Question 4
Bullying is a troubling adolescent issue which has recently received national attention in the media. Imagine that you are an “adolescence expert” who is called upon to address the issue of bullying in a middle school. Using the research and the course material, lay out a “persuasive plan” for how you might address bullying in this school setting. Consider building a case for the importance of the topic, and then answering key questions about how, when, and why we should or should not address the issue. Be sure to frame your answer in the language of the text and consider relevant research.


I. MATERIAL FROM TEXTBOOK (Organized By Chapter)

  1. Chapter 1

  1. Approaches:(p. 4)
    1. Ecological Systems:adolescents go through changes in their biological, cognitive and self-systems; each of these sets of changes act on one another
      1. Social contexts: interlocking spheres of parents and family, peers, school, community and culture
    2. Stage environment fit: adolescents change and so does their relationships with parents, peers, school and culture. Often there is a mismatch between an adolescent’s stage and environment
    3. Positive development: the importance for parents, teachers, coaches and stakeholders to help teens become confident, productive, caring and engaged participants and to avoid negative activities
  2. Transitions:(p. 8) a period of growth and change that is set off when something disturbs an earlier balance; adolescents experience changes in physical, cognitive, emotional, sexual and social
    1. Normative: almost everybody in a particular culture can expect to go through these transitions
    2. Idiosyncratic: changes that take place at unpredictable times; serious illness, move to a new town, parents divorce

  1. Chapter 2
Social Cognitive theory – An approach that sees observing what others do and what happens to them as an important way of learning (McMahan, 2009, 38).
  • If an individual witnesses a peer bullying someone else, that individual may be negatively affected by the behavior as well.
Bronfenbrenner’s ecological theory – Bronfenbrenner’s view of development, which focuses on the ways an adolescent’s social settings interact to influence social development (McMahan, 2009, 39).
Developmental systems theory – Learner’s approach, which emphasizes the ways the adolescent, plays an active role in dealing with social systems (McMahan, 2009, 39).
  • For example, skin color is a genetic characteristic. Discrimination on the basis of skin color is a result of the social beliefs and social institutions. The way a particular adolescent reacts to being the target of discrimination will be influenced by the attitudes of parents, peers, teachers, and religious leaders, as well as by individual experiences and broader social forces (McMahan, 2009, 40).

  1. Chapter 6
    1. At least 1 out of 10 children are a victim of severe or frequent bullying.
      1. Bullying- "the deliberate victimization of another person through verbal, social, or physical attacks" (McMahan, p.196).
    2. The close confinements of a school setting place children in close, daily contact with one another leaving bullies to attack frequently and potentially yearly.
    3. Anxiety is produced in those individuals who witness harassments when they are not even the victims themselves.
    4. The most common victim is one who is already at the bottom of the social ladder. They are often withdrawn, depressed, insecure, fearful, physically weak, lack social skills, and are socially immature. For example, they tend to have issues with managing confrontations. Bullying leads these individuals to become rejected and isolated by others and obtain feelings of loneliness (McMahan, p. 196).
    5. Victims of a bully blame themselves for the cause of harassment and avoid social encounters.
      1. Friendships may reduce the chances of becoming a victim, but others tend to shy away from potential or current victims in fear that they too will become target of bullying.
    6. Problems associated with bullying:depression, anxiety, loneliness, anger, sadness, poorer school performance, and poor self-esteem (Higher classroom aggression can increase the severity of these problems). Victims of bullying may in return bully others.
    7. Early adolescent years is the peak of bullying (6th & 7th grade) due to the transition from elementary to middle school. This forces young adolescents into a new social setting where they feel the need to "claim their place" in a group (McMahan, p. 198)
    8. Once dominent social groups are formed bullying becomes less forceful. The school setting in high school is more spread out allowing victims of bullies to keep a safer distance.
    9. Classrooms and schools that are more ethnically diverse maintain a balance of power over different groups making others feel less vulnerable and victimized (McMahan, p. 198).
    10. Characteristics of bullies include being hostile, aggressive, and dominant. Their view of themselves includes being popular and attractive, but typically they are disliked by others. They may attract others who support their bullying and who also bully others. (McMahan, 2009, p. 196)
    11. Bullies learn to use their aggression and hostile behaviors to get what they want without using proper social skills.
    12. Risks and possible outcomes for bullies include delinquency, criminal history, and substance abuse. (McMahan, 2009, p. 197)
      1. They are also the most likely to carry weapons to school for protection. (McMahan, 2009, p. 198)
    13. Encourages social competence and social skills training programs (McMahan, 2009, 198-199)
    14. Bully/victims(McMahan, 2009, p. 198)
      • Those who are both victims and victimize others
      • At risk of (greater than either pure bullies or pure victims):
        • o Increased rates of problem behavior
        • o Lower self-control
        • o Lower social competence
        • o Poorer school functioning
        • Columbine shooters were bully/victims
        • More likely to carry a weapon to school, as they believe they can protect themselves from enemies

  2. Popularity and Aggression
    1. Teens who are seen as populare are often seen as aggressive (Hawley et. al. 2002)
    2. Agressiveness is usually associated with being disliked (Lafonta & Cillessen 2002)
    3. Relational Aggression- an attempt to damage another person's personal and social relationships.(Crick & Grotpeter, 1995)
    4. Two Groups:
      1. Adolescents who do not do nice things for others: poor friendship adjustment/high physical aggression
      2. Adolescents who do nice things for others, and are well liked: but are high in relational aggression
  3. Chapter 11 - Encourages Identity - Self-Concept and Self-Esteem
    1. Conceptions of the self:
      1. I - "the "something" inside their heads that thinks their thoughs, feels their feelings, and is the core of who they really are" (McMahan, 2009, p. 358)
      2. Me - "the sum ototal of what a person knows or believes about himself or herself" (McMahan, 2009, p. 358)
    2. Self-Concept - the organized set of thoughts, ideas and perceptions that people hold about themselves (McMahan, 2009, 359).
    3. Possible Selves - people's sense of the different selves they might become under various circumstances and with various courses of action (McMahan, 2009, 361).
    4. Generalized other - someone's internalized summary of the ways others have responded to that person in social interactions. (McMahan, 2009, 361)

Olweus Program (Olweus, Limber, & Michalic, 1999 as cited in McMahan, 2009, p. 197)
  • Program developed by Olweus and put into place in Norway and Sweden in 80’s
  • Bullying dropped 50% in 2 years
  • Core set of rules of program
    • We do not bully other students.
    • We try to help students who are bullied.
    • We make a point of including all students who are easily left out.
    • When we know someone is being bullied, we tell a teacher, parent or adult we trust.

