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Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2006 Jun;160(6):638-44.

Effects of antibullying school program on bullying and health complaints.

Author information

1
Youth Department, TNO Prevention and Health, 2301 CE Leiden, the Netherlands. m.fekkes@pg.tno.nl

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To evaluate the effects of an antibullying school intervention in elementary schools.

DESIGN:

Two-year follow-up randomized intervention group-control group.

SETTING:

Forty-seven elementary schools in the Netherlands.

PARTICIPANTS:

Three thousand eight hundred sixteen children aged 9 to 12 years.

INTERVENTION:

During the first study year, an antibullying school program was implemented in the schools in the intervention group.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

A questionnaire measuring bullying behavior, depression, psychosomatic complaints, delinquent behavior, and satisfaction with school life and peer relationships was filled out by the students at 3 times to obtain the following data: a baseline measurement, a first-effect measurement at the end of the first year, and a second-effect measurement at the end of the second year.

RESULTS:

The number of bullied children decreased by 25% in the intervention group compared with the control group (relative risk, 0.75; 95% confidence interval, 0.57-0.98). The intervention group also showed a decline in the scale scores of victimization (-1.06 vs 0.28; P< .01) and active bullying behaviors (-0.47 vs 0.12, P< .05). Self-reported peer relationships also improved in the intervention schools (0.48 vs 0.11; P< .05), and there was a trend for a decrease in reported depression in the intervention schools (-0.33 vs -0.10; P< .10). At follow-up, there were no differences between the intervention and control groups for the outcome measures. Schools had also lowered their antibullying activities during the second study year.

CONCLUSIONS:

An antibullying school policy can reduce bullying behavior. To keep bullying at a consistently low level, schools must continue antibullying measures every year. Continued counseling may help schools in their efforts to establish a lasting antibullying policy.

PMID:
16754827
DOI:
10.1001/archpedi.160.6.638
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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