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ERIC Number: EJ1147464
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 13
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0032-0684
Beyond External Control: Internalization of Prosocial Values as Important in Preventing Bullying at School
Roth, Guy; Bibi, Uri
Planning and Changing, v40 n3-4 p242-254 2009
Bullying in school is a social problem where peers repeatedly and systematically use power to dominate and harm others physically, socially, or emotionally (Frey et al., 2005; Olweus, 1993). A growing body of research has demonstrated that bullying leads to problematic outcomes for both bullies and their victims (Carney, 2000; Olweus, 1994). Therefore, unsurprisingly, intervention programs have been implemented in the last few decades in an attempt to reduce bullying and victimization. The first published research on comprehensive interventions focusing on the prevention of school bullying is attributed to the pioneering work of Olweus (1993, 2004), whose principles are extremely influential on contemporary programs (Merrell, Gueldner, Ross, & Isava, 2008). However, the cumulative research exploring these interventions' effectiveness revealed mixed results. Olweus (1993) reported dramatic success for the program in Norway, but this success was not replicated elsewhere. Smith, Schneider, Smith, and Ananiadou (2004) conducted a meta-analysis based on 14 reported interventions that share the core features of the original Olweus program. The majority of the evaluated programs yielded nonsignificant outcomes on measures of self-reported victimization and bullying, and only a small number yielded positive outcomes. In a recent meta-analysis based on 40 intervention programs unrestricted to the Olweus program, Merrell et al. (2008) reported that meaningful positive results were found for only one-third of the outcome variables. Despite the limited empirical support for the effectiveness of anti-bullying interventions, Smith et al. (2004) and Merrell et al. (2008) concluded that interventions can succeed and should not be abandoned but that more research is necessary to provide further information on success-promoting factors. The research presented in this article focuses on the extent to which students internalize prosocial values as one aspect that may explain the limited empirical support for anti-bullying intervention programs, and that may provide a first indication for an important phenomenon for consideration by intervention programs and educational policies. The main argument to be made in the present investigation is that adaptive internalization of prosocial values may predict lower aggression, whereas no internalization (or shallow, restricted internalization) may predict more bullying and aggression in school.
Department of Educational Administration and Foundations. College of Education, Illinois State University, Campus Box 5900, Normal, IL 61790-5900. Tel: 309-438-2399; Fax: 309-438-8683; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Junior High Schools; Secondary Education; Middle Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Israel
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A