A Meta-analytic Review of School-Based Anti-bullying Programs with a Parent Component

Abstract

Social-ecological theory of school bullying stresses the role parents play in students’ engagement in bullying. School practitioners and the researchers who support practitioners are often recommended to involve parents in their efforts to implement school-based prevention efforts. Yet, empirical support for this recommendation is scarce. Although evidence on bullying prevention programs continues to burgeon, limited efforts have been made to synthesize the impacts of adding parental components to prevention programming. This meta-analysis attempts to fill this gap by reviewing and analyzing studies published after 2000 that evaluate school-based anti-bullying programs involving a parental component. Twenty-two studies with an overall sample of 212,211 students from kindergarten to 12th grade supported a small but significant effect on reducing bully perpetration (d = 0.179, 95% CI = [0.095, 0.264]) and victimization (d = 0.162, 95% CI = [0.059, 0.265]). Moderator analysis revealed that the effectiveness of the program on both perpetration and victimization was not affected by school level, country in which the program was implemented, or type of parental component. Current caveats and suggestions for incorporating parental components in school-based anti-bullying programs are discussed.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3

References

  1. *Alsaker, F. D., & Valkanover, S. (2012). The Bernese program against victimization in kindergarten and elementary school. New Directions for Youth Development, 2012(133), 15–28.

  2. Astor, R. A., Meyer, H. A., & Pitner, R. O. (2001). Elementary and middle school students’ perceptions of violence-prone school subcontexts. The Elementary School Journal, 101(5), 511–528.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Baldry, A. C. (2003). Bullying in schools and exposure to domestic violence. Child Abuse & Neglect, 27(7), 713–732.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. *Bauer, N. S., Lozano, P., & Rivara, F. P. (2007). The effectiveness of the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program in public middle schools: a controlled trial. Journal of Adolescent Health, 40(3), 266–274.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  5. *Beran, T. N., Tutty, L., & Steinrath, G. (2004). An evaluation of a bullying prevention program for elementary schools. Canadian Journal of School Psychology, 19(1–2), 99–116.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. *Berry, K., & Hunt, C. J. (2009). Evaluation of an intervention program for anxious adolescent boys who are bullied at school. Journal of Adolescent Health, 45(4), 376–382.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  7. Bowllan, N. M. (2011). Implementation and evaluation of a comprehensive, school-wide bullying prevention program in an urban/suburban middle school. Journal of School Health, 81(4), 167–173.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  8. Bronfenbrenner, U. (1994). Ecological models of human development. International Encyclopedia of Education, 3(2), 37–43.

    Google Scholar 

  9. Brown, E. C., Low, S., Smith, B. H., & Haggerty, K. P. (2011). Outcomes from a school-randomized controlled trial of steps to respect: a bullying prevention program. School Psychology Review, 40(3), 423–443.

    Google Scholar 

  10. Byron, C. W., Small, K., Brodley, C. E., Lau, J., & Trikalinos, T. A. (2012). Deploying an interactive machine learning system in an evidence-based practice center: Abstrackr. Proceedings of the ACM International Health Informatics Symposium (IHI), 819–824.

  11. Cooper, H., Hedges, L. V., & Valentine, J. C. (2009). The handbook of research synthesis and meta-analysis. In Russell Sage Foundation.

    Google Scholar 

  12. Craig, W. M. (1998). The relationship among bullying, victimization, depression, anxiety, and aggression in elementary school children. Personality and Individual Differences, 24(1), 123–130.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  13. *Crean, H. F., & Johnson, D. B. (2013). Promoting alternative thinking strategies (PATHS) and elementary school aged children’s aggression: Results from a cluster randomized trial. American Journal of Community Psychology, 52(1/2), 56–72.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  14. *Cross, D., Shaw, T., Hadwen, K., Cardoso, P., Slee, P., Roberts, C., Thomas L. & Barnes, A. (2016). Longitudinal impact of the cyber friendly schools program on adolescents’ cyberbullying behavior. Aggressive Behavior, 42(2), 166–180.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  15. *Cross, D., Waters, S., Pearce, N., Shaw, T., Hall, M., Erceg, E., . . . Hamilton, G. (2012). The friendly schools friendly families programme: three-year bullying behaviour outcomes in primary school children. International Journal of Educational Research, 53, 394–406.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  16. Del Re, A. C. (2015). A practical tutorial on conducting meta-analysis in R. The Quantitative Methods for Psychology, 11(1), 37–50.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  17. Del Re, A. C., & Hoyt, W. T. (2010). MAd: Meta-analysis with mean differences. R package version 0.9 ed.

