Bullying research projects

Table of contents

On this page

  • Behind the Scenes: Insight into the Human Dimension of Covert Bullying
  • Reducing peer victimisation in Australian schools through targeted and universal approaches research project

    The Australian Government is contributing funding towards a five year study to determine which programmes are most effective in addressing bullying in schools. Five thousand year 5 and 6 students in schools in New South Wales and Western Australia will take part in the ‘Reducing peer victimisation in Australian schools through targeted and universal approaches’ project.

    Professor Ron Rapee of the Centre for Emotional Health at Macquarie University will lead the study which includes an examination of two anti-bullying programmes – ‘Cool Kids’ and ‘Friendly Schools Plus’. The study will establish how effectively these programmes reduce bullying so that the basic elements can be replicated in different circumstances at the school level across Australia.

    The Department is joining with the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), and Macquarie University to support this research study which commenced in July 2013.

    Prevalence and effectiveness of anti-bullying approaches in Australian Schools study

    The Australian Government is contributing funds in 2013-14 towards an exploratory study on the prevalence and effectiveness of anti-bullying strategies currently being used in government schools. The study will be led by Adjunct Research Professor Ken Rigby of the University of South Australia. Professor Rigby is a renowned expert on bullying prevention.

    The study will gather relevant information through a combination of questionnaires and interviews from a representative sample of school personnel, students and educational administrators. It is expected 100 schools across Australia and approximately 6,000 students from years 5 – 10 will participate in the project. The survey will be conducted in late 2014 and will gather information on what schools are doing - both proactively and reactively - to counter bullying.

    The study will complement the Macquarie University study on reducing peer victimisation, build on the evidence base of effective anti-bullying approaches and also provide an opportunity for schools to use this important evidence in their school action plans.

    Covert Bullying Research Projects

    The emergence of new technologies has led to covert and cyberbullying becoming an issue for many schools. The Australian Government has commissioned two research projects to better understand these issues and the impact on Australian schools.

    The first study investigated the prevalence and impact of covert bullying in Australian school communities - the Australian Covert Bullying Prevalence Study and was conducted by Edith Cowan University. The report provides information at a national level about what constitutes covert bullying, the prevalence of bullying and its impact on victims and perpetrators. The report recommends actions for the Australian Government, state and territory education authorities and schools, to address covert and cyberbullying in Australian schools.

    The second study, Behind the Scenes: Insights into the Human Dimension of Covert Bullying was conducted by the University of South Australia in conjunction with Flinders University. This project explored real life experiences of individuals exposed to covert bullying (victim/ perpetrator/ bystander/ teacher/ parent).

    Both projects have been completed and the findings can be found below:

    Australian Covert Bullying Prevalence Study CHPRC, Edith Cowan University - May 2009

    Behind the Scenes: Insight into the Human Dimension of Covert Bullying

    Hawke Research Institute for Sustainable Societies - University of South AustraliaCentre for the Analysis of Educational Futures - Flinders University, SADecember 2008