Category: Child / Adolescent - School-Related Issues
Introduction. School bullying has serious problem on children’s physical and mental health. Previous research has suggested that bullying prevention program has effectiveness (Farrington et al., 2017). Thus far, no studies have examined the cognitive behavioral program for bullying, as a school-based prevention program in Japan. In addition, most previous studies focus on bully and victim, few studies focusing bystanders. Further, there is little research targeting concrete bystander behaviors and focusing on reducing them. Based on the above, the purpose of the present study was to examine the effectiveness of a cognitive-behavioral program aimed at preventing bullying among junior high school students, through focusing bystander behaviors.
Methods. The intervention group consisted of 178 first-year Japanese junior high school students (12–13 years old) who attended the program. The program comprised four group sessions (50 min) of a cognitive behavioral program. The program content comprised ”anti-bullying policy” “bystander behaviors”. In order to examine the effectiveness of the intervention, number of bullying incidents the intervention group were assessed. To verify the effectiveness of the intervention, the self-report bystander behaviors and the Social support (Okayasu & Takayama, 1999) were used to assess members of the intervention group pre- and post-intervention and at follow-up (3 month).
Results. To investigate the effects of a bullying prevention program, the number of bullying incidents in 2015, when an intervention was conducted, and in 2014, when an intervention was not conducted, was assessed with a chi-squared test. A significant difference in the number of bullying incidents was observed, indicating that the number of bullying incidents was lower in 2015, when a bullying prevention program was conducted (χ2 (2) = 34.0, p < .05). The number of bullying incidents was 34 in 2014 and 18 in 2015. Next, to investigate changes in the frequency of bystander behaviors due to the bullying prevention program, a chi-squared test was conducted for the frequency of bystander behaviors. Bystander behaviors increased to 196 after session 2, 344 after session 3, and 420 after session 4 (χ2 (2) = 81.1, p < .01). Additionally, the social support scale was analyzed using a linear mixed model. Results suggested that teacher support and friend’s support were higher at follow-up than pre-intervention.
Conclusion. These results suggest that the school-based bullying prevention program may be an effective technique for use among junior high school students. Specifically, significant improvements were found in number of bullying incidents, bystander behaviors and social support. Overall, these results seem to support the view that a school-based bullying prevention program is beneficial.