School bullying, increasingly a topic of both public concern and research efforts, has a serious impact on children – both mentally and physically. Different programs have been implemented to combat the problem but have rarely been evaluated.
The authors of a new Campbell review examined the effectiveness of anti-bullying programs and which intervention methods are most likely to reduce school bullying. More than 600 potentially relevant studies were identified, with 89 meeting the authors’ eligibility criteria for inclusion in the review. The authors recommend that a system of accreditation for anti-bullying programs be developed and supervised by an international body.
Results were encouraging and demonstrate that, overall, school-based anti-bullying programs are effective in reducing bullying and victimization (being bullied). Parent training/meetings and disciplinary methods were highlighted as the most successful program elements, with the total number of elements and the duration and intensity of the program for teachers and children also having significant impact. However, one type of program was associated with an increase in victimization – work with peers, such efforts as peer mediation and peer mentoring.
This article is based on the systematic review (access full text version): Farrington, David P., Ttofi, Maria M. School-Based Programs to Reduce Bullying and Victimization