Olweus Bully Victim Questionnaire survey data as part of mixed methodsresearch on the efficacy The Bullying Prevention Pack to prevent bullying
The main purpose of this research study was to explore teacher ability to use and examine the effects of a bullying prevention programme entitled the Bullying Prevention Pack (BPP). The BPP is designed to be an accessible teacher led intervention that puts the learner at the forefront of the discussion and activities with the aim of scaffolding a constructivist approach to knowledge creation on the subject of school bullying and the creation of preventative measures. Concordant with the aim of ascertaining teacher ability to use the BPP were a number of other related objectives as follows. • To ascertain how much assistance/coaching teachers would need to implement the BPP. This includes a review of the quality of the instructions of the BPP in terms of instructional clarity and ease of implementation. • To ascertain if the activities of the BBP are straightforward for learners to comprehend and enact. • To quantify via the Olweus Bully/Victim Questionnaire if the ongoing implementation of the BPP makes a difference to the levels of victimisation within the research school over a period of six (2nd survey) and eighteen months (3rd survey). • To evaluate if the BPP can engender learner knowledge creation and metacognition around the topic of bullying and empower learners to help prevent bullying in their school. • To investigate if levels of empathy can be raised with regards to those victimised by bullying behaviour. The profiles of the research and control schools were all boys, designated disadvantaged, availing of Delivering Equal Opportunity in Schools (DEIS) programmes and following the Stay Safe programme (as discussed in Chapter Two). Under the DEIS programme, the Home School Community Liaison Scheme (HSCL) supported by the Department of Education and Skills Social Inclusion Unit, provides its services to all DEIS Urban Band 1, Urban Band 2 and DEIS Post Primary schools (Department of Education and Skills, 2015). The HSCL was established in 1990 and since then has grown to provide services for 857 primary and secondary schools. One of the main objectives of the scheme is to maximise participation of children in the learning process, particularly those at risk of failure. The scheme focusses on encouraging parents and teachers to be pro-actively involved in children’s learning and to deal with issues that may prevent learning from happening such as involvement in bullying.
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Below is a synopsis of the step followed in gathering the survey data only. The surveys were administered at three points in the research timeline: December 2010, June 2011 and May 2012. The aim of this strand of the data collection strategy was to examine if the BPP had short-term and longitudinal efficacy in reducing student reports of bullying incidents. The reason for three administrations of the survey is that short-term interventions can demonstrate a short-term effect in reducing bullying incidents but it is claimed this short-term reductions can evaporate if strategies to prevent bullying behaviours are not maintained over the longer term (Smith, 2011). Learners from 4th to 6th class (typically 9/10-12/13 years old) were chosen as learners in this age range were considered best able to read and understand the content of the OBVQ-R (Beran and Tutty, 2002). This is a key consideration as measurement methods need to be age-appropriate, when comparing results across grades, the questionnaire items should function in an invariant way (Ka¨rna¨ et al., 2011). Potential answers were coded on a five-point scale from one to five and responses inputted via SPSS software (version 18.0). December 2010 was chosen for the first survey administration because learners would have been in school for several months and, therefore, would be able to answer questions concerning experiences or non-experiences of bullying behaviour. June 2011 was chosen as the second administration date as the BPP would have been introduced several months previously at the research school and this would have allowed time to pass to assess if it had had short term durational effects. May 2012 was chosen as the third administration date as this would have been approximately a year and a half since the BPP’s introduction and would provide longitudinal results to assess the programme’s efficacy. The following table summarises the classes and numbers of respondents from each school. Table 4.1: Respondents to OBVQ-R as part of the BPP intervention 2010-2011 Administration Date School Type & Classes Number of Respondents December 2010 Control: 4th, 5th & 6th 57 December 2010 Research: 4th, 5th & 6th 52 June 2011 Control: 4th, 5th & 6th 55 June 2011 Research: 4th, 5th & 6th 53 May 2012 Control: 5th & 6th 34 May 2012 Research: 5th & 6th 30 Even though there were larger numbers that could have potentially participated in the surveys (Control = 61, Research = 55), this was not possible due to absences. Also, since there was a natural progression of the sixth class group from 2010-11 into secondary school, there were consequently fewer respondents. The longitudinal data established that there was a 53% reduction in victimisation by bullying since the intro of the BPP and is supported by the qualitative data.