Virtual learning intervention to reduce bullying victimization in Primary School: a controlled trial
Sapouna, Maria, Wolke, Dieter, Vannini, Natalie, Watson, Scott, Woods, Sarah, Schneider, Wolfgang, Enz, Sibylle, Hall, Lynne, Paiva, Ana, André, Elisabeth, Prof. Dr., Dautenhahn, Kerstin and Aylett, Ruth, 1951- (2010) Virtual learning intervention to reduce bullying victimization in Primary School: a controlled trial. Journal of Child Psychology & Psychiatry, Vol.51 (No.1). pp. 104-112. ISSN 0021-9630
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Background: Anti-bullying interventions to date have shown limited success in reducing victimization and have rarely been evaluated using a controlled trial design. This study examined the effects of the FearNot anti-bullying virtual learning intervention on escaping, and reducing
overall victimization rates among primary school students using a nonrandomized controlled trial design. The program was designed to enhance the coping skills of children who are known to be, or are likely to be, victimized.
Methods: One thousand one hundred twenty-nine children (mean age, 8.9 years) in twentyseven primary schools across the UK and Germany were assigned to the FearNot intervention or the waiting control condition. The program consisted of three sessions each lasting approximately 30 minutes over a three-week period. The participants were assessed on selfreport measures of victimization before and one and four weeks after the intervention or the
normal curriculum period.
Results: In the combined sample, baseline victims in the intervention group were more likely to escape victimization at the first follow-up compared with baseline victims in the control group (adjusted RR, 1.41; 95% CI, 1.02-1.81). A dose-response relationship between the amount of
active interaction with the virtual victims and escaping victimization was found (adjusted OR, 1.09; 95% CI, 1.003-1.18). Subsample analyses found a significant effect on escaping victimization only to hold for UK children (adjusted RR, 1.90; CI, 1.23-2.57). UK children in the
intervention group experienced decreased victimization rates at the first follow-up compared with controls, even after adjusting for baseline victimization, gender and age (adjusted RR, 0.60; 95% CI, 0.36-0.93).
Conclusions: A virtual learning intervention designed to help children experience effective strategies for dealing with bullying had a short-term effect on escaping victimization for a priori identified victims, and a short-term overall prevention effect for UK children.
Keywords: anti-bullying intervention, victimization, virtual learning, controlled trial
Abbreviation: FearNot: Fun with Empathic Agents to achieve Novel Outcomes in Teaching
Trial Registration: Clinical Trials Registry, NCT00597337
|Item Type:||Submitted Journal Article|
|Subjects:||L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB1501 Primary Education
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
|Divisions:||Faculty of Science > Psychology|
|Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH):||Bullying in schools -- Great Britain -- Prevention, Bullying in schools -- Germany -- Prevention, Virtual reality in education, Virtual reality therapy, Education, Primary -- Audio-visual aids|
|Journal or Publication Title:||Journal of Child Psychology & Psychiatry|
|Publisher:||Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd.|
|Official Date:||January 2010|
|Page Range:||pp. 104-112|
|Access rights to Published version:||Restricted or Subscription Access|
|Funder:||Sixth Framework Programme (European Commission) (FP6)|
|Grant number:||IST-4-027656-STP (FP6)|
Arseneault, L., Walsh, E., Trzesniewski, K., Newcombe, R., Caspi, A., & Moffitt, T. E. (2006). Bullying victimization uniquely contributes to adjustment problems in young children: A nationally representative cohort study. Pediatrics, 118(1), 130-138.
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