Degrading treatment, bullying and student learning
This project aims to investigate how degrading treatment and bullying affect students’ academic performance. Previous research indicates that vulnerable students perform worse in school but also that students who are not directly involved in bullying may be adversely affected in their school work. I.e., in schools with a high degree of bullying students seem to perform worse than students in schools with a low degree of bullying. The results point to the possibility to indirectly promote students’ academic performance by countering degrading treatment and bullying. In this project, we intend to examine how students’ academic performance are affected by degrading treatment and bullying through a longitudinal design based on individual data. More specifically, the study aims to answer the following questions:
- How does the presence of degrading treatment and bullying covary with students’ academic performance at the individual, classroom and school level?
- How do students’ development paths affect their short term and long term academic performances?
- Are students’ academic performances affected differently depending on the type of degrading treatment and bullying?
- Are boys’ and girls’ academic performance affected differently by degrading treatment and bullying?
- How are the perpetrators and the victims’ academic performances affected by degrading treatment and bullying?
Students’ experiences of bullying and degrading treatment related to social identity categories
The aim of this project is to investigate the students’ own experiences and descriptions of harassment, discrimination and other degrading treatment related to structural or local power relations and norms. By analyzing more than 100 000 answers in Friends’ student questionnaires the study will examine in what ways degrading treatment related to social identity categories is reflected in the students’ descriptions. Through this study we hope to learn how children experience and describe degrading treatment related to various norms; for example, sexism, racism, homophobia, life style, class or interests to thus obtain a child’s perspective on the expressions of power structures in schools. It also gives us more knowledge about the relationship between power and inequity as well as social identity categories such as age, class, functionality, ethnicity, gender and sexuality etc. in a school context.
Peer relations in preschool and secondary school
The Department of Child and Youth Studies at Stockholm University is currently working on a project which aims to enhance understanding of the patterns of interaction between children and young people at preschool and secondary school level. Above all, this project focuses on how children and young people create alliances with their peers and position themselves with regard to one another, as well as what style of language they use in such processes. The objective is to understand mechanisms for inclusion and exclusion.
Professor Ann-Christine Cederborg is managing the project and she is the assistant supervisor of the two employed doctoral students, Mari Kronlund and Lina Lundström . Associate Professor Camilla Rindsted is their principal supervisor. The results of the project will form the basis for development of training programs via Friends.
In spring 2015, they will start working with the first academic article and it is scheduled to be completed by the end of the year. This article will seek to answer the question: How do participants include and exclude others, and how do they act when a child or children are exposed to insulting behavior? This study will develop knowledge of how bullying takes place and what strategies children use in these sensitive interactions.
The second article, which will be compiled between autumn 2015 and summer 2016, aims to answer the question: How do children indicate to one another the significance of their actions? With such an approach, we aim to understand how bullying is made explicit in verbal exchanges.
The final planned question, to be answered between the autumn of 2016 and the summer of 2017, is: During the interviews, how do children who have experienced or witnessed bullying describe their experiences? The issue of differing perceptions is crucial to our understanding of phenomena in terms of victimization processes and the issues relating to allocation of blame and responsibility.
Youth participation in cyberbullying prevention
The research project is conducted in cooperation with the Department of Psychology at the University of Gothenburg together with Professor Ann Frisén and Ph. D Sofia Berne. This project aims to develop and evaluate interventions to reduce degrading treatment online and cyberbullying. The project uses action research and an important part is to involve the whole school, with a focus on making students involved in efforts to develop preventive methods. Representatives from the Department of Psychology, together with personnel from Friends, will work closely with both students and staff in the pilot schools to jointly develop various methods against bullying. The effects of these methods will be evaluated against the control schools to form the basis for future methodological development.
Together with four organizations from Finland, Estonia and Hungary, Friends implements an international method developing project during 2015-2016. The overall project objective is to increase youth participation in prevention of harassment, intimidation and bullying, and to improve methods of mapping how young people feel, both online and offline.
In the project, Friends works along with three pilot schools in the Gothenburg area. Through workshops and training courses, the students are involved and guide the development of new innovative methods to activate other students, school staff and parents in the preventive work to foster a safe environment in school. The result of the project is an updated and enhanced framework for the school’s efforts to foster a safe environment.
All work and development in the project are based on current legislation, the school’s common principles mandate and the latest research in the field. The training material is based on best practices, research and experiences from different European countries. In addition to development of new methods, the project aims to develop a European network of research-based practices in the field.
The work presented in this website has been produced with the financial support of the Daphne Programme of the European Union. The contents of this website are the sole responsibility of Friends and our partners and can in no way be taken to reflect the views of the European Commission.
Evaluation of contextual interventions in bullying prevention
The research project conducted in collaboration with the Department of Psychology, Law and Social Work at Örebro University and Ph.D. Associate Professors, Björn Johansson and Erik Flygare. The project aims to develop a theoretically grounded analysis based on Friends work in school and then monitor and evaluate the Friends program. The aim is to get a better understanding of the process from the intention and purpose of preventive measures, to the implementation and its impact on students/school personnel. The aim is also to evaluate the measures and in what way and under what conditions they make a difference. Subsequently, the project will provide greater understanding of the context and the conditions under which various efforts have effect, and focus on developing the initiatives that provide the most efficacy and the work required for them to have effect. The project is a five-year project and will involve 25 schools around Sweden in the data collection during 2016-2018.