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The impact of a peer counselling scheme to address bullying in an all-girl London secondary school: A short-term longitudinal study

Houlston, Catherine and Smith, Peter K.. 2010. The impact of a peer counselling scheme to address bullying in an all-girl London secondary school: A short-term longitudinal study. British Journal of Educational Psychology, 79(1), pp. 69-86. ISSN 0007-0998 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

Background A variety of peer support schemes are now widely used in schools, notably to reduce bullying. However, there has been little systematic investigation of the impact and effectiveness of these approaches.

Aims To assess the impact of a peer counselling scheme on peer counsellors and the school community.

Sample The research was conducted in a North London all-girls state secondary school. Data were collected from all lower school classes (years 7, 8, and 9) and some staff members, in addition to year 10 peer counsellors and an age equivalent comparison group.

Method A detailed 1-year longitudinal study combined qualitative and quantitative methods of assessment.

Results Peer counsellors benefited from their involvement through an acquisition of transferable communication and interpersonal skills, and, compared to age-matched control pupils, had increased social self-esteem. There were no reductions in self-reported bullying and victimization, but in general pupils believed that there was less bullying in school and that the school was doing more about bullying, with year 7 students showing the most positive changes.

Conclusions Peer-counselling schemes can improve self-esteem of peer supporters, and also impact positively on perceptions of bullying in the school; but impact on actual experiences of bullying is less clear, and there may be problems with the acceptance and use of such programmes by older students.

Item Type:

Article

Identification Number (DOI):

https://doi.org/10.1348/000709908X293878

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Psychology

Dates:

DateEvent
2010Published

Item ID:

5436

Date Deposited:

29 Mar 2011 12:36

Last Modified:

04 Jul 2017 12:54

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.

URI:

http://research.gold.ac.uk/id/eprint/5436

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