hig.sePublications
Change search
CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard-cite-them-right
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • sv-SE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • de-DE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf
Consequences for prevention strategies of reduced prevalence of bullying at school-class and school level in a Swedish Municipality
University of Gävle, Faculty of Education and Business Studies, Department of Educational sciences, Educational science.
Utbildning Gävle, Gävle kommun.
BIG, Brottsförebyggarna i Gävle, Utbildning Gävle.
2017 (English)In: Network 5: Children and Youth at Risk and Urban Education, 2017Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

A crucial feature of school classes, as intact social entities, is that members share certain values (Boehnke & Schiefer, 2016). Saarento, Garandeau and Salmivalli (2015), argue that the influence of classroom- and school-level factors on bullying involves demographic, structural, peer contextual and teacher-related dimensions. Swearer et al. (2014) use a theory of “homophily and bullying” to argue for a homophily hypothesis where within group similarity leads to bullies physically or relationally rejecting those who are different and withdrawing any social support for victims.  However, Saarento, Garandeau and Salmivalli’s conclusion (op.cit.) was that the contributions of demographic, school structural and school-class characteristics remain inconsistent.  On the other hand, recent Swedish research (Thornberg et al., 2015 & Thornberg et al., 2016), after controlling for factors such as age, gender, ethnicity, school-class size and gender composition, found that relational climate and experience of moral disengagement within school-classes was a significant predictor of between-class variation in victimisation.  Victimisation was less likely in classes characterised by supportive relational patterns and lower levels of moral disengagement in the classroom, a result confirmed by Grundherr (et al., 2016). The research reported here builds on a presentation at ECER 2016 (Gill, Larsson, Matton, Simonsson & Levin, 2016) that explored some consequences of systematic reductions of prevalence of bullying at school. It was argued that Swedish anti-bullying programs are being delivered at the later phases of an implementation research continuum (Chalamandaris &  Piette, 2015).   Uncovering new or persistent cases of bullying becomes more difficult as prevalence of bullying reduces (successful implementation). Being bullied at least 2 to 3 times a month between 2009–2015, among 200,000 children in 1500 Finnish schools (grades 1–9) decreased from 17.2% at baseline to 12.6% after six years of implementation of the KiVa program (Herkama & Salmivalli, 2016). Even though creating reliable measures of bullying prevalence is difficult (Vivolo-Kantor et al., 2014), Finnish prevalence is considerably higher than in Sweden, national average is about 7/8%, which in turn, is higher than the average in the municipality where this research has been carried out (4.9%, Spring 2016).  With prevalence rates at this level it is possible to envisage realistic “zero-vision” and “zero-tolerance” strategies. (For a critical review of zero-tolerance, see Borgwald & Theixos, 2013 and James & Freeze, 2006). Any goal of reducing a low prevalence of bullying in Sweden, even lower, is mediated by the discovery, from individual-level, longitudinal data, where successful cases of ceased victims are regularly replaced by new victims (Flygare, Gill & Johansson, 2013: Hellstedt, Johansson & Gill, 2016), revealing a cyclical replacement of victims. While up to 75% of victims at one time will self-report not being victimized at one-year follow-up, rates at cross-sectional measurement may remain the same (typically 7/8% in Swedish schools, op.cit.).  The Norwegian “Zero Program” (Strohmeier and Noam, 2012) is based on a “zero-vision” manifesto. Köhler (2006) in outlining health indicators for Swedish children argues that while some ideal zero-outcomes might not stand up as credible operational targets, using “zero vision” as a reference point may be reasonable in some cases. In the municipality that is the focus here, evidence is emerging that some schools and school classes are coming closer to a zero-vision reference point.  In a school with 200 children, in 8 or 9 classes, a point prevalence rate of 3% would indicate that at least two, possibly three classes in that school had no victims of bullying.  It is argued that this circumstance creates new challenges for prevention strategies.  Therefore, it is important to delve deeper into changes in “the picture of bullying”.  That is the goal of this research.

Method

Since the initiation of the rolling intervention (2011/12), where participation was voluntary, 6 schools have become 29 (including independent academy schools).  Since Autumn 2016, all 4th to 9th graders, in these schools, have participated in the municipality’s web-based “School Care Questionnaire”.  Included in this questionnaire is the instrument used by the National Agency for Education in estimating prevalence of bullying (see Flygare, Gill & Johansson, 2013, for details).  The questionnaire is delivered twice during the school year (October and April).  These measurements will allow for follow-up comparisons for 6000 children distributed between 300 school classes in 29 schools. Descriptive statistics will be used to establish realistic estimates of prevalence of bullying victimization. Rates for individuals categorised as “bullied” will be matched by a global index of “no involvement” (that is, no self-reported “incidents” of any kind, including events we refer to as “fun-like rough and tumble).

Expected Outcomes

Fluctuations in point prevalence estimates, at classroom level, will be revealed.  These will be examined with reference to indicated cases (school classes) where bullying is recurring (at follow-up) or is seen to be exceptionally high.  Statistical patterns will be tested against practitioners, responsible teachers, head-teachers, schools anti-bullying teams and municipal supervisor’s hands-on experiences of the school year in question (2016/17).

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017.
National Category
Educational Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-25461OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hig-25461DiVA: diva2:1152581
Conference
ECER2017: EUROPEAN EDUCATIONAL RESEARCH ASSOCIATION
Available from: 2017-10-25 Created: 2017-10-25 Last updated: 2017-10-25

Open Access in DiVA

No full text

Search in DiVA

By author/editor
Gill, Peter Edward
By organisation
Educational science
Educational Sciences

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar

urn-nbn

Altmetric score

urn-nbn
Total: 41 hits
CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard-cite-them-right
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • sv-SE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • de-DE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf