Efficacy of a School-Based Universal Program for Bullying Prevention: Considering the Extended Effects Associated with Achievement of the Direct Purposes of the Program

Katsuyuki Yamasaki, Atsuko Umakoshi, Kanako Uchida

Abstract


We have developed a group of universal prevention programs for children’s health and adjustment. The programs are characterized by new theories such as the somatic-marker hypothesis and enjoyable methods that utilize animated stories and games. This study adopted one of the programs, a universal program for bullying prevention in third-grade students, and evaluated its efficacy. Participants were third-grade students in two public elementary schools in Japan. Homeroom classes in the schools were randomly divided into intervention and control groups. The final intervention group included 99 children (58 boys, 41 girls) and the final control group included 96 children (45 boys, 51 girls). The program was implemented weekly in one regular 45-minute class over eight weeks for all homeroom class members. Participants completed two questionnaires both before and after the program. Similar assessment periods were used for the control group. The questionnaires assessed the main purposes of the program (to enhance the understanding of bullying, to cultivate empathetic feelings for bullying victims, and to cultivate behavioral capabilities that stop bullying), and measured the adaptive status of children in homeroom class and at school. Results indicated that all of the main program purposes were achieved in the intervention group compared to the control group. Moreover, the level of the children’s adjustment in homeroom class and at school significantly increased with the program, except for motivation for learning, which did not change. The necessity of future research that examines the sustainability of the efficacy of the program with randomized controlled trials is discussed, along with the study limitations.


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.11114/ijsss.v5i8.2534

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International Journal of Social Science Studies   ISSN 2324-8033 (Print)   ISSN 2324-8041 (Online)

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