  18. *Domino, M. B. (2011). The Impact of Take the LEAD on School Bullying Among Middle School Youth (unpublished doctoral dissertation). Walden University.

  19. Duncan, R. D. (1999). Peer and sibling aggression: An investigation of intra-and extra-familial bullying. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 14(8), 871–886.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  20. Duncan, R. D. (2004). The impact of family relationships on school bullies and their victims. In D. L. Espelage & S. M. Swearer (Eds.), Bullying in American schools: a social-ecological perspective on prevention and intervention (pp. 227–244). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Publishers.

    Google Scholar 

  21. Durlak, J. A., & DuPre, E. P. (2008). Implementation matters: a review of research on the influence of implementation on program outcomes and the factors affecting implementation. American Journal of Community Psychology, 41(3/4), 327–350.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  22. Duval, S., & Tweedie, R. (2000). Trim and fill: a simple funnel-plot–based method of testing and adjusting for publication bias in meta-analysis. Biometrics, 56(2), 455–463.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  23. Egger, M., Smith, G. D., Schneider, M., & Minder, C. (1997). Bias in meta-analysis detected by a simple, graphical test. British Medical Journal, 315(7109), 629–634.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  24. Espelage, D. L. (2016). Leveraging school-based research to inform bullying prevention and policy. American Psychologist, 71(8), 768–775.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  25. Espelage, D. L., Bosworth, K., & Simon, T. R. (2000). Examining the social context of bullying behaviors in early adolescence. Journal of Counseling & Development, 78(3), 326–333.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  26. Espelage, D. L., & Swearer, S. M. (2011). Expanding the social-ecological framework of bullying among youth: Lessons learned from the past and directions for the future. In Bullying in North American Schools, Second Edition (pp. 24–31). Taylor and Francis. https://doi.org/10.4324/9780203842898.

  27. Evans, C. B., Fraser, M. W., & Cotter, K. L. (2014). The effectiveness of school-based bullying prevention programs: a systematic review. Aggression and Violent Behavior, 19(5), 532–544.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  28. *Evers, K. E., Prochaska, J. O., Van Marter, D. F., Johnson, J. L., & Prochaska, J. M. (2007). Transtheoretical-based bullying prevention effectiveness trials in middle schools and high schools. Educational Research, 49(4), 397–414.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  29. *Fekkes, M., Pijpers, F.I.M., & Verloove-Vanhorick, S.P. (2006). Effects of antibullying school program on bullying and health complaints. Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, 160, 638–644.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  30. Fisher, Z., & Tipton, E. (2015). Robumeta: an R-package for robust variance estimation in meta-analysis. arXiv preprint arXiv:1503.02220.

  31. Fonagy, P., Twemlow, S. W., Vernberg, E. M., Nelson, J. M., Dill, E. J., Little, T. D., & Sargent, J. A. (2009). A cluster randomized controlled trial of child-focused psychiatric consultation and a school systems-focused intervention to reduce aggression. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 50(5), 607–616.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  32. *Frey, K., Hirschstein, M.K., Snell, J. L., van Schoiack Edstrom, L., MacKenzie, E.P., & Broderick, C.J. (2005). Reducing playground bullying and supporting beliefs: an experimental trial of the steps to respect program. Developmental Psychology, 41, 479–491.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  33. Georgiou, S. N. (2008). Parental style and child bullying and victimization experiences at school. Social Psychology of Education, 11(3), 213–227.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  34. Gladden, R. M., Vivolo-Kantor, A. M., Hamburger, M. E., & Lumpkin, C. D. (2014). Bullying surveillance among youths: uniform definitions for public health and recommended data elements, version 1.0. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

  35. Hedges, L. V. (1981). Distribution theory for Glass's estimator of effect size and related estimators. Journal of Educational Statistics, 6(2), 107–128.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  36. Higgins, J. P., & Thompson, S. G. (2002). Quantifying heterogeneity in a meta-analysis. Statistics in Medicine, 21(11), 1539–1558.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  37. Holt, M. K., Finkelhor, D., & Kantor, G. K. (2007). Hidden forms of victimization in elementary students involved in bullying. School Psychology Review, 36(3), 345.

