Kuvaaja: Hanna Oksanen

SOLID total project

Bullying is a persistent problem in many schools. Even though we nowadays have many anti-bullying programs, one out of ten children is being bullied repeatedly every month or week. Bullying can have severe and lifelong consequences for victims.

Our research group at INVEST (University of Turku) has received funding to examine how we can better help victims of bullying. We have started the SOLID project to investigate how other peers can help and defend victims of bullying. In what way can children really help their victimized peers? And instead, under which circumstances may defending go wrong? What should we teach children with regard to defending?

To find an answer to these questions, 30 elementary and secondary schools will be included in the SOLID project. Children will be asked to fill in a 30-minute online questionnaire in October, January, and April during the academic year of 2022-2023. Besides the three questionnaires, a few students in each school will be randomly selected to participate in a sub-project, SOLID DAILY. This will occur In January. For two weeks, they will be asked to daily fill in a 2-3 minute questionnaire at home, once their school day has ended.

The answers of these students will be key in further informing anti-bullying programs on what we should teach children with regard to defending others. Defending is an important citizen skill: It is good if people stand up for others in times of harassment (e.g., when someone is being discriminated, or unfairly treated). SOLID will provide insights in which ways of defending may work best, and which factors may influence the effectiveness of defending.