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Bullying: Effects and Intervention • Mary Zoulis • Final Action Research Project and Presentation • Fall 2012-Spring 2013 • ED 7201.T- Dr. O’Connor-Petruso
Table of Contents • Abstract • Introduction • Statement of the Problem • Review of Related Literature • Statement of Hypothesis • Method: Participants (N) and Instrument(s) • Research Design/Data • Threats to Internal/External Validity • Procedure • Pre/Post Survey Results • Discussions/ Implications • References • Appendices
Abstract • The purpose of this action research project is to identify whether conducting read alouds about character education and implementing role playing will improve classroom environment and reduce bullying occurrences. This action research project includes one group of six, first grade students from Private School X in Jamaica, New York. The intervention was conducted three times a week, for 50 minutes over a three week period during late morning. The participants were given the same pre and post surveys. Before intervention, all six students believed bullying was a problem at school, and as a result of the intervention, student answers reveal that bullying has decreased, indicating that the intervention was successful.
Introduction • Almost everybody can tell a story or two about having been victimized by a bully in school. Victims of bullying tend to be unpopular and rejected by their peers, have low self-esteem, anxiety and poor social skills. Bullying has serious effects for both bullies and victims. Both bullies and victims are both at risk for negative future outcomes such as suffering from depression, academic problems, absenteeism, loneliness, and loss of friends (Barone, 1997; Farrington, 1993; Milsom & Gallo, 2006; Olweus, 1995; Siris & Osterman 2004; Guerra et al. 2011; Smith et al. 2005).
Statement of the Problem • Bullying is a serious social problem affecting many schools around the world. As a result of bullying, victimized children tend to suffer from depression and anxiety, as well as want to keep to themselves. Another serious effect that bullying has is interrupting classroom environment, and creating an uncomfortable and hostile environment where students cannot focus on their learning. Furthermore, their academic performance is hindered as well (Barone, 1997; Cross, et al., 2011; Farrington, 1993; Olweus 1995, Siris & Osterman 2004; Guerra et al., 2011; Smith et al., 2005).
Review of Related Literature • Generally, bullying occurs especially at places and times when adult supervision and surveillance is minimal (Farrington, 1993). • Students who witness bullying report helplessness and vulnerability. They may require support similar to children who are victimized (Beran & Shapiro, 2012; Polanin et al.,2012). • A lack of empathy for one’s peers is considered to be one major cause for bullying occurrences (Roland et al., 2009; Beran & Shapiro, 2005; Jenson et al., 2007, Smith et al., 2005).
Review of Related Literature • There is usually a power imbalance between bully and victim (Olweus 1995, Smith et al. 2005 ). • Bullying is no longer viewed simply as a dyadic interaction between a perpetrator and a victim. Other peers often play a role in bullying such as assistants, reinforcers, and onlookers (Smith et al., 2005). • There are several types of bullying which occur in schools daily. This includes physical bullying, verbal bullying, relational bullying, and reactive bullying. (Milsom & Gallo, 2006). • Whole-school intervention approaches to bullying which involve parents, students, teachers, and staff have proved to decrease bullying occurrences (Cross et al., 2011; Jenson, et al, 2007; Graham, 2010; Guerra, et al., 2011, Smith et al., 2005).
Review of Literature Cont. • Bullying is often referred to as the “silent nightmare,” because many bullying incidents are neither reported by victims or witnesses to bullying. • Students are often reluctant to tell a teacher that they have been bullied, and often feel more comfortable telling a friend or parent (Atlas & Pepler, 1998; Oliver & Candappa, 2007). • The Youth Matters Program promotes the healthy development of youth by stressing how to be a good friend, empathy, asking for help, making better choices, how to stand up for yourself and others, and how to cope with bullying (Jenson & Dieterich, 2007). • Character education when implemented correctly can be effective in improving academic achievement, prosocial behavior, bonding to school, self-esteem, social skills, respect, and moral reasoning. When students feel comfortable in their classroom, and feel like they belong, they are less likely to become victims or bullies (Berkowitz & Bier, 2004).
Review of LiteratureTheorists • Erling Roland of Norway Intervention Suggestions • Read alouds about bullying to make students aware of the negative effects of bullying and reflect on their bullying experiences through writing. • Role playing allows students to reverse the roles of bully and victim in order to understand how the other person is feeling. Builds empathy in children for their peers (Barone, 1997; Quinn et al., 2003). • Zero Programme calls for zero tolerance to bullying. This program encourages teachers, parents, and faculty to work together to fight against bullying. The goal of the program is to make students develop empathy towards their peers (Roland et al., 2009).
