Date of Award:

2015

Document Type:

Thesis

Degree Name:

Educational Specialist (EdS)

Department:

Psychology

Advisor/Chair:

Donna Gilbertson,

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to decrease school bullying by implementing a class-wide intervention that targets bystanders. Hypotheses include that an intervention will increase prosocial bystander behaviors that will result in reduced rates of bullying and improved positive peer responses. Ross and Horner’s Positive Behavior Supports bullying prevention program was modified to increase incentives for students who defend others from bullying. A multiple baseline design across three general education classrooms was used to examine the effectiveness of the intervention in an elementary school in northwestern Utah. Pre- and posttests were administered to assess participant roles and student intervention acceptability. The findings of the study suggested that bullying behavior decreased and defending increased. Further, acceptability of the intervention and the skills taught to children were rated as moderately high across all classrooms. Even though bullying incidences decreased substantially, bullying behaviors were not eradicated completely in the three classrooms. To decrease rates of bullying further, secondary and tertiary interventions along with continued functional assessment on why bullying occurs are needed. Further, to help increase the practicality of teaching peers the critical skills of defending victims, research on how to increase students’ ability and motivation to intervene is essential.

Included in

Psychology Commons

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