Psicothema was founded in Asturias (northern Spain) in 1989, and is published jointly by the Psychology Faculty of the University of Oviedo and the Psychological Association of the Principality of Asturias (Colegio Oficial de Psicología del Principado de Asturias).
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Psicothema, 2012. Vol. Vol. 24 (nº 4). 634-639

Online and offline peer led models against bullying and cyberbullying

Benedetta Emanuela Palladino, Annalaura Nocentini and Ersilia Menesini

University of Florence (Italy)

The aim of the present study is to describe and evaluate an ongoing peer-led model against bullying and cyberbullying carried out with Italian adolescents. The evaluation of the project was made through an experimental design consisting of a pre-test and a post-test. Participants in the study were 375 adolescents (20.3% males), enrolled in 9th to 13th grades. The experimental group involved 231 students with 42 peer educators, and the control group involved 144 students. Results showed a significant decrease in the experimental group as compared to the control group for all the variables except for cyberbullying. Besides, in the experimental group we found a significant increase in adaptive coping strategies like problem solving and a significant decrease in maladaptive coping strategies like avoidance: these changes mediate the changes in the behavioural variables. In particular, the decrease in avoidance predicts the decrease in victimization and cybervictimization for peer educators and for the other students in the experimental classes whereas the increase in problem solving predicts the decrease in cyberbullying only in the peer educators group. Results are discussed following recent reviews on evidence based efficacy of peer led models.

Modelos online y offline contra el acoso y el acoso cibernético realizados por pares. El objetivo del presente estudio es describir y evaluar un modelo conducido por pares contra el acoso y el acoso cibernético realizado con adolescentes italianos. La evaluación del proyecto se realizó mediante un diseño experimental que consiste en un pre-test y un post-test. Los participantes en el estudio fueron 375 adolescentes (varones= 20,3%), matriculados en los grados 9-13. El grupo experimental envolvió 231 alumnos (42 pares educadores), y en el grupo de control participaron 144 estudiantes. Los resultados mostraron una disminución significativa en el grupo experimental en comparación con el grupo de control para todas las variables, excepto para cyberbullying. Además, en el grupo experimental se encontró un aumento significativo de estrategias adaptativas (problem solving) y una disminución significativa en las estrategias de afrontamiento desadaptativas como la evitación: estos cambios median los cambios en las variables de comportamiento. En particular, la disminución de la evitación predice la disminución de la victimización y cibervictimización en todo el grupo experimental, mientras que el aumento de problem solving predice la disminución de la ciber-intimidación solo en el grupo de pares educadores. Se discuten los resultados de acuerdo con las revisiones recientes sobre la eficacia, basada en la evidencia, de los modelos conducidos por pares.


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