A meta-analysis of school-based bullying prevention programs' effects on bystander intervention behavior

Joshua R. Polanin, Dorothy L Espelage, Therese D. Pigott

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

This meta-analysis synthesized bullying prevention programs' effectiveness at increasing bystander intervention in bullying situations. Evidence from 12 school-based programs, involving 12,874 students, indicated that overall the programs were successful (Hedges's g =. 20, 95% confidence interval [CI] =.11 to.29, p <.001), with larger effects for high school (HS) samples compared to kindergarten through eighth-grade (K-8) student samples (HS effect size [ES] = 0.43, K-8 ES = 0.14; p <.05). A secondary synthesis from eight of the studies that reported empathy for the victim revealed treatment effectiveness that was positive but not significantly different from zero (g =. 05, 95% CI = -.07 to.17, p =.45). Nevertheless, this meta-analysis indicated that programs increased bystander intervention both on a practical and statistically significant level. These results suggest that researchers and school administrators should consider implementing programs that focus on bystander intervention behavior supplementary to bullying prevention programs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)47-65
Number of pages19
JournalSchool Psychology Review
Volume41
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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