Creating a Peaceful School Learning Environment: The Impact of an Anti-Bullying Program on Educational Attainment in Elementary Schools

University College London, England.
Medical science monitor: international medical journal of experimental and clinical research (Impact Factor: 1.43). 07/2005; 11(7):CR317-25.
Source: PubMed


The impact of a bullying and violence prevention program on education attainment was studied in five elementary schools (K-5), over a 5-year period.
A multiple baseline design was used and academic attainment test scores of 1,106 students were monitored before and after the introduction of the program across the school district. This sample was contrasted with an equivalent control sample of 1,100 students from the school district who attended schools that did not join the program.
Program participation was associated with pronounced improvements in the students' achievement test scores. Notable reductions in the scores of those students who left schools with active programs were also observed.
This simple, low-cost anti-violence intervention, involves all those who work in schools, not just students. It appears to significantly benefit educational performance of children in the participating elementary schools. The program focuses attention on the interaction between the bully, victim and audience of bystanders who are seen as pivotal in either promoting or ameliorating violence. Buy in to the philosophy by teachers & administration is high, because the format allows each school to create materials with its own personal stamp, and since there is no classroom curriculum add on, the burden to teachers is vastly reduced. Psychiatrists who work with schools could easily assist a school to put the program in place as part of their consultation work.

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    • "There is a certain amount of evidence to indicate that effective psychotherapeutic treatment is associated with improvements in mentalisation (Target 2003; Levy 2006a,b). In randomised controlled trials, mentalisation­focused treatments have been shown to be effective for disorders such as borderline personality disorder (Bateman 2008) and preventive interventions for violence (Fonagy 2005, 2009). Even in severe mental illnesses, such as schizophrenia, psychological therapies that improve basic reflective function lead to improved social performance (Lysaker 2010). "
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    ABSTRACT: In this article, we offer an account of how various psychological therapies address dysfunctional mentalisation and identify pitfalls of therapy that could lead to an impasse or even to negative consequences associated with psychological treatment. Some practical recommendations follow from our model, particularly in relation to the careful monitoring of the intensity of the patient's attachment and the use of interventions aimed at promoting mentalising.
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    • "The pro-bullying roles and those of the bystander were reduced or remained stable steady in the IG. Fonagy et al. (2005) USA "
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    ABSTRACT: Increasingly more educational centres are, therefore, carrying out programmes aimed at preventing or reducing violence in schools. This study seeks to examine the efficiency of such programmes in Primary and Secondary schools. The methodology used is the systematic search of electronic databases (Medline, Trip Database, Cochrane, Academy Search Premier, PsycINFO, ERIC and PsycARTICLES) for studies published after January 1, 2000, on the assessment of the effectiveness of school interventions to prevent or reduce violence and bullying. The study population comprises school-age (6–16 years) children and adolescents of both sexes. Initially, 299 articles were detected that met the inclusion criteria and that had been independently peer-reviewed. For the final evaluation, 32 studies were selected which met the previously established selection and quality criteria, and analysed by level of evidence. The review finds evidence of the efficiency of the programmes assessed, although serious limitations are also detected, which should be taken into consideration when designing future interventions. The likelihood of success is enhanced when all the disciplines of a centre are involved, and also the parents. It is also essential to adapt the diverse programmes to the social and cultural characteristics of the school population in which the programme is to be carried out. Finally, the findings indicate the need for continuity in the programmes if their long-term efficiency is to be guaranteed.
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    • "3 was excluded since the intervention aimed to reduce peer victimization in general and not bullying perpetration or victimization (being bullied). Other reports were excluded from the present review because they were focused on the impact of an anti-bullying program on other outcome measures such as educational attainment (e.g., Fonagy et al. 2005), knowledge about and attitudes towards bullying (e.g., Meraviglia et al. 2003), or children's safety awareness with regard to different types of potentially unsafe situations, including being bullied (e.g., Warden et al. 1997). (b) A clearly stated definition of bullying was included in the evaluation report and bullying was specified as the outcome measure of interest. "
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    ABSTRACT: This article presents a systematic review and meta-analysis of the effectiveness of anti-bullying programs in schools. Studies were included if they evaluated the effects of an anti-bullying program by comparing an intervention group who received the program with a control group who did not. Four types of research design were included: a) randomized experiments, b) intervention-control comparisons with before-and-after measures of bullying, c) other intervention-control comparisons, and d) age-cohort designs. Both published and unpublished reports were included. All volumes of 35 journals from 1983 up to the end of May 2009 were hand-searched, as were 18 electronic databases. Reports in languages other than English were also included. A total of 622 reports concerned with bullying prevention were found, and 89 of these reports (describing 53 different program evaluations) were included in our review. Of the 53 different program evaluations, 44 provided data that permitted the calculation of an effect size for bullying or victimization. The meta-analysis of these 44 evaluations showed that, overall, school-based anti-bullying programs are effective: on average, bullying decreased by 20–23% and victimization decreased by 17–20%. Program elements and intervention components that were associated with a decrease in bullying and victimization were identified, based on feedback from researchers about the coding of 40 out of 44 programs. More intensive programs were more effective, as were programs including parent meetings, firm disciplinary methods, and improved playground supervision. Work with peers was associated with an increase in victimization. It is concluded that the time is ripe to mount a new program of research on the effectiveness of anti-bullying programs based on these findings. KeywordsSchool bullying–Intervention programs–Program elements–Systematic review–Meta-analysis
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