    Google Scholar 

  38. Holt, M. K., Kantor, G., & Finkelhor, D. (2009). Parent/child concordance about bullying involvement and family characteristics related to bullying and peer victimization. Journal of School Violence, 8(1), 42–63.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  39. *Hunt, C. (2007). The effect of an education program on attitudes and beliefs about bullying and bullying behaviour in junior secondary school students. Child and Adolescent Mental Health, 12(1), 21–26.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  40. *Joronen, K., Konu, A., Rankin, H. S., & Åstedt-Kurki, P. (2011). An evaluation of a drama program to enhance social relationships and anti-bullying at elementary school: a controlled study. Health Promotion International, 27(1), 5–14.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  41. Juvonen, J., Wang, Y., & Espinoza, G. (2011). Bullying experiences and compromised academic performance across middle school grades. The Journal of Early Adolescence, 31(1), 152–173.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  42. Kaiser-Ulrey, C. (2003). Bullying in middle school: a study of BEST--bullying eliminated from schools together--an anti-bullying program for seventh grade students (doctoral dissertation, Florida State University).

  43. Kallestad, J. H., & Olweus, D. (2003). Predicting teachers’ and schools’ implementation of the Olweus bullying prevention program: a multilevel study. Prevention & Treatment, 6(1), 21a.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  44. *Kärnä, A., Voeten, M., Little, T. D., Alanen, E., Poskiparta, E., & Salmivalli, C. (2013). Effectiveness of the KiVa Antibullying program: grades 1–3 and 7–9. Journal of Educational Psychology, 105(2), 535, 551.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  45. *Kärnä, A., Voeten, M., Little, T. D., Poskiparta, E., Alanen, E., & Salmivalli, C. (2011). Going to scale: a nonrandomized nationwide trial of the KiVa antibullying program for grades 1–9. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 79(6), 796–805. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0025740.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  46. *Leadbeater, B., & Sukhawathanakul, P. (2011). Multicomponent programs for reducing peer victimization in early elementary school: a longitudinal evaluation of the WITS primary program. Journal of Community Psychology, 39(5), 606–620.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  47. Leemis, R.W., Espelage, D.L., Basile, K.C., Kollar, L.M.M., & Davis, J.P. (in press). Traditional and cyber bullying and sexual harassment: a longitudinal assessment of risk and protective factors across the social ecology. Aggressive Behavior.

  48. Lester, L., Cross, D., Shaw, T., & Dooley, J. (2012). Adolescent bully-victims: Social health and the transition to secondary school. Cambridge Journal of Education, 42(2), 213–233.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  49. Lipsey, M. W., & Wilson, D. B. (2001). Practical meta-analysis. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, Inc.

  50. Merrell, K. W., Gueldner, B. A., Ross, S. W., & Isava, D. M. (2008). How effective are school bullying intervention programs? A meta-analysis of intervention research. School Psychology Quarterly, 23(1), 26–42.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  51. Ninox (2018). https://ninoxdb.de/en/

  52. Nordhagen, R., Nielsen, A., Stigum, H., & Köhler, L. (2005). Parental reported bullying among nordic children: a population-based study. Child: Care, Health and Development, 31(6), 693–701.

    Google Scholar 

  53. Olweus, D. (1993). Bully/victim problems among schoolchildren: long-term consequences and an effective intervention program. In S. Hodgins (Ed.), Mental disorder and crime (pp. 317–349). Thousand Oaks: US: Sage Publications, Inc.

    Google Scholar 

  54. Olweus, D. (2005). A useful evaluation design, and effects of the Olweus bullying prevention program. Psychology, Crime & Law, 11(4), 389–402.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  55. *Pepler, D.J., Craig, W.M., O’Connell, P., Atlas, R. & Charach, A. (2004). Making a difference in bullying: evaluation of a systemic school-based program in Canada. In P.K. Smith, D. Pepler, & K. Rigby (Eds.), Bullying in schools: how successful can interventions be? (pp. 125–140). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  56. Polanin, J. R. , Snilstveit, B. (2016). Campbell Methods Policy Note on Converting Between Effect Sizes (version 1.1, updated December 2016). Oslo: The Campbell Collaboration. https://doi.org/10.4073/cmpn.2016.3.

