Don’t Stand By, Stand Up: A Peer Group Anti-Bullying Intervention to Increase Pro-Defending Attitudes and Behaviour in Students that Witness Bullying
Thesis or dissertation
University of Exeter
Psychological research into bullying has highlighted the importance of considering the role of bystanders within this complex social interaction (see literature review). The aim of this paper was to apply this research to develop an anti-bullying intervention programme that increases pro-defending attitudes and behaviour, and consequently reduces bullying. The methodology was a design experiment; in this first iteration, the intervention programme was designed, implemented, and evaluated in collaboration with staff and students at a secondary school. Data were collected using a mixed methods approach via questionnaires, focus groups, an interview, and observation. The results showed that there was no significant difference in prevalence estimates of defending or bullying pre and post intervention. However, two thirds of participants reported that their attitudes and behaviour had become more supportive of defending victims since the intervention. Qualitative data revealed a diversity of perspectives regarding the effects and value of the programme. A model outlining factors that influence decisions to defend a victim of bullying was developed from the results and previous literature. The findings from this paper were used to inform modifications to the design of the intervention programme for implementation in the second iteration in paper 2.
DEdPsy in Educational Child and Community Psychology