Categories
A pearl of knowledge

[201] 20 April 2021: Effectiveness of school‐based programs to reduce bullying perpetration and victimization: An updated systematic review and meta‐analysis

Inleiding en context

Goede morgen allemaal, het is dinsdag 20 april 2021. Voor wie gisteren naar buiten is geweest moet het duidelijk zijn geworden dat het voorjaar nu echt is gearriveerd. Heerlijk in deze COVID-19 tijd waarin elk positief nieuws of ontwikkeling belangrijk is en iedereen vooral moed geeft. Trouwens, nog bedankt voor het grote aantal leuke, positieve en aardige reacties die ik gisteren ontving naar aanleiding van het verschijnen van de 200e ´kennisparel´, dat geeft ´deze burger´ ook weer moed.

Vandaag een ´kennisparel´ over de effectiviteit van zogenaamde anti-pest programma´s op scholen. Internationaal is dat pesten een fors probleem met alle gevolgen van dien. Belangrijkste problemen zijn de langdurige nadelige effecten die dat pesten op de gepeste kan hebben. Zowel fysiek als geestelijk. Maar niet alleen pesten kan volgens bijgesloten systematic review door effectieve anti-pestprogramma´s worden voorkomen maar ook in significante mate het slachtofferschap daarvan en op latere leeftijd daderschap van (gewelds)misdrijven. De geïnteresseerde lezer verwijs ik nog graag naar een PowerPoint presentatie waarin ik heb getracht de kern van anti-pestprogramma´s weer te geven:  https://www.researchgate.net/publication/334083782_Anti-bullying_programs_do_work_Presentation_for_the_Office_of_Resource_Officers_of_the_Educational_Institutions_and_Ministry_of_Education Maar nu naar de ´kennisparel´ van vandaag.

Bron

Gaffney, Hannah, Maria M. Ttofi & David P. Farrington (June 2021). Effectiveness of school‐based programs to reduce bullying perpetration and victimization: An updated systematic review and meta‐analysis. Campbell Systematic Reviews, vol. 17, no. 2, June,  pp. 1-102.

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/cl2.1143

Summary

Bullying first emerged as an important topic of research in the 1980s in Norway, and a recent meta‐analysis shows that these forms of aggression remain prevalent among young people globally. Prominent researchers in the field have defined bullying as any aggressive behavior that incorporates three key elements, namely: (1) an intention to harm, (2) repetitive in nature, and (3) a clear power imbalance between perpetrator and victim. There are many negative outcomes associated with bullying perpetration, such as: suicidal ideation, weapon carrying, drug use, and violence and offending in later life. Bullying victimization too is associated with negative outcomes such as: suicidal ideation (Holt et al.), anxiety, low self‐esteem and loneliness. Therefore, school bullying is an important target for effective intervention, and should be considered a matter of public health concern.

The objective of this review is to establish whether or not existing school‐based antibullying programs are effective in reducing school‐bullyng behaviors. This report also updates a previous meta‐analysis conducted by Farrington and Ttofi. This earlier review found that antibullying programs are effective in reducing bullying perpetration and victimization and a primary objective of the current report is to update the earlier analysis of 53 evaluations by conducting new searches for evaluations conducted and published since 2009. Systematic searches were conducted using Boolean combinations of the following keywords: bully*; victim*; bully‐victim; school; intervention; prevention; program*; evaluation; effect*; and anti‐bullying. Searches were conducted on several online databases including, Web of Science, PscyhINFO, EMBASE, EMBASE, DARE, ERIC, Google Scholar, and Scopus. Databases of unpublished reports, such as masters’ and doctoral theses (e.g., Proquest) were also searched.

Results from systematic searches were screened thoroughly against the following inclusion criteria. To be included in this review, a study must have: (1) described an evaluation of a school‐based antibullying program implemented with school‐age participants; (2) utilized an operational definition of school‐bullying that coincides with existing definitions; (3) measured school‐bullying perpetration and/or victimization using quantitative measures, such as, self‐, peer‐, or teacher‐report questionnaires; and (4) used an experimental or quasi‐experimental design, with one group receiving the intervention and another not receiving the intervention.

Of the 19,877 search results, 474 were retained for further screening. The majority of these were excluded, and after multiple waves of screening, 100 evaluations were included in our meta‐analysis. A total of 103 independent effect sizes were estimated and each effect size was corrected for the impact of including clusters in evaluation designs. Included evaluations were conducted using both randomized (n = 45; i.e., randomized controlled trials/RCTs) and nonrandomized (n = 44; i.e., quasi‐experimental designs with before/after measures; BA/EC) methodologies. All of these studies included measures of bullying outcomes before and after implementation of an intervention. The remaining 14 effect sizes were estimated from evaluations that used age cohort designs. Two models of meta‐analysis are used to report results in our report. All mean effects computed are presented using both the multivariance adjustment model (MVA) and random effects model (RE). The MVA model assigns weights to primary studies in direct proportion to study level sampling error as with the fixed effects model but adjusts the meta‐analytic standard error and confidence intervals for study heterogeneity. The RE model incorporates between‐study heterogeneity into the formula for assigning weights to primary studies. The differences and strengths/limitations of both approaches are discussed in the context of the present data.

The main findings of our review are that bullying programs were effective in reducing bullying perpetration outcomes by roughly 18–19% and bullying victimization by roughly 15–16%. There are substantial variations in effects, and the reasons for these variations require further research. We conclude that overall, school‐based antibullying programs are effective in reducing bullying perpetration and bullying victimization, although effect sizes are modest. The impact of evaluation methodology on effect size appears to be weak and does not adequately explain the significant heterogeneity between primary studies. Moreover, the issue of the under‐/over‐estimation of the true treatment effect by different experimental designs and use of self‐reported measures is reviewed. The potential explanations for this are discussed, along with recommendations for future primary evaluations. Avenues for future research are discussed, including the need further explain differences across programs by correlating individual effect sizes with varying program components and varying methodological elements available across these 100 evaluations. Initial findings in the variability of effect sizes across different methodological moderators provide some understanding on the issue of heterogeneity, but future analyses based on further moderator variables are needed.

Afsluitend

Opnieuw een overtuigend bewijs dat preventieprogramma´s daadwerkelijk kunnen werken. In dit geval om pesten op school te verminderen en slachtofferschap terug te brengen. Bijgesloten metanalyse van drie prominente onderzoekers op dit terrein laat dat zien. Zij hebben aangetoond dat pesten, gedefinieerd als elk agressief gedrag dat drie sleutelelementen omvat, namelijk: (1) de intentie om schade toe te brengen, (2) repetitief van aard, en (3) een duidelijke machtsongelijkheid tussen dader en slachtoffer, in omvang en ernst kan worden teruggebracht. Dat is goed nieuws omdat er veel negatieve gevolgen verbonden zijn aan het slachtofferchap van pesten, zoals: zelfmoordgedachten, het dragen van wapens, drugsgebruik en gewelds- en vermogensmisdrijven op latere leeftijd. Daarom is pesten op school een belangrijk fenomeen om te voorkomen via effectieve interventies.