  57. Polanin, J. R., Tanner-Smith, E. E., & Hennessy, E. (2016). Estimating the difference between published and unpublished effect sizes: a meta-review. Review of Educational Research, 86, 207–236. https://doi.org/10.3102/0034654315582067.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  58. *Raskauskas, J. (2007). Evaluation of the Kia Kaha anti-bullying programme for students in years 5–8. Final Report to the New Zealand Police. Wellington: New Zealand Police.

  59. Roland, E., Bru, E., Midthassel, U. V., & Vaaland, G. S. (2010). The zero programme against bullying: effects of the programme in the context of the Norwegian manifesto against bullying. Social Psychology of Education, 13(1), 41–55.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  60. *Salmivalli, C., Kaukiainen, A., & Voeten, M. (2005). Anti-bullying intervention: Implementation and outcome. British Journal of Educational Psychology, 75(3), 465–487.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  61. Slonje, R., & Smith, P. K. (2008). Cyberbullying: another main type of bullying? Scandinavian Journal of Psychology, 49(2), 147–154.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  62. Smith, P. K., Mahdavi, J., Carvalho, M., Fisher, S., Russell, S., & Tippett, N. (2008). Cyberbullying: its nature and impact in secondary school pupils. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 49(4), 376–385.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  63. Smith, P. K., Salmivalli, C., & Cowie, H. (2012). Effectiveness of school-based programs to reduce bullying: a commentary. Journal of Experimental Criminology, 8, 433–441.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  64. *Stevens, V., De Bourdeaudhuij, I., & Van Oost, P. (2000). Bullying in Flemish schools: an evaluation of anti-bullying intervention in primary and secondary schools. British Journal of Educational Psychology, 70(2), 195–210.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  65. Stockdale, M. S., Hangaduambo, S., Duys, D., Larson, K., & Sarvela, P. D. (2002). Rural elementary students’, parents’, and teachers’ perceptions of bullying. American Journal of Health Behavior, 26(4), 266–277.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  66. Tanner-Smith, E. E., & Tipton, E. (2014). Robust variance estimation with dependent effect sizes: practical considerations including a software tutorial in Stata and SPSS. Research Synthesis Methods, 5(1), 13–30.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  67. Tanner-Smith, E. E., Tipton, E., & Polanin, J. R. (2016). Handling complex meta-analytic data structures using robust variance estimates: a tutorial in R. Journal of Developmental and Life-Course Criminology, 2(1), 85–112.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  68. Ttofi, M. M., & Farrington, D. P. (2008). Bullying: Short-term and long-term effects, and the importance of defiance theory in explanation and prevention. Victims and Offenders, 3(2/3), 289–312.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  69. Ttofi, M. M., & Farrington, D. P. (2011). Effectiveness of school-based programs to reduce bullying: a systematic and meta-analytic review. Journal of Experimental Criminology, 7(1), 27–56.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  70. Unnever, J. D., & Cornell, D. G. (2004). Middle school victims of bullying: who reports being bullied? Aggressive Behavior, 30, 373–388.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  71. *Wong, D. S., Cheng, C. H., Ngan, R. M., & Ma, S. K. (2011). Program effectiveness of a restorative whole-school approach for tackling school bullying in Hong Kong. International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology, 55(6), 846–862.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  72. Yeager, D. S., Fong, C. J., Lee, H. Y., & Espelage, D. L. (2015). Declines in efficacy of anti-bullying programs among older adolescents: theory and a three-level meta-analysis. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 37, 36–51.

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Funding

This project was supported by Award No. 2016-CK-BX-0012, awarded by the National Institute of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, US Department of Justice to Development Services Group, Inc. Dr. Joshua R. Polanin, formerly of Development Services Group, Inc., serves as the Principal Investigator. The opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the Department of Justice.

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Yuanhong Huang.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Huang, Y., Espelage, D.L., Polanin, J.R. et al. A Meta-analytic Review of School-Based Anti-bullying Programs with a Parent Component. Int Journal of Bullying Prevention 1, 32–44 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s42380-018-0002-1

Download citation

Keywords

  • Anti-bullying
  • Prevention
  • Parent
  • Meta-analysis