Review of Theorists • The Olweus Bullying Prevention Program by Dan Olweus • Designed to prevent or reduce bullying in elementary, middle, and junior high school students from 6-15 years old. • The program works with interventions at three levels: school wide interventions, classroom-level interventions, and individual-level interventions. • Administered the bully/victim questionnaire to students to be filled out anonymously. To combat bullying, Olweus believed in holding individual meetings with children who bully, individual meetings with students who are targets of bullying, and with the parents of the bullies and victims (Olweus, 1995).
Review of LiteratureTheorists (Continued) • Cletus R. Bulach believes that educators should make every attempt to model positive character behaviors such as forgiveness, sympathy, and kindness(Bulach, 2002). • O’Sullivan believes that integrating character education with the curriculum can influence student behavior for the better. Reading stories to students can provide rules and morals for students to live by. Students can reflect on the positive behavior traits of the characters, as well as the negative traits they see conveyed in each story (O’Sullivan, 2004; Hillsberg & Spak, 2006).
Research Hypothesis • Implementing role playing and reading stories about character education to six, first grade students at Private School X in Jamaica, Queens, three times a week, for 50 minutes over a three week period during late morning, will improve classroom environment and decrease bullying occurrences.
Method • Participants: • Six first grade students, 4 boys and 2 girls (4 Caucasian students, 1 African American student, and 1 Asian student). • One principal, and one teacher • Instruments • 2 consent forms, one for principal and one to parents • 1 survey before intervention, and 1 survey after intervention, student-made role playing skits
Research Design/Data • One-Shot Case Study: Single group exposed to a treatment (X) and post surveyed (O). Symbolic Design: XO • Independent Variable: Implementing role-playing and reading stories about character education to six first grade students will improve classroom environment and reduce bullying occurrences. • Dependent Variable: Bullying Occurrences and classroom environment. • Data: Pre and Post student surveys which aim to show what students have experienced about bullying, as well as what they have learned as a result of intervention.
Threats to Validity • Threats to Internal Validity: History, Maturation, Testing/Pre-test Sensitization,Instrumentation, Mortality, Selection- Maturation Interaction, Statistical Regression, Differential Selection of Subjects • Threats to External Validity: Pre-test Treatment, Specificity of Variables, Experimenter Effects (Active Elements), Reactive Arrangement, Compensatory Rivalry Effect
Procedure • Administer Pre-Survey (March 4, 2013) • Implement read alouds on character education which contain specific messages regarding bullying • Discussion and role playing skits after each story (Three groups of two students) • Administer Post- Survey (March 22, 2013)
Pre and Post Survey Results Y P E R C E N T A G E S
Correlations Y P e r cen t ages X Student Answers Pre Survey In this figure, there is a positive correlation of .964 rxy. This means that prior to intervention, students are less likely to intervene when they see a bullying incident occurring and are more likely to be bystanders.
Correlations Y O C C U R E N C E S In this figure, there is a positive correlation of .874 rxy. Therefore, after intervention, students are more likely to intervene and are less likely to be bystanders. X- Axis Student Answers Post-Survey
Correlations In this figure, there is a positive correlation of.883 rxy. Therefore, prior to intervention, students are more likely to make fun of others. Y V E R B A L O C C U R R E N C E S
Correlations Y V E R B A L B U L L Y I N G O C C U R E N CES
Discussion and Implications • Research shows that 83.33% of students disagree that bullying is a problem at school after intervention. • As a result of this action research project, results support the following ideologies and current theorists • Prior to an intervention, students are more likely to be bystanders than to stick up for their peers. • Verbal and Indirect Bullying seems to be the most frequent types of bullying. • Character Education when implemented correctly can provide rules and morals for students to live by. • Role play allows students to see what positive behaviors they should adopt and which ones to avoid. • The action researcher presumes that the low survey results prior to intervention is due to the lack of a bullying intervention program.
Appendices Consent Form A (To Principal) March 2, 2013 Dear Principal Panos, As you are probably aware, I am completing my graduate program in Childhood Education (1-6) at Brooklyn College. This semester I have been asked to conduct an action research project within the classroom. The research project is designed to reduce the amount of bullying incidents that occur within the classroom and to improve classroom environment. I plan to pass out surveys and questionnaires to my first grade students in order to gain a better understanding of what their experiences with bullying are, and to learn about what they already know about bullying. The surveys and questionnaires require that I choose a few students, and after acquiring parental permission, gather information from them regarding bullying. Students are to complete the surveys over a three week period. To preserve their privacy, the actual names of the individuals will not be used, and the school’s name will not be used. These surveys will in no way affect my duties as an educator, rather the information acquired may prove useful in helping me understand the various ways to reduce the occurrences of bullying within the classroom, thus improving classroom environment and preserving academic excellence. I am asking for your consent to conduct these surveys within our school. Thank you, in advance, for your support. Sincerely, Mary Zoulis-Lathourakis ______________________________________________________________________________ I ___________________________ have read and understand the information provided above. I Principal Signature willingly agree to allow my school to participate in this research project.