What to do about Bullying? (McMahan, p. 197)
  1. Schoolwide:
    1. Anonymous questionnaire to determine nature and extent of problems
    2. Faculty and staff bully prevention training where all staff members are actively putting the methods into effect.
    3. Create a school-wide anti-bullying committee
    4. Meet with parents to address the need for a program and to explain the bully preventions goals of a safe and positive learning environment.
  2. Classroom:
    1. Develop classroom rules against bullying with students and make them accountable for their actions
    2. Plan positive consequences for prosocial behaviors and sanctions for bullying, malicious teasing, exclusion, and harassment
    3. Hold regular classroom meetings to discus the program and its progression
  3. Individual:
    1. Bulliesare provided with a clear, strong message that bullying is unacceptable, carries serious consequences, and that their actions will be monitored.
    2. Victimswill be aware of the staffs intend to deal with bullying. They will be urged to report bullying episodes.
    3. Parents (of bullies and victims) are involved with the prevention process and encouraged to support the school's efforts to reduce bullying.
Encouraging social competence (McMahan, 2009, p. 198)
  • Sometimes bullying occurs despite our best efforts to control it, so a proactive approach is sometimes best
    • increase awareness on the part of adults in the students' lives (teachers, parents, school officials) so that problems such as isolation, rejection, bullying and victimization are not ignored and thought of as typical "growing up" struggles
    • implement school based programs to teach skills necessary to avoid victimization or stop bullying
      • programs typically teach self control, confidence, responsibility, cooperation, problem solving skills and conflict avoidance techniques


Reducing Playground Bullying and Supporting Beliefs: An Experimental

Trial of the Steps to Respect Program

Six schools were randomly assigned to a multilevel bullying intervention or a control condition. Children

in Grades 3–6 (N _ 1,023) completed pre- and posttest surveys of behaviors and beliefs and were rated

by teachers. Observers coded playground behavior of a random subsample (n _ 544). Hierarchical

analyses of changes in playground behavior revealed declines in bullying and argumentative behavior

among intervention-group children relative to control-group children, increases in agreeable interactions,

and a trend toward reduced destructive bystander behavior. Those in the intervention group reported

enhanced bystander responsibility, greater perceived adult responsiveness, and less acceptance of

bullying/aggression than those in the control group. Self-reported aggression did not differ between the

groups. Implications for future research on the development and prevention of bullying are discussed.

Bullying in school is a pervasive social problem in which

children exploit power imbalances in order to dominate and harm

others physically, socially, or emotionally. Research from the literature on bully victims and

general victimization shows that involvement in this aggressive

process is associated with poor outcomes for those who bully

as well as for those who are victims of bullying

Summary- good for talking about bystanders and moral development

Frey, K. S., Hirschstein, M. K., Snell, J. L., Edstrom, L., MacKenzie, E. P., & Broderick, C. J. (2005). Reducing Playground Bullying and Supporting Beliefs: An Experimental Trial of the Steps to Respect Program. Developmental Psychology, 41(3), 479-491. doi:10.1037/0012-1649.41.3.479

Changes in How Students Use and Are Called Homophobic Epithets Over Time : Patterns Predicted by Gender,Bullying, and Victimization Status

Many adolescents report using, hearing, or being called homophobic epithets at school. Often, this is tied to bullying and victimization which can involve homophobic epithet use, is the most frequent form of victimization experienced by sexual minority youthl youth also are called homophobic epithets when victimized (. Being called these epithets is associated with elevated mental health concerns and lower sense of school belonging for sexual minority and heterosexual. Further, recent findings underscore that students who experience bias-based victimization (e.g., on account of sexual orientation, race, religion) are even more likely than those who experience victimization absent of bias to report lower grades, higher truancy, and lower perceived importance of graduating. These findings from single time points underscore the psychological and academic concerns related to these experiences and emphasize the need to examine students' prolonged experiences of using and being called homophobic epithets. The absence of longitudinal data on this behavior, however, is a notable current limitation in the literature.

Poteat, V., O'Dwyer, L. M., & Mereish, E. H. (2012). Changes in how students use and are called homophobic epithets over time: Patterns predicted by gender, bullying, and victimization status. Journal Of Educational Psychology, 104(2), 393-406. doi:10.1037/a0026437

Moral Disengagement Among Serious Juvenile Offenders : A Longitudinal Study of the Relations Between Morally Disengaged Attitudes and Offending

By: Elizabeth P. Shulman
Shulman, E. P., Cauffman, E., Piquero, A. R., & Fagan, J. (2011). Moral disengagement among serious juvenile offenders: A longitudinal study of the relations between morally disengaged attitudes and offending. Developmental Psychology, 47(6), 1619-1632. doi:10.1037/a0025404
Moral Disengagement Among Serious Juvenile Offenders : A Longitudinal Study of the Relations Between Morally Disengaged Attitudes and Offending
By: Elizabeth P. Shulmanz
Moral Disengagement Among Serious Juvenile Offenders : A Longitudinal Study of the Relations Between Morally Disengaged Attitudes and Offending
By: Elizabeth P. Shulman
The present study investigates the relation between moral disengagement—one’s willingness to conditionally

endorse transgressive behavior—and ongoing offending in a sample of adolescent male felony

offenders (N 1,169). In addition, the study attempts to rule out callous– unemotional traits as a third

variable responsible for observed associations between moral disengagement and offending. A bivariate

latent change score analysis suggests that reduction in moral disengagement helps to speed decline in

self-reported antisocial behavior, even after adjusting for the potential confound of callous– unemotional

traits. Declines in moral disengagement are also associated with declining likelihood of offending, based

on official records. Given that both moral disengagement and offending tend to decrease over time, these

findings suggest that changing attitudes toward antisocial behavior contribute to desistance from

offending among delinquent youth.

Keywords: moral disengagement, juvenile offending, adolescence, callous– unemotional traits, longitudinal

Summary : Study indicates that bullying is coorelated with moral disengagement.

Authoritative school discipline: High School practices associated with lower bullying and victimization.

Gregory, A., Cornell, D., Fan, X., Sheras, P., Shih, T., & Huang, F. (2010). Authoritative school discipline: High school practices associated with lower bullying and victimization. Journal of Educational Psychology, 102(2), 483-496. doi:10.1037/a0018562

In this study we examined authoritative discipline theory, which posits that 2 complementary aspects of school climate—structure and support—are important for adolescents' safety in school. Using a statewide sample of over 7,300 ninth-grade students and 2,900 teachers randomly selected from 290 high schools, we showed, using hierarchical linear modeling, that consistent enforcement of school discipline (structure) and availability of caring adults (support) were associated with school safety. Structure and support were associated with less bullying and victimization after we controlled for size of school enrollment and the proportion of ethnic minority and low-income students. These findings suggest that discipline practices should not be polarized into a “get tough” versus “give support” debate because both structure and support contribute to school safety for adolescents. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved) (journal abstract)

In this [[#|study]], the authors explore how authoritative discipline theory helps adolescents with bullying. It discusses how the students perceive the structure associated with this approach and it's efficacy. Overall, it looks as how this program works and what type of schools participated in the study.

Bully Busters abbreviated: Evaluation of a group-based bully intervention and prevention program.

Bell, C. D., Raczynski, K. A., & Horne, A. M. (2010). Bully Busters abbreviated: Evaluation of a group-based bully intervention and prevention program. Group Dynamics: Theory, Research, And Practice, 14(3), 257-267. doi:10.1037/a0020596

The present study sought to examine the efficacy of an abbreviated version of the Bully Busters program, a psychoeducationally based group intervention and prevention program designed to increase teacher's knowledge and use of bullying intervention skills, as well as teacher self-efficacy in intervening with bullying so as to subsequently effect change in the school climate. Teacher-participants attended seven group sessions designed to provide them with exposure to the didactics of the model, as well as to engage them in active learning, role-playing, and cognitive and emotional processing of their experiences of the impact of bullying behaviors on their teaching efficacy as well as the school climate. Materials and experiences from these groups were then taken to the classroom and implemented with the student-participants vis-à-vis classroom exercises. The findings suggest that an abbreviated group-based version of the Bully Busters program can have positive effect on teacher reports of efficacy in intervening with bullying behaviors. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved) (journal abstract)


This research article discusses the various types of bullying programs in the United States. It has identified that the U.S. is approaching bullying from the wrong perspective - the individual. It goes on to discuss what types of bullying programs could result in more positive productive results as it conducts role-playing techniques with teachers.

