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Discuss the Relative Effectiveness of Two Strategies for Reducing Violence

By Mr Daniel Hansson

Questions for Discussion

1. List all possible sociocultural factors for violence. 2. Consider ways to reduce violence 3. Is there any bullying at our school? 4. Are you aware of the schools antibullying policy?

What is Violence?
The intentional use of physical force or power, threatened or actual, against oneself, another person, or against a group or community, that either results in or has a high likelihood of resulting in injury, death, psychological harm, maldevelopment or deprivation. (WHO, 2002)

What is Bullying?
Bullying: When a person is exposed repeatedly over time to negative actions on the part of one or more people Cyber bullying: The use of information and communication technologies to support deliberate, repeated, and hostile behavior by an individual or group that is intended to harm others Happy slapping: Using physical violence against a person while a third person videotapes the event

Strategies for reducing bullying

Teaching social skills Anti bullying programs

Teaching social skills: Study 1

Feschbach (1982): Trained junior school children to imagine how they would feel in other childrens circumstances, to recognize the feelings of others, and to share their emotions. Children who engaged in empathy training were less aggressive in everyday playground activities

Teaching Social Skills: Study 2

Aronson (1979): The use of cooperative learning/jigsaw classroom; a technique that works on the idea that everyone works together to a common goal and that everyone has something to contribute to the learning process; lowers the rate of bullying in schools and increases positive interaction between outgroups

Evaluation: Teaching Social Skills

Feschbach (1982): Has a proven effect of increasing empathy and thus reduce may reduce bullying Aronson (1979): Emphasize cooperation and collective norms, thus reducing bullying. Research is qualitative, therefore there are possible researcher biases or Hawthorne effects. Research cannot measure whether the methods are effective outside of school Research is about 20 years old. Newer research, e.g. Figueireido et al. (2007) with computer training shows similar effects Other factors, such as policies and monitoring of students are also important It is more effective to teach social in earlier grade levels Conclusion: The method is probably quite effective. School should emphasize training of social skills

Antibullying Programmes: Study 1

Vreeman (2006): Classroom discussions, role-playing or detention are ineffective. Whole school interventions that involve teachers, administrators and social workers committed to change, are the most effective, especially throughout high school.

Anti-Bullying Programmes: Study 2

Olweus (1972): Developed a wholeschool programme for schools in Norway. This programme uses cooperative learning, teachers are trained to recognize and deal with bullying, lunchrooms and playgrounds are supervised, and counsellors conduct therapy with bullies and their parents. The programme has reduced bullying by 50 %.

Generalisability problem. Olweus research was only conducted in Norway, a country that already emphasizes communitarian norms. It is possible that other, less communitarian or individualistic cultures also require a change in cultural norms Policies and programmes may only be effective if everyone is aware of them and committed to change, including parents Research is qualitative, therefore there are possible researcher biases or Hawthorne effects. Research cannot measure whether the methods are effective outside of school Conclusion: Antibullying programmes have been shown to be effective and are important at all grade levels.