Consent Form B(To Parents) • March 2, 2013 • Dear Parent(s)/Guardian(s), • I am currently a graduate student at Brooklyn College, and am in the process of completing my Masters. I would like to invite your child to participate in my action research project which will be conducted during the school year over a three week period. The research project is designed to reduce the amount of bullying incidents that occur within the classroom and to improve classroom environment. I plan to pass out surveys and questionnaires to students in order to gain a better understanding of what their experiences with bullying are, and to learn about what they already know about it. The surveys and questionnaires require that I choose a few students, and after acquiring parental permission, gather information from them regarding bullying. Students are to complete the surveys and questionnaires over a three week period. To preserve their privacy, the actual names of the individuals will not be used, and the school’s name will not be used. Furthermore, I will be reading students several books which contain morals and lessons regarding the importance of treating others kindly and with respect. • I would greatly appreciate it if you would grant your child permission to participate in this action research project. I would like to assure you that if you decide to allow your child to participate, any information that is obtained in connection to this project will remain confidential and will not be disclosed. The participants and the school will remain anonymous. • If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me via email at email@example.com. Thank you, in advance, for your cooperation and support, Mary Zoulis-Lathourakis
Survey Before and After Intervention II. Attitudes Directions: Please write your answers on the right hand column. Self- Attitude Rating Scale 1- Strongly Disagree 2-Disagree 3- Agree 4- Strongly AgreeBullying is a problem at school. Most bullying is done in fun, not to hurt people. If I see someone being bullied, I will step in to help them. There are no adults at school I can talk to if I am being bullied. Teasing and bullying are the same thing. • Directions: Please write your answers on the right hand column. • Rating Scale: a) b) c) d) e) • I. Demographics • 1) What nationality best describes you? Answers • a) Caucasian • b) African American • c) Asian • d) Hispanic • 2) Gender • a) Boy • b) Girl • 3) What is your age? . _______ • a) 6 • b) 7 • What grade are you in? a) First
Surveys Continued • Rating Scale: • 1- Never 2- Rarely (1-2 times a week) 3-Sometimes(2-3 times a week) 4- Usually (3-4) times a week 5- Always (5 or more times a week) • I help a student that I see being bullied. _____ I tell a teacher or another adult when I see someone being bullied. ______ I am kind to people and respect them by not hurting their feelings. ______ I have been hit by another student. ______ I have been made fun of by another student in the class. _____ I have said bad things about other people. ______ I have talked about other people behind their backs. ______ I tell an adult or my parents when I am being bullied. _______ I feel afraid and sad when I am bullied. __________
References • Atlas, R. S., & P. D. J. (1998). Observations of bullying in the classroom. The Journal of Educational Research, 92, 86-99. Retrieved from http:/www.jstor.org/stable 27542195 • Barone, F. J. (1997). Bullying in school: It doesn't have to happen. Phi Delta Kappa International, 79(1), 80-82. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/20405957 • Beran, T., & Shapiro, B. (2005). Evaluation of an anti-bullying program: Student reports of knowledge and confidence to manage bullying. Canadian Journal of Education, 28(4) 700-717. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/4126451 • Berkowitz, M. W. & Bier, M. C. (2004). Research-Based Character Education. American Academy of Political and Social Science, 591, 72-85. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/ stable/4127636 • Bulach, C. R. (2002). Implementing a character education curriculum and assessing its impact on student Behavior. The Clearing House, 76, 79-83. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/30189797 • Joliffe, D., & Farrington, D.P. (2006). Examining the relationship between low empathy and bullying. Aggressive Behavior, 32(6), 540-550. doi:10.1002/ab.20154 • Milson, A. & Gallo, L. L. (2006). Bullying in middle schools: Prevention and intervention.Association for Middle Level Education, 37(3), 12-19. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/23044293 • Muñoz, L. C., Qualter, P., & Padgett, G. (2011). Empathy and bullying: Exploring the influence of callous-unemotional traits. Child Psychiatry & Human Development, 42(2), 183-196. doi:10.1007/s10578-010-0206-1 • Oliver, C., & Candappa, M. (2007). Bullying and the politics of telling. Oxford Review of Education, 33(1), 71-86. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/4618697 • Olweus, D. (1995). Bullying or peer abuse at school: Facts and intervention. Association for Psychological Science, 4(6), 196-200. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/20182370
References Continued... • Smith, J. D., Cousins, B. J., Stewart, R. (2005). Antibullying interventions in schools: Ingredients of effective programs. Canadian Journal of Education, 28(4), 739-762. • Williams, K., & Kennedy, J. H. (2012). Bullying behaviors and attachment styles. North American Journal Of Psychology, 14(2), 321-337.