Group approaches to reducing aggression and bullying in school.

Horne, A. M., Stoddard, J. L., & Bell, C. D. (2007). Group approaches to reducing aggression and bullying in school. Group Dynamics: Theory, Research, And Practice, 11(4), 262-271. doi:10.1037/1089-2699.11.4.262

This article provides a definition of and introduction to aggression and bullying as it occurs in the school environment. Following an analysis of the extent of the bullying problem in contemporary school systems, the authors present a series of interventions developed to reduce the incidence of aggression and bullying in schools. All of the programs presented have in common the utilization of a group approach, and vary in their orientation from being psychoeducationally based to having a counseling emphasis. Finally, the overall effectiveness of group work for reducing aggression in schools is examined, and based on the findings the authors provide several recommendations for school administrators, counselors, and other mental health professionals. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved) (journal abstract)


This article first begins by defining bullying. The authors then go on to describe how interventions are developed. Lastly they identify and outline a variety of different methods that could help reduce the incidence of aggression and bullying in schools.

Bullying Experiences and Comprised Academic Performance Across Middle School Grades
Juvonen, J., Wang, Y., & Espinoza, G. (2011). Bullying experiences and compromised academic performance across middle school grades. Journal of Early Adolescence, 31(1), 152-173.

Abstract:The goal of the study was to examine whether bullying experiences are associated with lower [[#|academic]] performance across middle school among urban students.The ethnically diverse sample was drawn from a longitudinal study of 2,300 sixth graders (44% Latino, 26% African American, 10% Asian, 10% White, and 10% mixed) from 11 public middle schools. Results of multilevel models (MLMs) showed that grade point averages and teacher-rated academic engagement were each predicted by both self-perceptions of victimization and peer nominations of victim reputation, controlling for demographic and school-level differences as well as overall declines in academic performance over time. Further MLM analyses suggested that most of the victimization effect was due to between-subject differences, as opposed to within-subject fluctuations, in victimization over time. The results of the study suggest that peer victimization cannot be ignored when trying to improve educational outcomes in urban middle schools.
Summary: This study presents a strong argument to be made for the importance of addressing bullying in school. Through the use of a longitudinal study, the researchers determine the detrimental effects of bullying in middle school over a three year period. This study found that students who are bullied have lower academic grades throughout middles school and are less engaged in class.

Bullying: Short-Term and Long-Term Effects, and the Importance of Defiance Theory in Explanation and Prevention.

Ttofi, M. M., & Farrington, D. P. (2008). Bullying: Short-Term and Long-Term Effects, and the Importance of Defiance Theory in Explanation and Prevention. Victims & Offenders, 3(2/3), 289-312. doi:10.1080/15564880802143397

Abstract: Bullying is often followed by short-term and long-term undesirable psychosocial consequences. Both victims and perpetrators of bullying tend to have high numbers of physical and psychological symptoms. In order to prevent bullying and its aversive results, it is important to formulate and test theories of bullying. This article investigates the usefulness of defiance theory in the explanation of the bullying of siblings in families and peers in schools. Questionnaires were completed by 182 children aged 11 to 12 in ten primary schools in Nicosia, Cyprus. We followed a vignette-based methodology to investigate children's defiant behavior. Children were given a hypothetical scenario—in which the perpetrator is sanctioned by the parents—and were then asked questions that aimed to investigate defiant or compliant reactions to the sanctions imposed. The type of child in the vignette was experimentally manipulated so that children could make inferences regarding his/her intentionality of wrongdoing. The results indicate that defiance theory is useful in explaining bullying behavior. The main implication from our research is that defiance theory can assist teachers and practitioners in implementing whole-school restorative justice approaches to reduce bullying in schools. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]

Summary: Bullying affects 1 in 5 youths in all different countries and it is well-known that bullying has negative consequences for both victims and perpetrators. This article is useful in supplying not only the affects of bullying, but more importantly what can be done about it. It focuses on the defiance theory which explains which punishments are more likely to increase the offending behavior because of defiant reactions. This theory can help parents and teachers understand why children engage in bullying and how to prevent it. Efforts should be made to enhance students' attitudes regarding the legitimacy of the sanctioning agent and increase their ability to manage the shame that comes with being sanctioned. At the same time, efforts should be made to sensitize teachers and parents to the importance of respectful sanctioning since the authority figure that provides the sanction is related to the children's understanding of legitimacy. If the child believes the sanction is legitimate then it will increase their compliance to it. Also, parents and teachers need to strengthen their relationship with children because bonding with the authority figure affects compliance.

How to Reduce School Bullying
Farrington, D. P., & Ttofi, M. M. (2009). How to Reduce School Bullying. Victims & Offenders, 4(4), 321-326. doi:10.1080/15564880903227255

Abstract: A systematic review was conducted of the 30 largest and highest quality controlled evaluations of antibullying programs. Most programs were effective. The prevalence of bullying and being bullied was reduced by an average of 20-23% in experimental schools compared to control schools. The most important program elements associated with a decrease in bullying and victimization were identified. A system for accrediting effective antibullying programs in schools was recommended. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]

Summary: This article is a good resource to use because it examined multiple different strategies and determined which elements were most effective in preventing bullying. The researchers found that the most important elements were the disciplinary methods, parent meetings, playground supervision, information for parents, school conferences, classroom rules, and classroom management. Also the intensity and duration of the program for students and teachers was significantly related to the decrease in bullying.

The Zero Programme against Bullying: Effects of theProgramme in the Context of the Norwegian Manifesto againstBullying
Roland, E., Bru, E., Midthassel, U., & Vaaland, G. S. (2010). The Zero Programme against Bullying: Effects of the Programme in the Context of

Abstract: The anti-bullying programme "Zero" was implemented at 146 Norwegian primary schools. The outcome among pupils was evaluated after 12 months of the total 16-month period using an age-equivalent design. The present study shows that bullying was reduced among pupils in the schools participating in the Zeroprogramme. Moreover, National surveys in spring 2001 and spring 2004 showed a reduction in pupils being victimized in Norway over 3 years. The high profiled national Manifesto Against Bullying started officially in September 2002 and the first period lasted 2 years. The majority of the schools comprising the 2004 national sample reported a substantial increase in anti-bullying work compared to the three-year period before 2001. Interactions between national concern and programme effect are discussed.

Summary: Although this is a study from Norway, it is still extremely relevant to this question. Norway, in 2002, took a national stand against bullying and this study is an extension of this policy. This study outlines a comprehensive anti-bullying program that utilizes education programming performed by teachers. In addition to this, teachers are promotes to use authoritative leadership style to promote group cohesion. After one year of this program was used, bullying was seen to be reduced by 25%.

Bullying Victims: The Effects Last into College
Adams, F. D., & Lawrence, G. J. (2011). Bullying Victims: The Effects Last into College. American Secondary Education, 40(1), 4-13.

This study examined whether those bullied in schools continued to show theeffects of being bullied after they enrolled in an institution of higher education.There were 269 undergraduate students participating in the study. Previous studies (2006; 2008) conducted by the authors suggested the effects ofbullying upon both the victim and bully are long lasting; victims of bullying at the college level indicated histories of being bullied throughout their school years. The results of this study suggest bullying in junior high and/or high school continues into college; the negative effects associated with being victimized or acting as the bully continue into the college years.

Summary: This study's findings contradict what others have found. Previous research has indicated that bullying decreases as children get older. However, this study finds that this is not true and bullying is still prevalent in college and even the work place. The study also supports that victims of bullying have an increased risk to victimize others. This will help with the question because it makes a supportive case of why anti-bullying programs are needed to hopefully end the cycle of bullying.

