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					Educational Issues and School Context

From Decisions To Delivery: Evidence Based Bullying Prevention
Charles E. Cunningham & Tracy Vaillancourt
Barbara Spears
Kay Bussey
Coosje Griffiths
Debra Pepler
Donna Cross & Erin Erceg

Discussant: Phillip Slee

A key to successful bullying programs is the whole school approach, which encompasses
all those within the school community. To be effective, bullying prevention programs
must meet the needs of the schooling context and students concerned. This symposium
brings together a progression of 6 papers to examine evidence-based factors implicated in
the design and implementation of bullying prevention programs. At the teacher level of
intervention, educators’ roles in the decision to adopt or reject programs is relevant to any
selection process and ultimately to effective implementation. The role of pre-service
teacher education in relation to the preparation of new teachers to deal effectively with
bullying programs already in place in schools is also discussed. In terms of particular
aspects of bullying prevention programs, an exploration of children’s self-efficacy for
disclosing bullying and reporting to others is most relevant to any successful program.
Another element considered is the practice-based evidence of the efficacy of Shared
Concern method in dealing with bullying. At the program level, the success of
interventions on different sub-sets of those engaged in bullying behaviours highlights the
need to focus on those students engaging in moderate levels of bullying, and provide
additional supports to students’ with high involvement. The evaluation of the Friendly
Schools & Families Program indicates that when implemented as a whole – bullying can
be effectively tackled. It has been over 20 years since the first systematic program to
address bullying problems. The present papers represent the continuing efforts to design
and implement programs that are successful in reducing these problems to promote
healthy relationships for children and youth.
Stakeholder driven program design: Simulating school-based bullying-
prevention programs using discrete choice conjoint experiments
  Charles E. Cunningham, 2Tracy Vaillancourt, 1Heather Miller, 3Lesley Cunningham,
  Kathy Short, 4Clint Davis
  Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences, McMaster University;
  Department of Psychology, Neuroscience and Behaviour, McMaster University;

The dissemination of effective bullying prevention programs should be anticipated by
involving users in their design. This study combined methods from marketing research
and health economics to involve educators in the design of a new generation of school
based bullying prevention programs. Fifty educators participated in a 3 hour electronic
focus group to identify factors influencing the decision to adopt or reject bullying
prevention programs. Using themes from our focus groups, we composed 20 3-level
bullying prevention program attributes. We designed a partial profile discrete choice
conjoint experiment presenting a representative sample of educators’ choices between
programs composed of different attribute levels. Data were analyzed using Latent Class
analysis to identify respondents with similar preferences, (2) hierarchical Bayes to
estimate parameters for each respondent, (3) multinomial logit to generate utility values
for each attribute level, and (4) simulations to model combinations of program attribute
levels reflecting the preferences of each segment. Results indicated that as a prerequisite,
programs must prove effective in real-world educational applications. Cost or logistical
complexity, however, would veto a program with established efficacy. Choices among
feasible, effective programs would be influenced by the composite value of a number of
secondary program characteristics. These included support from stakeholders, a school-
wide focus, active student participation, links to the provincial curriculum, and
sustainability. Educators favored effective staff training, well designed implementation
materials, and extended support. The advantages of these methods in building stakeholder
driven children’s mental health services are discussed.
Succession Planning in Bullying Prevention Programs: Maintaining the
Momentum with Pre-Service Teachers
Barbara Spears
School of Education (Magill)
University of South Australia

The role of pre-service teacher education in relation to the preparation of new teachers to
effectively engage with bullying behaviours and prevention programs in schools is the
focus of this paper. As whole school approaches are currently widely advocated (Smith,
Pepler & Rigby, 2004)), there are significant implications for the success or otherwise of
existing programs when teachers change schools and/or the teaching force ages and
retires. How new teachers, emerging from their pre-service education can contribute to
maintaining the momentum is an important and oft overlooked aspect of whole school
approaches. Nicolaides and Smith (2002) examined the contributions by pre-service
teacher education in England and reported that there were few universities which offered
relevant training relating to school bullying. This paper reports on pre-service teachers’
attitudes towards a specific course on peer relationships and the perceived impact on their
confidence and competence in dealing with bullying and the social dynamic once out in
schools. Students (N=246) were enrolled in undergraduate degrees in education (junior
primary/primary) and qualitative data were collected over 8 semesters by way of course
evaluations. Most recent students (N= 90) were issued follow-up surveys specifically
pertaining to their role in bullying prevention in schools. A grounded theory approach to
qualitative responses was employed, whereby key themes emerged around knowledge
and awareness, confidence, confidence and school support. All students reported gaining
considerable confidence in their understanding of and ability to address social and
emotional issues in school contexts. Dealing with bullying in particular was recognised to
be a central issue for them. Implications are discussed in terms of the contribution they
would then make to existing school prevention programs.
Factors Influencing Children’s Disclosure of Bullying to Mothers,
Teachers, and Friends: Implications for Bullying Intervention

