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Breaking the cycle: Empowering youth to overcome
bullying and behavioural addictions

Course Summary

The course is intended for teachers and professional associates of primary and secondary schools, and is designed for the purpose of obtaining guidelines for the creation of preventive programs in the field of peer violence and behavioral addictions of young people. Bullying is becoming a bigger and more serious problem in schools and therefore in our society. Given the omnipresent Internet and the fact that we are extremely connected to it in our daily activities, and children spend more and more time online, cyberbullying and some new forms of addiction, united under the name - behavioral addictions, appear as a special problem. Through the theoretical part and summarizing the most important information obtained from research, the participants will be introduced to the concepts of peer violence, cyberbullying, and behavioral addictions. Practical examples, activities and workshops will try to answer the question: how can educational workers help?

27/05 - 31/05/2024
5 days
Split, Croatia
24/06 - 28/06/2024
5 days
Rovinj, Croatia
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Course Detailed Description

Teachers and other educational professionals often encounter children in their work who are rejected by their peers, teased for their differences, or are victims of physical violence. Feelings of rejection, fear, shame, and anger are just some of the consequences that these children may experience. It is important to know that these children cannot fully stand up to violence on their own. It is up to adults - parents, teachers, professionals - to become sensitive to this serious problem and not allow any form of violence to live in school corridors and leave an impact on children's development. 

The frequent use of the internet and social media has brought many positive, but also negative social changes and habits. Online platforms provide a space for a new form of peer-to-peer violence, namely - cyberbullying. Cyberbullying is bullying with the use of digital technologies. It can take place on social media, messaging platforms, gaming platforms and mobile phones. It is repeated behaviour, aimed at scaring, angering or shaming those who are targeted. Face-to-face bullying and cyberbullying can often happen alongside each other. But cyberbullying leaves a digital footprint – a record that can prove useful and provide evidence to help stop the abuse.

By timely identifying, stopping, and preventing violence, we provide help to children to overcome the consequences of violence, send them a clear message that their well-being is important to us, and that we live in a society that does not tolerate violence in any form.

In addition to the cyberbullying, social media, video games, and similar internet "products" pose a risk for the development of so-called behavioral addictions. Behavioral addictions represent a relatively new phenomenon in social sciences. In recent years, there has been more intensive research and engagement in this "type" of addiction, and the most commonly studied areas are addiction to gambling, the internet, video games, sex, sexual content, and shopping. What complicates the "identification" of behavioural addictions is certainly the fact that they involve legal, desirable, and often healthy behaviours and habits (for example, shopping, using the internet, exercising, etc.). The question arises of how and where to draw the line when some "normal" and usual behavior becomes an addiction, or which criteria need to be met for some behavior to be considered an addiction?

The entire course is designed in such a way that, in addition to theoretical background, concrete workshops and activities are presented that the participants can later apply in their schools, imply them in preventive programs or in daily activities in teaching.

The main topics of our course are:

•          theoretical background - bullying and behavioral addictions

•          warning signs – bully and victime 

•          risk and protective factors

•          identification, prevention and early interventions


Day 1​

  • Introduction to the course

  • Course outline

  • Ice-breaking activities

  • Introduction of the participants, their goals for the class and their challenges, school presentations

  • Guided city tour

Day 2

  • Bullying and cyberbullying: Definitions and types of behaviors

  • Prevalence and impact of bullying on children and adolescents

  • Risk and protective factors

  • Short and long-term consequences

Day 3 

  • Understanding behavioral addiction: Definition, types, and prevalence

  • Risk factors for developing behavioral addictions

  • Signs and symptoms of behavioral addictions

  • The impact of behavioral addictions on mental health and relationships

Day 4

  • Identifying and responding: Effective intervention strategies

  • Cyber safety: Promoting responsible and ethical online behavior

  • Preventing behavioral addictions: The role of early intervention and healthy coping strategies.

  • Creating a safe and respectful school environment (examples of activities)

Day 5

  • Workshop - What do we take with us?

  • Course evaluation: round-up of acquired competencies, feedback, discussion

Day 6

  • Course closure and cultural activities

  • Certificate awarding 

Note: The program will be dynamic and interactive. The schedule may change based on the issues posed by the participants and the real resolution processes in which we engage. Excursion plans for any given course may also affect the agenda.

Course outcomes

By the end of this course, participants will be able to:

  • increase awareness and understanding of the types and effects of bullying, as well as the signs and symptoms of behavioral addictions.

  • provide strategies and tools for identifying and addressing bullying and behavioral addictions in schools.

  • gain knowledge and skills to effectively prevent and respond to bullying and behavioral addictions.

  • encourage a culture of safety, inclusivity, and well-being in schools by addressing the root causes of bullying and behavioral addictions.

  • emphasize the importance of ongoing education and training for educators and other professionals in order to stay informed about current research and best practices related to bullying and behavioral addictions.

  • build a supportive network of educators and professionals committed to creating a safe and positive learning environment for all students.

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