What Characteristics of Bullying, Bullying Victims, and Schools Are Associated with Increased Reporting of Bullying to School Officials? Issues & Answers. REL 2010-No. 092
Petrosino, A., Guckenburg, S., DeVoe, J., Hanson, T., Regional Educational Laboratory Northeast & Islands, (., & National Center for Education
Evaluation and Regional Assistance, (. (2010). What Characteristics of Bullying, Bullying Victims, and Schools Are Associated with Increased Reporting of Bullying to School Officials? Issues & Answers. REL 2010-No. 092. Regional Educational Laboratory Northeast & Islands,
Abstract: This study tested 51 characteristics of bullying victimization, bullying victims, and bullying victims' schools to determine which were associated with reporting to school officials. It found that 11 characteristics in two categories--bullying victimization and bullying victims--showed a statistically significant association with reporting. The study also notes the high percentage (64 percent) of respondents who experienced bullying but did not report it. Eleven characteristics were found to have a statistically significant association with reporting of bullying victimization, specifically: (1) Eight characteristics of bullying victimization were statistically associated with increased reporting: bullying involving injury, physical threats, destruction of property, actual physical contact (pushing, shoving, and the like), greater frequency, multiple types, more than one location, and at least one occurrence on a school bus. Seven characteristics did not appear to be associated with reporting: bullying that involved making fun of the victim or calling the victim names, excluding the victim, spreading rumors about the victim, and forcing the victim to do things he or she did not want to do, and bullying that occurred in the school building, on school grounds, or somewhere else. (2) Three characteristics of bullying victims were found to have statistically significant relationships with reporting. Grade level was significantly and negatively associated with reporting, and being involved in a fight during the school year and being afraid of attack and avoiding certain school areas or activities were significantly and positively associated with reporting. Victim characteristics that did not appear to be associated with reporting included gender, race/ethnicity, household region, and academic performance. (3) No characteristic of bullying victims' schools--including general characteristics, school culture, and school security and safety--was found to have a statistically significant association with reporting. The results should be interpreted as exploratory associations between the reporting of bullying and various student and school characteristics and not as confirmations of causal relationships. Appended to this report are: (1) Previous Research on Bullying; and (2) Data Source and Methodology. (Contains 15 tables, 2 figures, 1 box, and 7 notes.
Summary: This article shows that a high percentage students who have been bullied do not report it to school officials. It also discusses several characteristics of bullying, victims, and school settings that can influence what types of bullying are reported.

The Nature and Extent of Bullying at School

Dake, J.A., Price, J.H., & Telljohann, S.K. (2003) The nature and extent of bullying at school.Journal of School Health, 73(5), p. 173-180. Doi:


In elementary schools, the prevalence of bullying ranges from 11.3% in Finland to 49.8% in Ireland. The only United States study of elementary students found that 19% were bullied. Bullying behavior declines as students progress through the grades. School bullying is associated with numerous physical, mental, and social detriments. A relationship also exists between student bullying behavior and school issues such as academic achievement, school bonding, and absenteeism. Prevention of school bullying should become a priority issue for schools. The most effective methods of bullying reduction involve a whole school approach. This method includes assessing the problem, planning school conference days, providing better supervision at recess, forming a bullying prevention coordinating group, encouraging parent-teacher meetings, establishing classroom rules against bullying, holding classroom meetings about bullying, requiring talks with the bullies and victims, and scheduling talks with the parents of involved students. Finally, this review suggests further studies needed to help ameliorate the bullying problem in US schools.


This article looks at the assortment of factors that are prevalent among bullies and their victims. It discusses the types of psychological characteristics, behavioral characteristics, interpersonal relationships, family/home environments, physical health issues and academic/school issues that are most common with both types of adolescents. Preventative measures are also discussed to determine how the issue of bullying can be dealt with prior to its occurrence.

Adolescents' perception of bullying: Who is the victim? Who is the bully? What can be done to stop bullying?
Frisen, A., Jonsson, A., & Persson, C. (2007). Adolescents' perception of bullying: Who is the victim? Who is the bully? What can be done to stop bullying? Adolescence, 42(168), 749-761.

The main aim of this study was to describe adolescents' perceptions and experiences of bullying: their thoughts about why children and adolescents are bullied, their ideas about why some bully others, and what they believe is important in order to stop bullying. The adolescents were asked about experiences throughout their school years. The study group was comprised of 119 high school students, with a mean age of 17.1 (SD = 1.2). Of the adolescents who reported, 39% indicated that they had been bullied at some time during their school years and 28% said that they had bullied others; 13% reported being both victims and bullies. The ages during which most students had been bullied at school were between 7 and 9 years. Bulliesreported that most of the bullying took place when they were 10 to 12 years old. The most common reason as to why individuals are bullied was that they have a different appearance. The participants believe that those who bully suffer from low self-esteem. The most common response to the question "What do you think makes bullying stop?" was that the bully matures. The next most frequent response was that the victim stood up for himself/herself. Those who were not involved in bullying during their school years had a much stronger belief that victims can stand up for themselves than did the victims themselves.

This study provides an unique opportunity to look at bullying through the views of adolescents. The adolescent participants in the study saw victims of bullying as people with a different appearance or behavioral characteristics. They viewed bullies as having low self-esteem or 'feeling cool.' The adolescents believed that to stop bullying from happening, the bullies needed to mature or victims need to stand up for themselves. It is interesting to note that the adolescents did not see adult intervention as an overwhelming response to stop bullying.

Bully, Bullied, Bystander…and Beyond

Coloroso, B.(2011)Bully, bullied, bystander…and beyond.Education Digest, 77(4), p. 36-39.

The article presents a condensed version of the article "Bully, Bullied, Bystander... and Beyond: Help Students Choose a New Role," by Barbara Coloroso, which was published in the Spring 2011 issue of the journal "Teaching Tolerance." It examines the different roles played by students, teachers, and administrators that allow school bullying to take place and provides recommendations on how school leaders can implement anti-bullying policies and foster a positive school climate.

This article clearly describes the three major roles involved with bullying: the bully, the bullied and the bystander, and the reasons behind its occurrence. However, when the majority stands up to the minority in the form of a resister, defender or witness, the effects of bullying can be stopped.

Involvement in Traditional and Electronic Bullying Among Adolescents
Raskauskas, J., Stoltz, A. (2007). Involvement in traditional and electronic bullying among adolescents. American Psychological Association. 43(3), 564–575.

The increasing [[#|availability]] of Internet and cell phones has provided new avenues through which adolescents can bully. Electronic bullying is a new form of bullying that may threaten adolescent social and emotional development. In this study the relation between involvement in electronic and traditional bullying was examined. Eighty-four adolescents completed questionnaires regarding their involvement in traditional and electronic bullying. Results show that students’ roles in traditional bullying predicted the same role in electronic bullying. Also, being a victim of bullying on the Internet or via text messages was related to being a bully at school. Traditional victims were not found to be electronic bullies. Perceptions of the effects of and motivations for electronic bullying are discussed.

This study provides information in regards to of the different types of bullying one may face especially in adolescence as well as who is doing electronic and traditional bullying. This study asked students what the effects of electronic bullying could be. Those who had experienced this felt negative effects including sadness and hopelessness, causing emotional and social disruptions. Electronic bullies (who bully for “fun”) have a barrier between them and the victim, decreasing their chance of feeling guilty. It is difficult to define the effects of the electronic bullying as most victims who are electronically bullied are also traditionally bullied. It is also not uncommon for electronic victims to become traditional bullies.

