Bullying among children and adolescents is a major public health problem. Research has shown that bullying has a detrimental impact on a young person’s development, and is strongly associated with a range of poor mental health outcomes. Our research group is working to find ways to reduce the prevalence of bullying in Australian schools. The aim of our project is to develop a valid and reliable self-report instrument that measures the prevalence of bullying victimisation (‘been bullied’) and perpetration (‘bullied others’), and that includes both traditional (face-to-face) and cyber-bullying. This will allow schools to accurately measure and then monitor bullying among their students, and also evaluate the impact of anti-bullying programs within their school.
School students will be engaged to provide adolescent input and perspective (using focus groups) in order to develop an initial instrument containing the most relevant questions. The instrument will then be given to a large number of secondary school students from multiple schools. Data obtained will undergo statistical analyses (exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses) in order to refine the instrument. The final revised version will be piloted in secondary schools to ensure it reliably measures bullying and is quick and easy for schools to administer.
Researchers: Hannah Thomas (PhD Student), Dr. James Scott, & A/Prof. Jason Connor, The University of Queensland.