A Systematic Review on Primary School Teachers’ Characteristics and Behaviors in Identifying, Preventing, and Reducing Bullying

Danelien A.E. van Aalst*, Gijs Huitsing, René Veenstra

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
393 Downloads (Pure)


Despite the expanding body of research on school bullying and interventions, knowledge is limited on what teachers should do to identify, prevent, and reduce bullying. This systematic literature review provides an overview of research on the role of primary school teachers with regard to bullying and victimization. A conceptual framework was developed in line with the Theory of Planned Pehavior, which can serve in further research to facilitate research in investigating the prevention and reduction of bullying. Different elements of this framework were distinguished in categorizing the literature: teachers’ knowledge, attitudes, perceived subjective norms, and self-efficacy, which impacted subsequently the likelihood to intervene, used strategies and programs, and ultimately the bullying prevalence in the classroom. In total, 75 studies complied to the inclusion criteria and were reviewed systematically. The Newcastle–Ottawa Quality Assessment was used to assess the quality of each study, leading to 25 papers with an adequate research design that were discussed in more detail. The approach in this review provides a framework to combine studies on single or multiple elements of a complex theoretical model of which only some parts have been empirically investigated.

Original languageEnglish
Journal International Journal of Bullying Prevention
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 26-Oct-2022


  • Bullying
  • Intervention
  • Primary school
  • Review
  • Teachers
  • Victimization

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