Examining Student Responses to Frequent Bullying: A Latent Class Approach
Waasdorp, T., & Bradshaw, C. (2001). Examining student responses to frequent bullying: a latent class approach. American Psychological Assocation. 103 (2), 336–352.

Bullying is a major concern in schools, yet there has been limited research examining the ways in which students respond to frequent victimization by their peers. The current study explored whether there are discrete groups of children who display similar patterns of responses to frequent bullying. We also examined the associations between the patterns of responding, characteristics of the victimization (form, chronicity, and perpetration of bullying), and co-occurring internalizing and externalizing symptoms. Latent class analysis regarding response strategies was conducted on data from 4,312 frequently victimized middle and high school students. The results revealed 4 common patterns of responses, including passive/low, active/support-seeking, aggressive and an undifferentiated/high pattern. The patterns of responses were differentially related to internalizing and externalizing symptoms, such that the children with the undifferentiated/high pattern were most likely to experience social– emotional problems and were more likely to experience indirect forms of victimization. Implications for future research on interventions with victimized children are discussed.

This study examines the different ways one may react to being the victim of bullying, giving 4 different types of ways to react. The children with the less favorable reactions, were more likely to have a longer lasting emotional impact as those with the more favorable reactions. I thought this may be useful with educating children, not only the bullies but training those who have been bullied, how to cope better and learn the more favorable reactions.

Outcomes From a School-Randomized Controlled Trial of Steps to Respect: A Bullying Prevention Program
Brown, E. C., Low, S., Smith, B. H., Haggerty, K. P. (2011). Outcomes from a school-randomized controlled trial of steps to respect: a bullying prevention program. School Psychology Review, 40(3), 423– 443.

Abstract: This study reports the outcomes of a randomized controlled trial of Steps to Respect: A Bullying Prevention Program conducted in 33 California elementary schools. Schools were matched on school demographic characteristics and assigned randomly to intervention or waitlisted control conditions. Outcome measures were obtained from (a) all school staff; (b) a randomly selected subset of third-, fourth-, and fifth-grade teachers in each school; and (c) all students in classrooms of selected teachers. Multilevel analyses indicated significant (p < .05) positive effects of the program on a range of outcomes (e.g., improved student climate, lower levels of physical bullying perpetration, less school bullying-related problems). Results of this study support the program as an efficacious intervention for the prevention of bullying in schools. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]

Summary: The article implemented an anti-bullying program in elementary schools and measured the results by having the teachers and students complete surveys regarding school atmosphere and student’s behavior. The anti-bullying program implemented 11 lessons aimed at social-emotional skills that would increase positive peer interactions. Results indicated that a social-ecological approach to anti-bullying worked best. It was also noted that a multiple level intervention method works best (ie. Targeting students, teachers, the school environment, etc.) This article could be beneficial when designing your own anti-bullying program.

Construct Validity of the Multidimensional Structure of Bullying and Victimization: An Application of Exploratory Structural Equation Modeling

Marsh, H. W., Nagengast, B., Morin, A. S., Parada, R. H., Craven, R. G., & Hamilton, L. R. (2011). Construct validity of the multidimensional structure of bullying and victimization: An application of exploratory structural equation modeling. Journal Of Educational Psychology, 103(3), 701-732.

Abstract: Existing research posits multiple dimensions of bullying and victimization but has not identified well-differentiated facets of these constructs that meet standards of good measurement: goodness of fit, measurement invariance, lack of differential item functioning, and well-differentiated factors that are not so highly correlated as to detract from their discriminant validity and substantive usefulness in school settings. Here we demonstrate exploratory structural equation modeling, an integration of confirmatory factor analysis and exploratory factor analysis. On the basis of responses to the 6-factor Adolescent Peer Relations Instrument (verbal, social, physical facets of bullying and victimization), we tested invariance of factor loadings, factor variances– covariances, item uniquenesses, item intercepts (a lack of differential item functioning), and latent means across gender, year in school, and time. Using a combination of relations with student characteristics and a multitrait–multimethod analysis, we showed that the 6
bully/victim factors have discriminant validity over time and in relation to gender, year in school, and elevant psychosocial correlates (e.g., depression, 11 components of academic and nonacademic selfconcept, locus of control, attitudes toward bullies and victims). However, bullies and victims are similar in many ways, and longitudinal panel models of the positive correlations between bully and victim factors suggest reciprocal effects such that each is a cause and an effect of the other.

Different bullying and victimization factors need to be looked at. Boys were more likely to play the role of the bully or the victim. There were no gender differences with social factors. Bullying effects were at their peak, at the beginning of high school. According to the study, bullying effects seemed to plateau as the students progressed through high school.

Development of a Measure of the Experience of Being Bullied in Youth

Hunt, C., Peters, L., & Rapee, R. M. (2012). Development of a measure of the experience of being bullied in youth. Psychological Assessment, 24(1), 156-165.

Abstract: The Personal Experiences Checklist (PECK) was developed to provide a multidimensional assessment of a young person’s personal experience of being bullied that covered the full range of bullying behaviors, including covert relational forms of bullying and cyber bullying. A sample of 647 school children were used to develop the scale, and a 2nd sample of 218 children completed the PECK and a battery of measures of bullying (including peer nomination), anxiety, depression, and self-esteem, to provide validity evidence. Test–retest reliability was assessed in a further sample of 78 students. Four factors emerged from a principal axis factoring consistent with the domains of relational-verbal bullying, cyber bullying, physical bullying, and bullying based on culture and were confirmed with confirmatory factor analysis. The data also supported a higher order bullying factor with direct effects on these 4 factors. All PECK scales showed good to excellent internal consistency (Cronbach’s _ range _ .78 –.91) and adequate test–retest reliability (range r _ .61–.86). Most, but not all, expected relations were found with alternative methods of assessing bullying and measures of psychopathology. Taken together, the PECK provides a promising comprehensive and behaviorally focused dimensional measure of bullying.

Summary: The article looked at the different types of bullying such as cyber bullying, verbal bullying, physical bullying, and bullying based on culture. The study used the PECK assessment which stands for Personal Experiences Checklist. Along with bullying, there was a higher rate of anxiety and depression disorders.

School Bullying: Belief in a Personal Just World of Bullies, Victims, and Defenders

Correia, I., & Dalbert, C. (2008). School bullying: Belief in a personal just world of bullies, victims, and defenders. European Psychologist, 13(4), 248-254.

Abstract: This paper applies just world research to the analysis of bullying at school and examines the relation between the belief in a personal just world (BJW) and self-reported behavior in bullying situations. The hypotheses tested were that the more strongly students endorse the personal BJW, the less likely they should be to bully others, the less likely they should see themselves as victims, and the more likely they should be to defend victims of bullying. The participants were 187 Portuguese students in the 7th to 9th grade. The results showed that the stronger the adolescents’ endorsements of the BJW, the less likely they were to engage in bullying behavior, and this association persisted when controlled for motional empathy. Defending the victim or becoming a victim was unrelated, however. The implications of these results for further studies on bullying and victimization are discussed.

Summary: The study focuses on the BJW which is the personal belief in a just world. The BJW has a positive influence on assisting victims. There was no association with defending victims. Empathetic concerns and the need to defend grow when looking at the BJW.

