International Journal of Psychology and Psychological Therapy

Volume 8 Num. 1 - March 2008


The effectiveness of a Nationwide Intervention Programme to prevent and counter school bullying in Ireland

Volume 8 Num. 1 - March 2008 - Pages 1-12


Stephen James Minton and Astrid Mona O? Moore


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hitherto unpublished survey from 2004-2005 (the ?ABC?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.

Key words:

school violence, school bullying behaviour, Irish schools, intervention programs

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