Research and background


Under the leadership of Professor Jan Kampmann, a group of researchers from Roskilde University have monitored the pilot phase of Free of Bullying in Denmark. 

Follow-up research has shown very positive results, including the following:

  • Effective anti-bullying tools and the visible involvement of adults play an all-important role in combatting bullying.
  • The children are significantly better at tackling teasing and bullying at schools and institutions that are intensively involved in the Free of Bullying programme.
  • The adults play an essential role in building healthy children’s communities free of bullying.



On the initiative of Her Royal Highness the Crown Princess of Denmark, The Mary Foundation and Save the Children Denmark launched the Free of Bullying anti-bullying programme in 2007.

The project has since become a well-integrated part of life for children in Denmark, where it is currently being used in one in every three preschools and one in every four primary schools.

Free of Bullying was inspired by the Australian programme “Better Buddies”, which was developed by the Alannah and Madeline Foundation in Australia.

The Mary Foundation and Save the Children Denmark are equal partners in the programme. The former is responsible for overall project management and coordination, while the latter – in addition to taking part in project management – provides valuable expertise on bullying and childhood development.

Roskilde University's research on the "Free from bullying" project

A group of researchers from Roskilde University, headed by Professor Jan Kampmann, follows the project “Free from Bullying” from start to finish, describing its implementation, progress and results in a series of reports.


Free from Bullying - 1st report

This report focuses on the various involved parties’ understanding of bullying, and on how this issue was already being addressed in schools and preschools when the project was launched.


Free from Bullying - 2nd report

The paper homes in on the various parties’ views and assessments of initiatives spawned by the project “Free from Bullying”. The different groups’ experience of participation and co-ownership is also put under the microscope. 
This paper also highlights a series of immediate challenges within three categories: 1) tools and materials, 2) parental involvement, and 3) organisation and ownership. 

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Free from Bullying - 3rd report

The third report sheds light on the understandings and views of bullying among parents and personnel of early school years as expressed early on in the project process.
Furthermore, this report examines the staff’s experience of current anti-bullying preparedness, as well as their views of social manners in the schools.
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Free from Bullying - 4th report

This report concerns how 4-8-year-olds understand and experience teasing and bullying. It examines the understandings that children attribute to these concepts, uncovering their specific experiences of teasing and ways of dealing with such situations. The paper is based on interviews with 145 children in Denmark. 

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Free from Bullying - 5th report

This report concerns the methodological experiences gained while carrying out various types of interviews with 4-8-year-olds in Denmark. Accordingly, the paper contributes to the continued development of methods for research into children’s everyday lives. In addition, the publication may serve to inspire professionals, who work with children within this age group on a daily basis.

Free from Bullying - 6th report

The 6th report focuses on the various parties’ perceptions of the pilot project’s impact on daily life in preschools, schools and after-school centres, as well as its effects in changing bullying behaviour and establishing an anti-bullying culture.

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Free from Bullying - 7th report

This paper looks into professional educators’ experiences of using the Free from Bullying materials, among other concerns. It should be seen as follow-up to previously published reports, which also document, discuss and put into perspective the preliminary results of the two-year pilot project. It is built on a questionnaire survey among parents and staff in participant preschools and schools.

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Free from Bullying - 8th report

The last paper focuses on the suitcase designed for schools, and on their experiences of using its contents. The empirical data has been collected from among the three schools taking part in the pilot project in addition to two new schools, who ordered the suitcase on their own initiative.
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Read more about Free of Bullying

  • Lars Stilling Netteberg
  • Program manager, Save the Children Denmark
  • +45 2089 7250