Adolescent Male Bullies, Victims, and Bully-Victims: A Comparison of Psychosocial and Behavioral Characteristics

Stein, J. A., Dukes, R. L., & Warren, J. I. (2007). Adolescent male bullies, victims, and bully-victims: A comparison of psychosocial and behavioral characteristics. Journal of Pediatric Psychology, 32 (3), 273-282. doi: 10.1093/jpepsy/jsl023


Objective To determine among male adolescents whether bully-victims would report the poorest psychosocial health, the worst attitudes toward school, more problem behavior (delinquency, weapons possession, and substance use), and more physical injury compared with bullies, victims, and neutral students. We also assessed ethnic differences in bullying category membership. Methods Employing multisample latent variable models, we contrasted 1,312 males in grades 7–12 classified as bullies (n= 299), victims (n = 180), bully-victims (n = 195), and neutral (n = 638) on school attitudes, psychosocial health, problem behaviors, and physical injury. Results Hypotheses were generally confirmed, especially contrasts between bully-victims and neutrals. However, bullies did not have better school attitudes than bully-victims, and victims only marginally reported better psychological health than bully-victims. The boys of mixed ethnicity were more likely to be victims. Conclusions Greater awareness of the problems associated with boys who both bully and are victimized is necessary for improved intervention.

Summary: Research has shown a link between bullying and victimization. Bullies have been reported to be more prone to excessive substance and alcohol use, psychiatric symptoms later in life, difficulty with rules, and poor school adjustment. Although extensive research has been conducted on bullies and victims, this study focuses on the victims of bullying who also bully other children. They are most at risk for major aggressive behaviors against their peers and are at the greatest risk for various psychological problems.

Bullying and the Need to Belong: Early Adolescents’ Bullying-Related Behavior and the Acceptance they Desire and Receive from Particular Classmates
Olthof, T., & Goossens, F. A. (2008). Bullying and the need to belong: Early. Social Development, 17(1), 24-46.
Abstract: Based on the notion that one of the motives underlying children’s antisocial behavior is their need to belong to particular peers, it was examined how each of four types of bullying-related behavior would be related to the acceptance that 10 to 13-year-old children desired and received from same- and other-sex children with different bullying-related behavioral styles. Bullying-related behavior was assessed using a peer nomination procedure. Children rated the importance of being accepted by each particular classmate and their own acceptance of these same classmates. Among boys, antisocial involvement in bullying was related to a desire to be accepted by other antisocial boys and to actually being rejected by boys in general. Among girls, antisocial involvement in bullying was related to a desire to be accepted by boys in general.

Summary: The researchers in this article determine that bullying by boys is done more to fit in with other boys displaying similar behavior. While girls do exhibit bullying behavior, not to gain the favor of other girls but to gain the favor of male bullies and other boys in general.

Integrating Bullying Prevention into Schoolwide Positive Behavior Support

Good, C. P., McIntosh, K., & Gietz, C. (2011). integrating bullying prevention into schoolwide positive behavior support. TEACHING Exceptional Children, 44(1), 48-56.
Abstract: Bullying is often defined as unprovoked aggressive behavior repeatedly carried out against victims who are unable to defend themselves. Children and youth who engage in bullying behavior may have a physical advantage, higher social status, or power in numbers, whereas those who are targeted by bullies are likely to be solitary, smaller in stature, or members of marginalized groups. Researchers have suggested that children with learning, emotional, and physical disabilities are more likely to be bullied by their peers (Cummings, Pepler, Mishna, & Craig, 2006) and are more likely to experience severe and serious forms of victimization (Heinrichs, 2003). This article describes: (1) common steps taken in schools to respond to bullying behavior; (2) why these steps may be less effective; (3) a promising approach of integrating bullying prevention into existing schoolwide behavior support systems; and (4) a case study describing and showing outcomes of this integrated approach.
Summary: This article outlines a bullying prevention program that schools can institute

Modifying Anti-Bullying Programs to Include Students with Disabilities
Raskauskas, J., & Modell, S. (2011). Modifying Anti-Bullying Programs to Include Students with Disabilities. TEACHING Exceptional Children, 44(1), 60-67.
"Bullying" is defined as any aggressive behavior with the intent to harm that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. Bullying is identified as one of the most predominant problems faced by children in the United States education system, as well as one of the most significant health risks to children. Exactly how prevalent this issue is among students with disabilities is unclear because research focusing on this cohort is limited. However, most experts agree that children with disabilities are harassed by peers at higher rates than their peers without disabilities. Students with disabilities have the right to learn in a safe environment. Existing anti-bullying programs have largely ignored students with disabilities as being key stakeholders in the whole-school approach. However, existing programs can easily be modified to include students with disabilities in needs assessment, program components, and delivery of the program content. This information can be helpful to schools that are looking for ways to reduce bullying among students with disabilities. (Contains 1 table.)

Summary: This article provides information and ideas on how to incorporate students with disabilities into anti-bullying programs. There is a strong emphasis on the fact that "All staff, faculty, and students—as well as parents and other community members—need to be included in this process, including those students traditionally
overlooked in bullying programs".

Teenagers' Explanations of Bullying
Thornberg, R., & Knutsen, S. (2011). Teenagers' Explanations of Bullying. Child & Youth Care Forum, 40(3), 177-192.
The aim of the present study was to explore how teenagers explain why bullying takes place at school, and whether there were any differences in explaining bullying due to gender and prior bullying experiences. One hundred and seventy-six Swedish students in Grade 9 responded to a questionnaire. Mixed methods (qualitative and quantitative methods) were used to analyze data. The grounded theory analysis generated five main categories and 26 sub categories regarding accounts of bullying causes. Results indicated that youth tended to explain bullying in terms of individualistic reasons (bully attributing and victim attributing) than in terms of peer group, school setting, or human nature/society reasons. Girls were more likely to attribute bullying causes to the bully and much less to the victim, compared to boys. Moreover, youth classified as bullies were more likely to attribute the reason for bullying to the victim and much less to the bully, compared to victims, bystanders, and victims/bullies.
Summary: Researchers used a questionnaire to find out who kids blame for bullying. Results determine that teens put about 69% of the blame on bullies and 42% on victims.

Current Evidence of Best Practice in Whole-School Bullying Intervention and Its Potential to Inform Cyberbullying Interventions.
Pearce, N., Cross, D., Monks, H., Waters, S., & Falconer, S. (2011). current evidence of best practice in whole-school bullying intervention and its potential to inform cyberbullying interventions. Australian Journal of Guidance & Counselling, 21(1), 1-21.


In 2004, a set of validated guidelines for school bullying prevention and management was released by the Child Health Promotion Research Centre in Australia to guide schools' action to prevent and manage bullying behaviours. At this time little was known about cyber and other forms of covert bullying behaviours. These guidelines were updated in 2010 to include current research that provides a greater understanding of all forms of bullying behaviour. This article describes a summary of the current empirical evidence used to update these guidelines particularly related to relatively new and emergent forms of bullying, such as cyberbullying. Meta-analyses and reviews that assessed the effectiveness of school-based bullying interventions were examined to inform the relevance of the previously validated guidelines and to identify potential intervention strategies to reduce cyberbullying. This review confirmed the importance of a systematic whole-school approach to effectively prevent and manage all forms of bullying behaviours in schools (including cyberbullying) and the need to strengthen capacity supports to enable schools to put evidence into informed practice. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]

Summary: This research offers whole school practices and suggestions as to lessen the incidents of bullying in schools. It also describes best practice when it comes to addressing cyber bullying as well. The research shares six strategies that have been proven to be effective in combating the issue of bullying.

The Effects of an Empathy Building Program on Bullying Behavior
Stanbury, S., Bruce, M. A., Jain, S., & Stellern, S. (2009). The ffects of an empathy building program on bullying behavior. Journal of School Counseling, 7(2), 1-27.


