This meta-analysis reviews and analyzes studies published after 2000 that evaluated school-based anti-bullying programs that involved a parental component.
This meta-analysis was conducted because social-ecological theory of school bullying emphasizes the role parents have in students' engagement in bullying; however, there is insufficient empirical support for the parental role in countering bullying, and there have been limited efforts to synthesize the impacts of adding parental components to prevention programming. In addressing this research gap, the current meta-analysis reviewed 22 studies that evaluated school-based anti-bullying intervention programs. Seventeen of the 22 studies reported program effectiveness in reducing bullying. Regarding parental involvement, 13 interventions included materials that provided parents with information about school bullying and the intervention and strategies parents can use to address bullying behavior. Nine studies organized meetings with parents to inform them of school policy on addressing bullying and soliciting their suggestions on anti-bullying policies and practices. Four studies assigned home activities that required parent-child interactions. This meta-analysis concludes that school-based anti-bullying programs that have a parental component contributed small but significant effects in reducing bullying and peer victimization. Also, the type of parental component did not apparently impact the effectiveness of a school-based anti-bullying program; however, the difficulty in implementing parental components has prevented researchers from deciding whether parental involvement was an active component in contributing to a program's preventive effect. This report provides suggestions for addressing this issue in future evaluations of school anti-bullying programs that have a parental component. 3 figures, 1 table, and 72 references