School bullying: consequences, risk and protective factors and successful school interventions worldwide.
Keywords:bullying, risk-protective factors, socioemotional learning, peer support
Bullying and victimization in the school environment have been a major concern in recent years for students, parents, teachers and state authorities. The purpose of this article is to describe the multidimensional phenomenon and its short- and long-term social and emotional consequences on all parties, whether directly or indirectly involved, and to examine the risk and protective factors through Bronfenbrenner’s ecological systems theory, focusing on one of the main "systems", during adolescence, that of the school. The cultivation of social skills, coupled with a consistently positive school climate, are identified as key protective factors against bullying. In addition, two particularly successful approaches to preventing and tackling school bullying internationally are presented, namely social-emotional learning (SEL) and peer support programs. Social-emotional learning is based on the cultivation of social and emotional skills, while peer support capitalizes on the key role of “bystanders”. As evidenced by the existing literature, a significant number of meta-analyses have demonstrated the multiple benefits that result from the systematic implementation of social-emotional learning programs at all levels of education. Also, empirical research has shown that the proven success of peer support programs needs further documentation, as their diversity and complex structure require systematic and long-term implementation prior to their final evaluation.
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