Kay Bussey
Macquarie University

        To reduce bullying in schools a variety of prevention and intervention programs
have been implemented, often including instruction about reporting bullying. However,
disclosure levels remain low. Therefore, this study investigated factors that influence
children’s reporting of bullying. It examined how children’s self-efficacy for reporting
bullying varies across contexts, bullying type (physical or relational), to whom they
disclose (mother, teacher, friend), and whether they have promised to tell about it.
Ninety-six children (48 boys and 48 girls), White (86.5%) and Asian (7.3%), from two
age groups (8 and 11 years) participated. Results revealed that 11-year-olds believed
they were more able to disclose bullying to their mothers and friends than to their
teachers. However, 8-year-olds believed they were equally able to tell their mothers,
teachers, and friends about being bullied. The older children also believed that their
mother and teacher would be most approving of their disclosures, and their friends least
approving. Qualitative data revealed that friends’ more limited approval for disclosure
was attributed to the burden they would experience from such knowledge. Younger
children, unlike older children, expected their friends, mothers, and teachers to react
positively to their disclosure. Most importantly, children from both ages expected more
self-satisfaction and relief after disclosing the bullying to their mothers than to their
friends and teacher. Although children may disclose bullying, how they feel about this
disclosure and whether they continue to disclose will depend on the confidants’ reactions.
Implications for training those people to whom children may disclose are discussed.
Efficacy of Shared Concern method (SCm) in dealing with bullying

Coosje Griffiths
Area Manager Student Services,
Department of Education and Training,
Western Australia

SCm has been utilized in Australian schools over the last twelve years as an effective
process and tool to deal effectively with bullying incidents. However little research has
been done to assess the level of success and the factors involved. The SCm has a five-
phase process whereby students involved in the bullying incident participate in individual
discussions with a therapeutic mediator. They participate in a process of developing a
shared concern for the bullied student. The bullied student is interviewed last and
provided support for improving their situation. A later summit meeting where children
who bullied and were bullied come together provides the opportunity for students to plan
for sustainable change. Evaluation of SCm was first reported in the Sheffield Anti-
Bullying Project in 1994 by a series of interviews with students and teachers participating
in the process (Sharp, S. et. al., 1994). The results indicate a 75% success rate by
students. All but one of the teachers interviewed perceived the method to have reduced
the frequency and severity of bullying behaviour. Long-term maintenance of behaviour
change was found to be more likely if a summit meeting involving bullying and bullied
students had been completed. Also, SCm was found to be least effective for students
who persistently bully others. As a result of intensive training sessions with Professor
Anatol Pikas and the development of extensive skills training in Western Australia, a
number of schools across the state have been utilising SCm with purported high success
rates. Practice-based evidence involving four secondary schools suggests 85-100%
success rates. This paper will provide the results of a more extensive evaluation of ten
secondary schools both government and non-government. Factors that will be reported
include the success and risk factors such quality of staff training and support and the
severity of the bullying incident being mediated.
Who Benefits from Bullying Prevention Programs? A Mixed Model
Debra Pepler, Depeng Jiang, & Wendy Craig

LaMarsh Research Centre, York University

In this paper, we examine the effectiveness of a bullying prevention program by
modeling discontinuous individual changes using a mixed model approach. The bullying
program was modeled after the Norwegian program of Olweus and colleagues. It was
implemented in three schools elementary schools (grades 1 to 6) over a three-year period,
with data collected in the fall and spring of each school year. Students’ reports from an
adaptation of the Olweus questionnaire were used to assess bullying. We examined
developmental trajectories in bullying over time using mixed model analyses with data
for 1475 students, 638 from School A, 444 from School B, and 393 from School C. In
analyzing the data, we examined intra-individual trajectories (to examine changes in
individual students’ reports of bullying) and inter-individual trajectories (to examine how
changes differ across students over time). We examined discontinuity in trajectories to
test immediate changes (over first six months) and long-term changes. We found a slight
increase in students’ reports of bullying before the program was implemented. There
were significant differences between schools in the immediate response to the program.
Bullying scores decreased significantly over the period of intervention. There were
individual differences in the starting levels of bullying and in changes over time.
Three-year outcomes of two randomised group trials of whole-school
bullying interventions in Western Australian Primary Schools

Donna Cross, Erin Erceg

Child Health Promotion Research Unit
Edith Cowan University

Although the prevalence, type and impact of bullying is well documented, limited
evidence of effective school-based interventions is available. The Friendly Schools
Friendly Families (FSFF) randomised group trial was conducted in Western Australia
from 2002 to 2004. It was based on a year- long formative trial (1999) and results from
the four-year randomised group trial of the Friendly Schools Project (2000-2003). Both
intervention trials aimed to test whole-of-school classroom, family and whole school
capacity building activities to empower students, parents/carers and teachers to reduce
bullying. A total of over 6,000 primary school students and their parents/carers were
randomly assigned within schools to the intervention and comparison conditions in these
two studies and tracked for three years. Significant differences were observed between
intervention and comparison groups for bullying behaviour, telling and observing
bullying, but more so in the later FSFF study and among older (grade 6 - 11 year old)
students. The Grade 6 cohort, particularly who received the high intervention, were less
likely to be bullied and bully others and were more likely to tell if they observed bullying
occurring compared to the comparison groups. This paper will describe the development
and testing of both evidence-based bullying prevention interventions, their outcomes and
how their findings are being disseminated and utilised for further research in secondary
schools and among junior primary school age children and other vulnerable groups
including Indigenous children and children who are obese.

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