The effectiveness of a nationwide intervention programme to prevent and counter school bullying in Ireland
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The purpose of this paper is to set out what is known about (large-scale empirical research) and what has been done about (large-scale whole-school intervention programmes) bullying behaviour in Irish schools, with a view to indicating likely future developments in Irish anti-bullying action. Results from a 1993 nationwide representative survey of bullying behaviour in schools (O'Moore, Kirkham & Smith, 1997) are compared with those of a hitherto unpublished survey from 2004-2005 (the 'ABC' survey). Essentially, whilst the proportion of primary students involved in bully/victim problems was lower in the 'ABC' survey (35.3%) than it was in the 1993 nationwide survey (43.5%), the opposite was true for post-primary students (36.4% and 26.5% respectively). The background and methodology to two whole-school anti-bullying programmes in Ireland -one regional, the 1998-2000 Donegal Primary Schools Anti-Bullying Programme (O' Moore & Minton, 2005), and one attempted nationwide initiative (the 2004-2006 ABC programme (Minton, 2007)- is presented, along with the programmes' principal evaluation findings. Whilst the regional programme was evaluated as having produced statistically significant reductions in reports of having been bullied (19.6%), frequently bullied (50%), having bullied others (17.1%) and having frequently bullied others (69.2%) within the last three months (O' Moore & Minton, 2005), the same levels of success were not obtained in the ABC programme initiative. A comparison of the implementation of the two programmes and a reflection on both contemporary and overall developments in the field of anti-bullying research and action in Ireland is undertaken, as indications for future directions are mapped out. © Intern. Jour. Psych. Psychol. Ther.
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