Lessons in Learning – March 20, 2008
Series: Lessons in Learning
Authors: Canadian Council on Learning (CCL)
Collection: Research Materials
Bullying in schools can cause serious and lasting harm to both the victim and the perpetrator, and has been linked to such problems as substance abuse, aggression, and social withdrawal.
The authors of this document examine research about the effectiveness of intervention programs in ending bullying.
Their analysis suggests that intervention programs that utilize a whole-school approach often produce significant reductions in rates of bullying and victimization. To be effective, bullying prevention programs must be integrated into the school culture, with the entire school community committed to the creation of a safe environment in which to learn and grow.
Programs administered at the classroom level and those with a single focus – such as conflict resolution skills, peer mediation strategies, or social skills development – appear to be largely ineffective. Researchers argue that these types of interventions fail, in part, because bullying is a complex socio-cultural phenomenon that relies on power imbalances, rather than a social skills deficit on the part of the bully.