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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 193899 Find in a Library
Title: Bullying and Victimisation in Schools: A Restorative Justice Approach
Author(s): Brenda Morrison
Date Published: February 2002
Page Count: 6
Sponsoring Agency: Australian Institute of Criminology
Canberra ACT, 2601, Australia
Publication Number: ISBN 0-642-24252-6
Sale Source: Australian Institute of Criminology
GPO Box 2944
Canberra ACT, 2601,
Document: PDF
Type: Program/Project Description
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: Australia
Annotation: This paper reports on a restorative justice program designed to respond to and prevent bullying in a primary school in the Australian Capital Territory; lessons are drawn for wider application.
Abstract: School bullying was targeted because it had been identified as a risk factor associated with antisocial and criminal behavior; bullies were more likely than other youth to drop out of school and to engage in delinquent and criminal behavior. The victims of bullying have also been found to be more likely to have higher levels of stress, anxiety, depression, illness, and an increased tendency toward suicide. The Responsible Citizenship Program, which is based in restorative justice principles, incorporates a range of related processes for maintaining healthy relationships, including community-building, conflict resolution, and shame management, under one conceptual "umbrella." Each component is introduced successively, beginning with a community-building process that rests on principles of restorative justice. Initial emphasis is given to the creation of a safe place where concerns and stories of harm at school can be voiced. As relationships within the community strengthen, students are given an opportunity to learn productive conflict-resolution skills through a focus on the feelings associated with conflict and how to resolve those feelings. In this way, the shame-management aspect is integrated into the conflict-resolution component. Another important aspect of the program is the peer-to-peer learning focus, which aids in the development of a culture shift within the school. In the evaluation, students' feelings of safety within the school were measured on a four-point scale. Students' feelings of safety increased significantly over the course of the year. Shame management was measured by using Ahmed's scale, which measured students' use of adaptive and maladaptive shame management strategies. Results showed a small overall increase in students' reported use of adaptive shame-management skills. Other evaluation measures showed that the students put into practice the program's emphasis on building respect, consideration, and participation. This report concludes with a discussion of the implementation of restorative justice in schools. 1 table and 16 references
Main Term(s): Juvenile delinquency prevention programs
Index Term(s): Bullying; Conflict resolution; Foreign juvenile delinquency; Juvenile victims; School delinquency programs
Note: Australian Institute of Criminology Trends & Issues in Crime and Criminal Justice, February 2002; downloaded March 11, 2002.
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