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Title: The theoretical perspective of restorative justice as a bullying intervention : evidence from a UK population
Author: Phillips, Alexis
ISNI:       0000 0004 2702 4424
Awarding Body: Institute of Education, University of London
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2009
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Bullying is a significant problem faced by all schools in the UK, with a negative impact on all involved. Interventions based on Restorative Justice are currently used by a number of schools in the UK to tackle bullying. The theoretical perspective of Restorative Justice as a bullying intervention suggests that victims, bullies, bully/victims and nonbullies/nonvictims differ according to how they manage feelings of shame in response to causing harm and according to their feelings about school. In addition, it argues that the use of Restorative Justice interventions can reduce these differences helping those involved to manage their feelings of shame adaptively and feel supported by the school community. This research aimed to test the theoretical perspective of Restorative Justice as a bullying intervention. A mixed methodology was used, with each strand focusing on a distinct component. In the first strand a questionnaire was completed by 222 pupils (aged between 12 and 14 years), which gathered information on bullying behaviour, shame management and variables associated with feelings about school. This was subjected to statistical analysis to explore differences between the bullying groups on these measures. In the second strand semi-structured interviews were completed with 8 pupils (aged between 12 and 15 years) who had taken part in a Restorative Justice mediation in response to a bullying incident. A thematic analysis was completed on this data to consider the outcomes of the intervention from the 2 pupils' perspective and whether this was commensurate with that predicted by the theoretical perspective of Restorative Justice. The results of the questionnaire supported the theoretical perspective of Restorative Justice, with differences found between the different bullying groups in terms of shame management and feelings about school. Interviews with pupils who had experienced the interviews, however, suggested that the intervention was not working as predicted by the theoretical perspective. Pupils were not experiencing shifts in shame management and feelings as part of the school community as a result of the intervention. Although not working as suggested by the theoretical perspective of Restorative Justice, interviews with the participants did identify positive outcomes for those involved, with the majority reporting that the bullying stopped after the intervention. It is argued, that if carefully monitored, bullying interventions based on Restorative Justice could offer a different perspective for managing bullying situations in schools.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Ed.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available