This paper summarises the results of a systematic review and meta-analysis of the effectiveness of anti-bullying programmes in schools. Extensive searches were carried out in 18 databases and in 35 journals. The number of reports on anti-bullying programmes increased considerably over time. Nearly 600 reports were found, but only 59 of these (describing evaluations of 30 different programmes) were eligible for inclusion in our review because they described a high-quality evaluation. We coded the elements of the intervention in these programmes and key features of the evaluation and related these to the effects of the intervention. These types of figures have never been presented in any previous systematic review or meta-analysis of anti-bullying programmes. Our meta-analysis showed that school-based anti-bullying programmes are effective in reducing bullying and victimisation (being bullied), which were reduced by about 20-23% in experimental schools, compared with control schools. The most important programme components that were associated with a decrease in bullying were parent training, improved playground supervision, disciplinary methods, school conferences, videos, information for parents, work with peers, classroom rules and classroom management.
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