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10 Aug 2021
This article examines the key findings relating to bullying from the Early Intervention Foundation's report on 'Adolescent mental health A systematic review on the effectiveness of school-based interventions' (July 2021).
The report highlights the evidence that children’s mental health has been getting worse over the past 20 years and that the Covid-19 pandemic, in particular, has exacerbated this, with particular increases noted amongst 11-16-year olds.
There is a strong link between mental health and bullying. Young people who have experienced bullying are more likely to experience mental health issues and those who have mental health issues are more likely to be bullied. Interventions aimed at supporting young people’s mental health are therefore intrinsically linked with bullying prevention work.
This article looks at the key findings of the report with a specific focus on the links between the effectiveness of interventions designed to support young people’s mental health and outcomes for reducing bullying. The report focuses on what works and looks at a range of interventions, with case studies and examples of specific programmes that show real promise in reducing bullying.
Key findings include:
"The latest evidence suggests that whole-school interventions are particularly effective in reducing bullying behaviour."
The report provides a number of recommendations and also highlights implications for policy, including:
“Now more than ever, there is an urgent need for high-quality school-based support to address young people’s mental health and behavioural needs.”
The report also highlights where the gaps in the evidence are, which include:
There is a useful table in the appendices which provides an overview of the range of different interventions that were reviewed and summarises the results and effectiveness of each, including the interventions that helped to reduce bullying.
If you’d like to learn more about the links between Bullying and Mental health, Sexual Bullying and whole-school approaches to reducing bullying, we have free CPD-certified online training available here: https://anti-bullyingalliance.org.uk/tools-information/free-cpd-online-training
You can also read about the findings of ABA’s whole school anti-bullying programme, All Together.
Early Intervention Foundation (2021)