Date of this Version
Terrell, H. M. (2019) Examining the effectiveness of anti-bullying curriculum in Catholic schools. Undergraduate Honors Thesis. University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
While the amount of research on bullying in school settings and its complexities has increased greatly in the last few decades (Gaffney, Ttofi, & Farrington, 2018), more information is needed about bullying instances in Catholic schools specifically, and what prevention efforts in these schools look like. Students in Catholic schools are exposed to standards of behavior in line with the Catholic faith regardless of their personal beliefs, and expected to adhere to them, potentially affecting their bullying behavior and response to anti-bullying curriculum. The current study examines self-report data gathered from sixth-grade students at two Catholic schools (N = 58; 62% female), with one school employing a developed anti-bullying curriculum present throughout the school and the other without a specific anti-bullying curriculum. Surveys given to students assessed understanding of the threefold definition of bullying, including repetition over time, intent to harm, and power differential (Smith, 2016) through vignettes developed for this study, frequency of their own bullying and bystander behavior during the past year, and evaluations of teacher discussions of bullying and respect. Results did not indicate a significant difference between the two schools on these three topics, but showed that regardless of anti-bullying curriculum presence, students who are bullied are in turn more likely to also bully others. The current study and future expansions can provide critical insight to teachers, administrators, and parents, as well as bridge the gap of a lack of research pertaining specifically to Catholic schools.