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Evaluation of the effectiveness of the anti-bullying intervention program ‘Survivors!’

Amse, J.M.W. (2014) Evaluation of the effectiveness of the anti-bullying intervention program ‘Survivors!’.

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Abstract:Theoretical background : In recent years the need for scientifically and empirically proven effective anti-bullying programs has increased significantly. There has been a shift in anti-bullying intervention research addressing bullying from a group approach by embracing the involvement of the whole group in the bullying process. The important role of bystanders in witnessing and encouraging the bullying and the lack of bystanders to support the victim is further explored by the Participant Role Approach (PRA). Various personal and social factors influence the defending behavior of bystanders in bullying situations. Aim The aim of the present study is to expand the knowledge about the effectiveness of anti-bullying school intervention programs targeting bulling as group process by examining the effects of the anti-bullying intervention program ‘Survivors!’. The classroom intervention program ‘Survivors!’ consists of a theater show, talk show and lesson to make students aware of their own responsibilities and possibilities within the group to prevent or stop the bullying. Aim: The aim of the present study is to expand the knowledge about the effectiveness of anti-bullying school intervention programs targeting bulling as group process by examining the effects of the anti-bullying intervention program ‘Survivors!’. The classroom intervention program ‘Survivors!’ consists of a theater show, talk show and lesson to make students aware of their own responsibilities and possibilities within the group to prevent or stop the bullying. Method: The intervention effects were examined by the use of a self-reported questionnaire in a within-subject research design including a pretest and a posttest. The final sample for analysis included 55 classes with a total of 1,174 participants who completed both the pretest and posttest. The participants were first year students of 11 secondary schools across the Netherlands. Results: The anti-bullying intervention program ‘Survivors!’ proved to be effective. A positive impact of the intervention program was found on all outcome variables: awareness, knowledge, attitude, self-efficacy for defending behavior, and outcome expectations for defending behavior. A moderator effect was found of the self-reported participant roles on the intervention effects on awareness, knowledge, and attitude. All outcome variables assessed in this research, except the variable awareness, significantly predicted the degree of reported defending behavior in bullying situations. Practical implications: In order to transform anti-bullying attitudes in actual defending behavior, intervention programs should focus more on self-reflection and commitment to anti-bullying behavior. To ensure the long-term effectiveness, intervention programs should be developed into a whole-school intervention program. The degree of implementation of the intervention and commitment to the program are essential. Future research: The study gives scientific and empirical support for the effectiveness of anti-bullying program targeting bullying as a group process. Future research is necessary to evaluate the intervention effects on the long term, with special attention for the nature and reasons of change in participant role behavior. Additionally, the research findings should be compared with a control group and be analyzed at school-, class-, and individual level.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:05 communication studies
Programme:Communication Studies MSc (60713)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/65998
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