Well-conducted research in schools helps determine what does and what doesn't work to counter bullying.
Recent research publications
Paluck, E. L., & Shepherd, H. (2012). The salience of social referents: a field experiment on collective norms and harassment behaviour in a school social network. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 103 (6), 899-915.
While there is evidence of the power of social norms over an individual's judgement and behaviour, there is little research about how individuals identify these social norms. Social norms theory suggests that certain members of a social group - termed social referents - play a disproportionate role in reinforcing and potentially shifting the norms of the entire group. The goal of this research was to understand whether social referents could significantly shape their peer's perceptions of norms in their school, and as a result, change behaviours. An intervention involving student social referents was conducted over one school year in a small high school which had previously high levels of harassment. The results revealed significant effects on perceptions of social norms related to harassment and behaviour for students with more ties to intervention social referents. Read the Bullying. No Way! summary of the research (PDF, 130KB), (DOCX 105KB).
Maunder, R.E. and Crafter, C. (2018). School bullying from a sociocultural perspective. Aggression and Violent Behaviour (38). pp 13-20.
This paper develops the thinking on school bullying using a sociocultural theoretical framework. This framework views bullying as contextual and focuses attention to the situated relationships and multiple settings that surround the behaviour. The paper reviews existing literature on school bullying around three main themes: (i) the conceptualisation and interpretation of bullying; (ii) the relational aspects of bullying; and (iii) bullying as part of someone's life trajectory. It contains a discussion of empirical findings highlighting key issues. It presents arguments from relevant sociocultural theories providing insight in each case. The authors recommend less reliance on individualised, blame-based or punitive methods of addressing bullying and greater consideration of the contextual factors surrounding individuals which result in particular patterns of behaviour. Read the Bullying No Way! summary of the research (PDF, 132 KB), (DOCX 105KB).
Rigby, K. and Johnson, K. (2016). The prevalence and effectiveness of anti-bullying strategies employed in Australian schools. Online copy. Accessed Dec 2016:
Rigby and Johnson's report examines the prevalence and effectiveness of anti-bullying policies used in a sample of 26 Australian government schools. This was the first systematic study undertaken on how Australian schools are responding to bullying and with what success. Despite the small number of schools, it provides some interesting recommendations. Read the Bullying. No Way! summary of the research here (PDF, 3.7MB), (DOCX, 349KB) .
Fisher, M.H. and Taylor Lounds, J. (2015). Let's talk about it: Peer victimization experiences as reported by adolescents with autism spectrum disorder.
Autism, Online copy: 1-10.
This paper outlines a research project on how students with ASD define and experience bullying. This qualitative study from the US notes that when taking into account students' own definitions of bullying, 73% of respondents replied that they had experienced peer victimisation at some point (as compared to 10.6% of the general population). The conclusion is that students with ASD are more likely to report bullying if the specific instance of bullying they have been subject to has been incorporated into the question.Salmivalli, C. (2014). Participant roles in bullying: how can peer bystanders be utilized in interventions? Journal of Theory into Practice (Issue 53). pp 286-292.
This paper is a synthesis of over 20 years of research on the role of the participant/bystander in bullying and how the bystander role can reinforce bullying behaviour or contribute to its reduction. Read the Bullying. No Way! summary of the research (PDF, 376KB), (DOCX 348KB).
Research currently underway
Periodically, Bullying. No Way! will let schools know of research underway in Australia that may be of interest to them.
Researchers need the involvement of schools to conduct research that provides useful and practical findings for schools. Participation in surveys and other activities is entirely at the discretion of the school.
Bullying. No Way! is not responsible for the research, and all enquiries should be directed to the researchers.