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Program Profile: Stop School Bullying (Greece)

Evidence Rating: Effective - One study Effective - One study

Date: This profile was posted on May 04, 2015

Program Summary

A preventative, school-based program for students in 4th, 5th, and 6th grades (ages 9–12) that sought to reduce rates of bullying and victimization within elementary schools. The program is rated Effective. Evaluation results suggest that the program significantly reduced bullying and victimization rates at schools that implemented the program compared with a control group of schools that did not.

This program’s rating is based on evidence that includes at least one high-quality randomized controlled trial.

Program Description

Program Goals
The Stop School Bullying program was a preventative school-based program for elementary school students in 4th through 6th grades, approximately between the ages of 9 and 12. The goal of the program was to increase awareness of the impact of bullying, increase empathy toward victims, and ultimately reduce rates of bullying and victimization.

Target Population
The Stop School Bullying intervention targeted elementary school children in 4th, 5th, and 6th grades, based on prior research indicating greater prevalence of bullying during the last years of primary school (Sapouna 2008).

Program Activities
Stop School Bullying was an 11-week structured intervention. Teachers participated in a 2-day training seminar on the Teacher’s Manual, a program guidebook that gives systematic and detailed explanations of how the intervention activities should be implemented. Teachers administered weekly 90-minute workshops in their classrooms for 11 weeks, under the guidance of mental health professionals who acted as the program coordinators. Workshop content consisted of group-based discussions with students, active role-playing games, and other group activities related to bullying prevention.

Stop School Bullying was designed to involve students, educators, parents, and the community. As such, teachers organized two meetings with parents throughout the intervention to enhance parental involvement and awareness. To promote community awareness, leaflets were distributed to parents, students, teachers, and other community members throughout the surrounding area. Additionally, a comprehensive website was developed that contained four microsites providing information for bullying prevention and awareness tailored to specific groups: students, teachers, parents, and the general community.

Program Theory
Stop School Bullying was a holistic program modified from the original Olweus Bullying Prevention Program. Both programs were based on the social–ecological perspective, which posits that multiple factors throughout the school and community influence bullying (Smith et al. 2004) and therefore should be treated as a multifaceted problem.

Evaluation Outcomes

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Study 1

Tsiantis and colleagues (2013) found that the Stop School Bullying program had a strong, significant effect on bullying, such that bullying rates decreased 55.6 percent within the experimental group compared with 15.4 percent in the control group.

Findings showed that the program had a strong, significant effect on victimization, such that victimization rates decreased 55.4 percent within the experimental group compared with 23.3 percent in the control group.
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Evaluation Methodology

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Study 1
Tsiantis and colleagues (2013) conducted a cluster randomized controlled trial, using 20 randomly selected elementary schools from seven regions throughout the district of Attica, Greece (i.e., the metropolitan area of Greater Athens). Stratified random-sampling methods and matching adjustments were used to ensure equivalence between treatment and control schools. The sample included 666 children from 4th through 6th grades (the treatment and control group each included 10 schools and 333 students). Experimental schools received 11 structured workshops that were administered weekly and were about 90 minutes in length. The control group was untreated and received no intervention during this time.

The Greek version of the Revised Olweus Bully/Victim Questionnaire was administered to students before the intervention (November 2011) and immediately following program completion (May 2012). The questionnaire measured the frequency of several types of bullying and victimization, and used responses to classify students as victims, bullies, bullies/victims, and nonbullies/nonvictims. Effects of the intervention were assessed using odds ratio tests to compare decreases in bullying and victimization rates from pre- to posttest for the experimental and control groups. 
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There is no cost information available for this program.
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Implementation Information

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Teachers participating in the intervention received a 2-day training seminar consisting of theoretical presentations and group activities. Ultimately, the training focused on the Teacher’s Manual, which explained the systematic, detailed fashion in which the activities should be implemented. All teachers were under the supervision and guidance of program instructors throughout the intervention.  
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Evidence-Base (Studies Reviewed)

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These sources were used in the development of the program profile:

Study 1
Tsiantis, Alkis Constantine J., Ion N. Beratis, Eva M. Syngelaki, Anna Stefanakou, Charisios Asimopoulos, Georgios D. Sideridis, and John Tsiantis. “The Effects of a Clinical Prevention Program on Bullying, Victimization, and Attitudes toward School of Elementary School Students.” 2013. Behavioral Disorders 38(4): 243–57.
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Additional References

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These sources were used in the development of the program profile:

Sapouna, Maria. “Bullying in Greek Primary and Secondary Schools.” 2008. School Psychology International 29(2):199–213.

Smith, J. David, Barry H. Schneider, Peter K. Smith, and Katerina Ananiadou. “The Effectiveness of Whole-School Antibullying Programs: A Synthesis of Evaluation Research.” 2004. School Psychology Review 33(4): 547–60.

Ttofi, Maria M., and David P. Farrington. “Effectiveness of School-Based Programs to Reduce Bullying: A Systematic and Meta-Analytic Review.” 2011. Journal of Experimental Criminology 7(1): 27–56.

Ttofi, Maria M., David P. Farrington, and Anna C. Baldry. “Effectiveness of Programmes to Reduce School Bullying.” 2008. Stockholm, Sweden: Swedish National Council for Crime Prevention.
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Related Practices

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Following are practices that are related to this program:

School-Based Bullying Prevention Programs
Aim to reduce bullying and victimization (being bullied) in school settings. Some interventions aim to increase positive involvement in the bullying situation from bystanders or witnesses. The practice is rated Effective for reducing bullying, bullying victimization, and for increasing the likelihood of a bystander to intervene. The practice is rated No Effects for increasing bystander empathy for victims of bullying.

Evidence Ratings for Outcomes:
Effective - More than one Meta-Analysis Juvenile Problem & At-Risk Behaviors - Bullying
Effective - More than one Meta-Analysis Victimization - Being Bullied
Effective - One Meta-Analysis Victimization - Bystander Intervention
No Effects - One Meta-Analysis Mental Health & Behavioral Health - Empathy for the Victim
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Program Snapshot

Age: 9 - 12

Gender: Both

Geography: Urban

Setting (Delivery): School

Program Type: Leadership and Youth Development, School/Classroom Environment, Bullying Prevention/Intervention

Current Program Status: Not Active

Listed by Other Directories: Model Programs Guide

Program Director:
John Tsiantis
Scientific Director of the APHCA
Association of the Psychosocial Health of Children and Adolescents
Farkadonos & Pitiountos 4
Athens 11142
Phone: 6946009459

Georgios Sideridis
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics
Harvard Medical School, Boston Children's Hospital, Clinical Research Center
21 Autumn St #204
Boston MA 02115
Phone: 617-355-7170