This article discusses the development, implementation, and effects of a middle school empathy building program that was designed to reduce bullying behavior. Results show that participants in the intervention group reported engaging in significantly less bullying behavior as compared to the control group, and the program was particularly effective for the female participants. (Contains 2 tables.) [ABSTRACT BY AUTHOR]

Summary: This article describes the positive effects on middle school students when a school wide empathy program was put into practice to help prevent bullying.

Making Schools Safe: A System-Wide School Intervention to Increase Student Prosocial Behaviors and Enhance School Climate

Kilian, J. M., Fish, M. C., & Maniago, E. B. (2006). Making schools safe a system wide school intervention to increase student prosocial behaviors and enhance school climate. Journal of Applied School Psychology, 23(1), 1-30.


The purpose of this investigation was to study how an intervention decreased violence, and created and maintained a positive school environment, and safe school building. Also, this investigation considered how an intervention impacted student learning and academic progress, and positive and appropriate student relating and problem solving among peers and with adults. A school-wide, prosocial behavior management system, The Project ACHIEVE Social Skills Program (Knoff, 2000), was used and the value of the program was determined using behavioral, observational, self-report, quantitative, and qualitative measures. Participants in the study were all school personnel, students in grades 3-6, and their parents/guardians in an elementary public school in an ethnically diverse school district. A similar elementary school in the district provided some comparison data. Pre- and post-intervention data suggested that the school-wide intervention was effective in improving prosocial behavior, in increasing students' appropriate and positive behavioral choices, in decreasing student disruptiveness in classrooms and common areas, and in decreasing disciplinary office referrals and suspensions. Implications of this field-based study are discussed in terms of applied school practice. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]

Summary: This article describes a comprehensive school wide plan of behavior management to enhance school climate. The program discussed is called ACHIEVE and researchers used behavioral, observational, self-report, quantitative, and qualitative measures. The plan involves the families, teachers, administrators, and students. Although this study takes place with students in grades 1 through 6, it could be generalized to work in most educational settings.

A Meta-Analysis of School-Based Bullying Prevention Programs' Effects on Bystander Intervention Behavior.

Polanin, J. R., Espelage, D. L., & Pigott, T. D. (2012). A Meta-Analysis of School-Based Bullying Prevention Programs' Effects on Bystander Intervention Behavior. School Psychology Review, 41(1), 47-65.


This meta-analysis synthesized bullyingpreventionprograms' effectiveness at increasing bystander intervention in bullying situations. Evidence from 12 school-based programs, involving 12,874 students, indicated that overall the programs were successful (Hedges's g = .20, 95% confidence interval [CI] = .11 to .29, p < .001), with larger effects for high school (HS) samples compared to kindergarten through eighth-grade (K-8) student samples (HS effect size [ES] = 0.43, K-8 ES = 0.14; p < .05). A secondary synthesis from eight of the studies that reported empathy for the victim revealed treatment effectiveness that was positive but not significantly different from zero (g = .05, 95% CI = -.07 to .17, p = .45). Nevertheless, this meta-analysis indicated that programs increased bystander intervention both on a practical and statistically significant level. These results suggest that researchers and school administrators should consider implementing programs that focus on bystander intervention behavior supplementary to bullyingpreventionprograms. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]

This article takes a look at 12 different school-based bullying prevention programs. The researchers looked at studies that assessed the role of a bystander in bullying situations. They found that schools that had bullying prevention programs that focused on bystander intervention, resulted in increased intervention behaviors of bystanders. Results support efforts in school to prevent bullying by raising awareness of the roles, encouraging prosocial behaviors, and also provide opportunities to role-play bystander participation and intervention.


Cyberbullying and Self-Esteem

Patchin, J., & Hinduja, S. (2010). Cyberbullying and Self-Esteem. Journal Of School Health, 80(12), 614-621. doi:10.1111/j.1746-1561.2010.00548.x


This article examines the relationship between middle school students' experience with cyberbullying and their level of self-esteem. Previous research on traditional bullying among adolescents has found a relatively consistent link between victimization and lower self-esteem, while finding an inconsistent relationship between offending and lower self-esteem. It is therefore important to extend this body of research by determining how bullying augmented through the use of technology (such as computers and cell phones) is linked to differing levels of self-esteem. During March and April 2007, a random sample of 1963 middle school students (mean age 12.6) from 30 schools in one of the largest school districts in the United States completed a self-report survey of Internet use and cyberbullying experiences. This work found that students who experienced cyberbullying, both as a victim and an offender, had significantly lower self-esteem than those who had little or no experience with cyberbullying. A moderate and statistically significant relationship exists between low self-esteem and experiences with cyberbullying. As such, bullying prevention programs incorporated in school curricula should also include substantive instruction on cyberbullying. Moreover, educators need to intervene in cyberbullying incidents, as failure to do so may impact the ability of students to be successful at school.


This study surveyed 1963 middle school age students in regards to their experiences with cyberbullying. It found that lower self-esteem was found in relation to both the victim and the bully. The article points out the imperativeness of educators getting involved in the prevention of online bullying and treating it as they would any other type of bullying situation. It also suggests school officials focusing on raising student self-esteem as a way to combat the bullying problem.

Long-Term Effects of Bullying: Exploring the Relationships among Recalled Experiences with Bullying, Current Coping Resources, and Reported Symptoms of Distress
Chambless, C. B. (2010). Long term effects of bullying: Exploring the relationships among recalled experiences with bullying, current coping resources, and reported symptoms of distress. (Doctoral dissertation, Georgia State University)Retrieved from

Retrospective studies of college students who recall experiencing bullying during
childhood and/or adolescence have found that being the target of bullying may place one
at greater risk for depression (Roth, Coles, & Heimburg, 2002; Storch et al., 2001),
anxiety disorders (McCabe, et al., 2003; Roth et al.) and interpersonal relationships
(Schafer et al., 2004) in comparison to peers who do not recall a history of bullying
during childhood or adolescence. However, researchers have found that not all targets of
bullying develop such problems in adulthood (Schafer et al., 2004; Dempsey & Storch,
2008). Little attention has been devoted to understanding resiliency among adults who
experienced bullying during childhood and/or adolescence (Davidson & Demaray, 2007).
The purpose of this dissertation was to 1). Explore gender and racial/ethnic differences in
recall of perceived seriousness of past bullying experiences 2). Replicate past findings
regarding the association between past experiences with bullying and depression, anxiety,
and loneliness in college students 3). Explore whether coping resources accounted for
differences in symptoms of distress. A total of 211 college students completed the
Retrospective Bullying Questionnaire (Schaefer, et al, 2004); The Brief Symptom
Inventory (Derogatis, 1982); UCLA Loneliness Scale (Russell, 1996) and the Coping
Resources Inventory for Stress-Short form (CRIS-SF; Matheny, Curlette, Aycock, &
Curlette, 1993). Multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) was used to investigate
gender and racial/ethnic differences in perceived seriousness of bullying. Hierarchical
linear regression was used to test whether coping resources moderated the relationship
between psychosocial distress in adults and past experiences with bullying. Females in
this study reported that they perceived their experiences with relational bullying during
middle/high school to be more serious than males. There were no significant differences
between males and females in perceived seriousness of physical bullying during
elementary or middle/high school, verbal bullying during elementary or middle/high
school or relational bullying during elementary school. Males and females did not differ
significantly in the duration of bullying experiences. White students reported that they
perceived their experiences with relational and verbal bullying during middle/high school
in middle/high school to be more serious. There were no significant differences between
the racial/ethnic groups in perceived seriousness of physical, verbal, or relational bullying
during elementary school. There also were no significant differences among the
racial/ethnic groups duration of bullying. Implications for future research and clinical
practice are addressed. Perceived seriousness of bullying and duration of bullying during
childhood and adolescence was found to predict depression, anxiety, and loneliness.
Coping resources were not found to be significant moderators of distress.

