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Title: Investigating the effectiveness of restorative justice : theoretical underpinnings, evidence of efficacy and applicability to school contexts
Author: Fleming, Jenny
ISNI:       0000 0004 2731 3904
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Southampton
Date of Award: 2012
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Concerns have been raised about behaviour management and bullying in schools; this has led to an increase in relational approaches to conflict management. One relational approach to conflict management is restorative justice (RJ). The present study reviews the theoretical underpinnings of the RJ approach and evidence of its efficacy in the criminal justice system and educational contexts. Research has supported the efficacy of the approach in the criminal justice system, and has highlighted the effectiveness of RJ in developing empathy. Despite a lack of high quality research in school contexts, this approach is already being utilised in schools. Therefore, the literature review was followed by a study which aimed to investigate the efficacy of RJ in developing empathy and reducing behavioural difficulties in schoolchildren. 65 children attending a school using RJ approaches to behaviour management and 44 children attending a school using traditional punitive approaches completed selfreport measures of empathy and behaviour at baseline, and again four months later to examine the effects of RJ on empathy development and behavioural difficulties. In addition, the researcher identified children with low empathy and high behavioural difficulty scores in both schools and compared their empathy and behavioural difficulty scores at baseline and after four months. After controlling for baseline scores, there were no significant differences between the schools in terms of changes in empathy or behavioural difficulties. This was also the case when focusing on the subset of children who had low empathy and behavioural difficulties at baseline who may have been expected to have greater exposure to RJ approaches/interventions over the 4 month follow up period. Implications of the present study and limitations are discussed.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: H Social Sciences (General)