Respectful relationships education in secondary schools: A statistical social network analysis of a program intervention designed to build positive gender-related attitudes and respectful peer relationships in Australian schools
Research has demonstrated that evidence-informed, school-based social and emotional learning (SEL) and respectful relationships (RR) programs can lead to improved peer relationships, less tolerance of gender-based violence, and less violence perpetration and victimisation. However, in the Australian context, there has been no research that has examined how teacher training influences the delivery of SEL and RR education, or how comprehensive classroom interventions may impact student wellbeing, relationships, and gender-related attitudes and behaviour.
This project assessed a program designed to build positive gender-related attitudes and respectful peer relationships in Australian schools.
This study provides much needed empirical evidence on the provision and impact of the RRRR intervention program. It examined the intervention in Year 7 and Year 9 classrooms and compared outcomes over time – both in terms of the impacts of training on professional readiness of teachers, and the impacts of program provision on student attitudes, experiences, behaviours, social networks and relationships. The project tracked changes in the gender-related attitudes, experiences and behaviours of Year 11 students.
The approach deployed conventional measures of wellbeing, attitudes and behaviour, along with innovative social network analysis (SNA) tools to track changes in attitudes, relationships and behaviour. This combination of measures not only assessed the effectiveness of the program but also demonstrated the specific ways that the program influences student wellbeing, relationships and gender attitudes.
Emeritus Professor Helen Cahill, University of Melbourne
Professor Dean Lusher, SNA Toolbox
Dr Babak Dadvand, University of Melbourne
Natalie Calleja, University of Melbourne
Anne Farrelly, University of Melbourne
Dr Peng Wang, SNA Toolbox
$766,320 (excl. GST)
This project was funded by the Australian Government Department of Social Services.