Chapter 1 Introduction to the Australian Covert Bullying Prevalence Study (acbps)



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Chapter 1


Introduction to the Australian Covert Bullying Prevalence Study (ACBPS)

1.1 Context


1.2 Background to the research
1.3 The Australian Covert Bullying Prevalence Study
1.4 Research objectives
1.5 ACBPS report structure
1.6 References

By its very nature covert bullying



behaviour among young people

does not provide easy policy and

practice options.”

1.1 Context

The Australian Government Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR) is committed to working with State and Territory Government and non-Government education authorities to ensure all school students can learn in an environment which is free from all forms of bullying, harassment, violence, abuse and neglect.


The Australian Covert Bullying Prevalence Study (ACBPS) was commissioned by DEEWR to address the lack of current, reliable evidence about the nature and prevalence of covert bullying in the Australian cultural context, and to provide a foundation for informed action. This comprehensive study, conducted by the Child Health Promotion Research Centre (CHPRC), at Edith Cowan University, aimed to improve the knowledge and understanding of the key determinants, temporal development, predictors, prevalence and outcomes of covert bullying, to ultimately determine effective policy and practice to address this problem. The Study was designed to provide information, at a representative national level, about what constitutes covert bullying, the forms it takes, by whom it is practiced, towards whom it is directed, how frequently it is experienced, and the impact it has on those who are bullied. It also aimed to include reference to emerging forms of cyber bullying (such as internet and mobile phone-based bullying), as well as other forms of covert bullying including relational bullying.




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