpose of the article is to provide an overview of recent trends in educational and social psychology research and bullying research. In the first section of the paper, educational and social psychology research published in The Proceedings of the 63rd Annual Meeting of the Japanese Association of Educational Psychology and The Japanese Journal of Educational Psychology, from July 2020 to June 2021, are reviewed. In the second part of the paper, trends in research on bullying from The Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the Japanese Association of Educational Psychology and The Japanese Journal of Educational Psychology published over a 12-year period from 2010 to June 2021 are reviewed. Finally, the definition of bullying, cyberbullying in schools, and prospects for future research into bullying are discussed.
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As increasing numbers of youth embrace computer-mediated communication to meet academic and social needs, interpersonal violence directly and indirectly related to the Internet is occurring more often. Cyberbullying in particular has shot to the forefront of agendas in schools and communities due to the emotional, psychological, and even physical harm to which victims can be subjected. While previous studies have focused on describing its frequency in an exploratory capacity, the current work seeks to utilize general strain theory to identify the emotional and behavioral effects of cyberbullying victimization. Data collected online from a sample of adolescent Internet-users indicate that cyberbullying is a potent form of strain that may be related to involvement in school problems and delinquent behavior offline. Implications of these findings and suggestions for policy are discussed. (Contains 7 tables and 8 notes.)
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Three stages of factor-analytic investigation aimed at uncovering general strategies that underlie the myriad specific coping responses to stress. Each stage utilized a separate, large, heterogeneous sample, yet analyses consistently revealed 3 fundamental strategies: Problem Solving, Seeking Social Support, and Avoidance. Over the course of studies, a short self-report questionnaire evolved that indicates the extent to which each of the strategies has been employed in a recent stressful event. A 4th stage of study, focusing on the instrument's psychometric properties, revealed orthogonality of scales and good internal consistency, test–retest reliability, and construct validity. Advantages over existing measures, as well as potential problems in the instrument, are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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Research shows that cyberbullying is a common phenomenon amongst youngsters, with potentially severe negative effects. Besides students, parents, schools, and Internet Service Providers, the police have been identified as an important actor in approaches against cyberbullying. Departing from the situation in Belgium, this article describes how the police can: help to prevent cyberbullying, by informing students, parents, and schools about the issue; play a role in the detection of cyberbullying, for instance, by creating online reporting systems (apart from the offline channels) and finally, assist in handling existing cyberbullying cases, by identifying perpetrators and helping victims.
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The use of information and communication technologies has become ubiquitous among adolescents. New forms of cyber aggression have emerged, cybergrooming is one of them. However, little is known about the nature and extent of cybergrooming. The purpose of this study was to investigate risk factors of being cybergroomed, to identify various coping strategies and to explore the associations between being cyberbullied and cybergroomed. The sample consisted of 518 students in 6th to 10th grades. The computer assisted personal interview method (CAPI method) was implemented. The «Mobbing Questionnaire for Students» by Jäger et al. (2007) was further developed for this study and served as the research instrument. While being a girl, being cyberbullied and willingness to meet strangers could be identified as risk factors; no significant age differences were found. Furthermore, three types of coping strategies - aggressive, cognitive-technical and helpless - with varied impacts were identified. The findings not only shed light on understanding cybergrooming, but also suggest worth noting associations between various forms of cyber aggression.
This paper summarises the results of a systematic review and meta-analysis of the effectiveness of anti-bullying programmes in schools. Extensive searches were carried out in 18 databases and in 35 journals. The number of reports on anti-bullying programmes increased considerably over time. Nearly 600 reports were found, but only 59 of these (describing evaluations of 30 different programmes) were eligible for inclusion in our review because they described a high-quality evaluation. We coded the elements of the intervention in these programmes and key features of the evaluation and related these to the effects of the intervention. These types of figures have never been presented in any previous systematic review or meta-analysis of anti-bullying programmes. Our meta-analysis showed that school-based anti-bullying programmes are effective in reducing bullying and victimisation (being bullied), which were reduced by about 20-23% in experimental schools, compared with control schools. The most important programme components that were associated with a decrease in bullying were parent training, improved playground supervision, disciplinary methods, school conferences, videos, information for parents, work with peers, classroom rules and classroom management.
Bullying, in the form of physically, verbally, relationally, or sexually aversive behaviors, increases as youngsters make the transition to middle school. To date, however, policy and research in education and educational psychology has attended only minimally to the social dynamics of school organization or peer groups that may underlie this crisis. We argue that a combination of school- and peer-level factors contribute to bullying, victimization, and sexual harassment. We suggest that adolescents' exploration of new social roles and their quest for status among peers are factors motivating aggression, especially as students make the transition from primary to middle school. More disturbing, and less studied, is the finding that adults in schools have a hand, either directly or indirectly, in perpetrating these acts. Suggestions for future research to guide policy are made.
In the UK schools are required by law to protect students from bullying; the responsibility of teachers to govern such behaviour has been extended outside the school setting to include cyberbullying. In this investigation, cyberbullying in secondary education is explored from the student perspective using a qualitative method of enquiry. Reported awareness and understanding about the legal aspects of cyberbullying are investigated; consideration is given to legislation, cybercrime, children's rights, school sanctions and safeguarding responsibilities. A total of 197 male and female students aged between 11 and 14 years old participated. Despite the availability of information on guidelines and legislation at national, local, and school level, this does not appear to have reached ground level of the individual student. There is a considerable gap between what students should know and what they report to be aware of with regard to legal aspects of cyberbullying. To address concerns of keeping up with the pace of change in cyberbullying, a collaborative approach is required with young people and adults sharing expertise.