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Aussie anti-bullying program finds success in Italy


A program designed in South Australia to stop bullying has been successful in primary and secondary schools in Italy.

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Flinders University Psychology and Social Work Professor Phillip Slee began developing his P.E.A.C.E Pack in 2001 in response to his findings that 23 per cent of students across Australia are victimised weekly.

The Preparation, Education, Action, Coping and Evaluation (P.E.A.C.E) anti-bullying program is an 8-week course that helps students overcome the social and emotional impacts of bullying and teaches them how to cope with the resulting stress.

According to a study from the South Australian Department of Education, the program’s successful results were consistent and sustained 2-3 months after the program had been run.

Colleagues in Italy contacted Slee to have the program translated and trailed for several of their schools after it had previously garnered the attention of schools in Japan, Greece, and Malta.

“The program was always intended to be used in schools internationally as well as within Australia,” Slee said.

Researchers from the Universities of Bologna and Bolzano then studied the outcomes of The P.E.A.C.E Pack at Italian schools.

More than 550 students were questioned about the program, finding it to be particularly useful in providing support for victims of severe bullying.

The program made Italian students more likely to intervene when bullying occurs by building their self-confidence and raising their overall perception of the problem.

According to the study, bullying has reduced significantly across these schools and the wellbeing of their students has improved greatly.

“While efforts have been made by schools to address bullying, few teacher delivered interventions have shown positive changes in victims”, Professor Analisa Guarini from the University of Bologna said.

The program has had more positive results than other methods, according to Slee.

“Students often feel that schools have done more to help them and experienced less hassling from other students,” he said.

The P.E.A.C.E Pack is currently being translated for trials in schools in Taiwan and Indonesia, while negotiations are underway with schools in the United States and India.

This is a Creative Commons story from The Lead South Australia, a news service providing stories about innovation in South Australia. Please feel free to use the story in any form of media. The story sources are linked in with the copy and all contacts are willing to talk further about the story. Copied to Clipboard

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