Location of Repository

Inter-cultural differences in response to a computer-based anti-bullying intervention

By Scott Watson, Natalie Vannini, Sarah Woods, Kerstin Dautenhahn, Maria Sapouna, Sibylle Enz, Wolfgang Schneider, Dieter Wolke, Lynne Hall, Ana Paiva and Prof. Dr. Elisabeth André


Background and purpose: Many holistic anti-bullying interventions have been attempted, with mixed success, while little work has been done to promote a 'self-help' approach to victimisation. The rise of the ICT curriculum and computer support in schools now allows for approaches that benefit from technology to be implemented. This study evaluates the cross-cultural effects of a computer-based anti-bullying intervention on primary school-aged children's knowledge about bullying and relevant coping strategies. \ud \ud Programme description: FearNot! is an interactive computer-based virtual learning environment designed for use as an anti-bullying intervention. It includes interactive virtual agents who assume the most common participant roles found in episodes of bullying. FearNot! was used by children over three consecutive weeks to allow its effectiveness to be evaluated in a longitudinal in situ programme. \ud \ud Sample: Two comparable samples were drawn from the UK and Germany. In the UK, 651 participants (aged 8-11) were recruited from primary schools in Hertfordshire, Coventry and Warwickshire, whereas the 535 German participants (aged 7-10) were sourced from Grundschulen in the Bayern and Hessen regions. Because of lack of parental consent, late joiners and absences/missing responses, data from 908 participants (UK 493; Germany 415) were analysed. \ud \ud Design and methods: A quasi-experimental, pre/post-tests control group design employed pre-published and bespoke questionnaires to collect data. Descriptive and inferential analyses were conducted. \ud \ud Results: UK students possessed higher coping strategy knowledge scores than German participants, but German children's scores improved over time and as a result of the FearNot! intervention. \ud \ud Conclusions: Overall, while not effective at increasing children's coping strategy knowledge in this study, the FearNot! intervention could prove a useful classroom tool to approach the issue of bullying as part of a wider initiative. Cultural differences at baseline and reactions to the intervention are discussed

Topics: LB1501, BF
Publisher: Routledge
Year: 2010
OAI identifier: oai:wrap.warwick.ac.uk:3227

Suggested articles



  1. (2005). A friend in need: The role of friendship quality as a protective factor in peer victimzation and bullying. doi
  2. (1993). A survey of the nature and extent of bullying in junior/middle and secondary schools. doi
  3. (2005). Achieving empathic engagement through affective interaction with synthetic characters. Paper presented at Affective Computing and Intelligent Interaction (ACII), October 22-24, in doi
  4. (2003). Animated characters in bullying intervention. Paper presented at Intelligent Virtual Agents (IVA), doi
  5. (2004). Bullied by siblings: associations with peer victimisation and behaviour problems in Israeli lower secondary school children. doi
  6. (1991). Bully/victim problems among schoolchildren: Basic facts and effects of a school based intervention program. doi
  7. (2001). Bullying and victimization of primary and secondary school children in England and Germany: Prevalence and school factors. doi
  8. (1999). Bullying as a group process: An adaptation of the participants role approach. doi
  9. (1996). Bullying as a group process: Participants roles and their relations to social status. doi
  10. (2001). Bullying involvement in primary schools and common health problems. doi
  11. (1995). Bullying or peer abuse at school: Facts and intervention. doi
  12. (2000). Bystanding or standing by: Gender issues in coping with bullying in English schools. doi
  13. (2005). Childrens opinions on effective strategies to cope with bullying: The importance of bullying role and perspective. doi
  14. (1996). Childrens treatment by peers: Victims of relational and overt aggression. doi
  15. (2004). Connections between attitudes, groups norms, and behaviour in bullying situations. doi
  16. (2006). Coping with bullying at schools: Childrens recommended strategies and attitudes to school-based interventions in England and Japan. doi
  17. (1996). Defining bullying. doi
  18. (2002). Definitions in bullying: A comparison of terms used, and age and gender differences, in a fourteen-country international comparison. doi
  19. (2006). Do bullied children get Ill, or do Ill children get bullied? A prospective cohort study on the relationship between bullying and health-related symptoms. doi
  20. (2000). Emotional regulation and display in classroom bullying: Characteristic expressions of affect, coping styles, and relevant contextual factors. doi
  21. (2004). England: The Sheffield Project. doi
  22. (2006). Examining the relationship between low empathy and bullying. doi
  23. (2007). FearNot! an anti-bullying intervention: Evaluation of an interactive virtual learning environment. Paper presented at Artificial Intelligence and Simulation of Behaviour (AISB),
  24. (2005). FearNot! An experiment in emergent narrative. Paper presented at Intelligent Virtual Agents (IVA), doi
  25. (2005). FearNot! Creating emotional autonomous synthetic characters for emphatic interaction. PhD diss., Instituto Superior Técnico.
  26. (2005). Feeling and reasoning: a computational model for emotional agents. doi
  27. (1996). How do the victims respond to bullying? doi
  28. (2007). I know what I did last summer: Autobiographic memory in synthetic characters. Paper presented at Affective Computing and Intelligent Interaction (ACII), September 12-14, in doi
  29. (2004). Implementation of the Olweus bullying prevention program in the Southeastern United States. doi
  30. (2003). Interventions to reduce bullying.
  31. (2005). Moral disengagement: A framework for understanding bullying among adolescents. doi
  32. (1997). Peer networks and bullying in schools. doi
  33. (1999). Personal and interpersonal antecedents and consequences of victimisation in peers. doi
  34. (2004). Prevention of bullying in German schools: An evaluation of an anti-bullying approach. doi
  35. (2004). Profiles of nonvictims, escaped victims, continuing victims and new victims of school bullying. doi
  36. (1995). Relational aggression, gender, and social-psychological adjustment. doi
  37. (2007). Responding to bullying. doi
  38. (2001). Self-esteem and its relationship to bullying behaviour. doi
  39. (1994). Sex differences in physical, verbal, and indirect aggression: A review of recent research. doi
  40. (2006). Social cognition and moral cognition in bullying: Whats wrong? doi
  41. (1998). The long-term effectiveness of anti-bullying work in primary schools. doi
  42. (2004). The Olweus bullying prevention programme: Design and implementation issues and a new national initiative in Norway. doi
  43. (2006). The relationship between childhood teasing and late interpersonal functioning. doi
  44. (2005). The role of peer bystanders in school bullying: Positive steps toward promoting peaceful schools. Theory into doi
  45. (1996). Translating tests: Some practical guidelines. doi
  46. (2007). Update on bullying at school: Science forgotten? doi
  47. (1997). Victimized childrens responses to peers aggression: Behaviors associated with reduced versus continued victimization. doi
  48. (2000). What good schools can do about bullying: Findings from a survey in English schools after a decade of research and action. doi

To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.