Anxiety, depression, and loneliness were all significantly correlated with items
related to perceptions of seriousness of physical, verbal, and relational bullying during
elementary and middle/high school and duration of bullying. Females in this study reported that they perceived their experiences with relational bullying during middle/high school to be more serious than males. Males and females do not differ in how serious they perceived their experiences with verbal or physical bullying. There was a significant difference between White and Black students on perceived seriousness of relational and verbal bullying during
middle/high school, with White students reporting that they perceived their experiences
with these types of bullying in middle/high school to be more serious. There were
no significant differences between the racial/ethnic groups in perceived seriousness of
physical, verbal or relational bullying during elementary school. The results of the current study did not support the expectation that coping resources would moderate the relationship between experiences with bullying and reported symptoms of depression, anxiety, and loneliness among college students.

The Role of Mother Involvement and Father Involvement in Adolescent Bullying Behavior

Flouri, E., & Buchanan, A. (2003). The role of mother involvement and father involvement in adolescent bullying behavior. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 18(6),634-644. doi: EBSCO

It has been suggested that bullying behavior at school may be linked to parenting and

family characteristics. Based on data from 1,147 adolescents aged 14 to 18 years in

Britain, this study explored whether father involvement can protect against offspring

bullying behavior. Results showed that low father involvement and low mother

involvement contributed significantly and independently to bullying behavior in adolescents.

Neither the association between father involvement and bullying nor the

one between mother involvement and bullying was higher for sons than for daughters.

There was evidence showing that the impact of the father-child relationship

depended on the closeness of the mother-child relationship in that father involvement

protected more when mother involvement was lower. (Abstract from the author)

Summary: This article studied a group of adolescents from 14 to 18 years old. The asked a series of questions and presented with statements about bullying and their environment. They were asked to rate the sstatements on a scale of one to five. Overall, the study found that parental involvement is important to preventing student bullying behavior. It also found that mothers involvement was more important than fathers, however, when mom is absent, dad becomes even more important. The author found that if the mental health or comfort of children improved using parental involvement that bullying behaviors in schools could be cut significantly.

Hong, J. S. (2009). Feasibility of the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program in Low-Income Schools. Journal Of School Violence, 8(1), 81-97.

Abstract: This article examines school response to bullying and youth aggression in upper/middle-class and low socioeconomic neighborhoods, and the feasibility of successfully implementing the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program in schools located in impoverished communities. The Olweus Bullying Prevention Program is one of the few programs that has proven efficacy in upper/middle-class areas for reducing the incidence of bullying and improving attitudes towards school and academic achievement, but the effectiveness of the program has not been tested in low-income schools. However, research indicates that in both upper/middle-class and low socioeconomic neighborhoods, children are reluctant to seek assistance, and school teachers are not well-informed of effective bullying prevention measures. Researchers have pointed out that although children of low socioeconomic status (particularly minorities) have higher incidence of behavioral problems than their upper/middle-class counterparts, socioeconomic and cultural differences pose a major challenge to implementing effective anti-bullying interventions in schools that are located in impoverished communities. Suggestions for enhancing the applicability of anti-bullying programs to low-income schools are included.

Summary: Article provides thorough history of Olweus Program as well as discussion on how it was implemented.

The link between parents' perceptions of the school and their responses to school bullying: Variation by child characteristics and the forms of victimization.

Waasdorp, T. E., Bradshaw, C. P., & Duong, J. (2011). The link between parents' perceptions of the school and their responses to school bullying: Variation by child characteristics and the forms of victimization. Journal of Educational Psychology. 103(2), 324-335.

A growing number of researchers encourage parents to notify the school when their children are bullied and work collaboratively with the school to resolve the situation. However, there is limited research on factors that are associated with parents' responses to their child's victimization. Using data from an online survey of 773 parents of victimized students enrolled in 93 schools (elementary, middle, and high), the current study employed structural equation modeling to examine the association between parents' perceptions of the school's climate and parents' responses to their child's victimization. The results indicated that the more favorable parents' perceptions of the climate were, the less likely they were to contact their child's school or talk to their child in response to the victimization. The parents' perception of the climate and response choice also varied as a function of the child's age and the form of bullying experienced. These findings suggest that parents' perceptions of the school are associated with their responses to their child's victimization.

Bullying has been defined as repeated, intentional, aggressive behavior marked by an imbalance of power that occurs in the context of interpersonal relationships (Olweus, 1993). Parents are more likely to support their children by way of “talking” about the bullying. Culture, gender, developmental differences, form of victimization, and perception of school affect the way in which a parent responds. The fact that parents’ whose perceptions of the school’s climate was more favorable were less likely to contact the school has implications that they also believe the school is safe and effectively handling the problem.

School violence: Bullying behaviors and the psychosocial school environment in middle schools.

Meyer-Adams, N., & Conner, B. T. (2008). School violence: Bullying behaviors and the psychosocial school environment in middle schools. Children & Schools. 30(4), 211-221.

The purpose of this study was to examine the relationships among a school's psychosocial environment and the prevalence and types of bullying behaviors that either lead to or result from that environment. More specifically, this study examined how the frequency of aggressive behaviors (for example, bullying) experienced by students (as perpetrators and as victims) contributed to their interpretation of their school's psychosocial environment and how those environments affected the existence of ongoing aggressive and avoidance behaviors. The data for this study were archival, having originally been collected for a study of school culture, climate, and violence from the Philadelphia School District during the 1993-94 school year. To understand the consequences of bullying in schools, the authors used structural equation modeling analyses to develop a theoretical model of predictive relationships among (1). students' perceptions of bullying behaviors and safety at school, (2) the schools' psychosocial environment as measured by the students, and (3) the students' reactionary behavior to both (1) and (2). Direct practice applications for school social work practice are discussed.

Bullying may be an antecedent to more drastic incidents (e.g. Columbine shooting). This study sought to consider how the frequency of aggressive behaviors contribute to a student’s interpretation of the psychosocial environment of the school. The researchers also considered how school environments influence the existence of continuing aggressive and avoidance behaviors. The researchers found that victimization and bullying contribution were negative predictors of the school psychosocial environment. The environment is also a negative predictor of carrying a weapon for protection and avoidance behaviors. Thus it is important that we work to improve the school environment. Improvements in environment would allow for those to have better interpersonal experiences as well as greater academic achievement.

Bullying and Victimisation in School Children: The Role of Social Identity, Problem-Solving Style, and Family and School Context

Cassidy, T. (2009). Bullying and Victimisation in School Children: The Role of Social Identity, Problem-Solving Style, and Family and School Context. Social Psychology Of Education: An International Journal, 12(1), 63-76.

Abstract: The relationship between social identity, family and school context, problem-solving style, self-esteem, health behaviour, psychological distress, and victimisation, was explored in a quasi-experimental survey of 461 children aged between 11 and 15 years old. There was a high prevalence of victimisation (29%) in the group and 44% of those victimised scored above the clinical cut-off on the GHQ. Victims exhibited higher levels of psychological distress, lower self-esteem, more unhealthy behaviours, less support from parents and teachers, poorer problem-solving styles, and lower perceived social identity. Girls had a higher prevalence of victimisation than boys. The best predictors of victimisation were sex, family situation, social identity and problem-solving style. Some implications for interventions are discussed.
Summary: This study provides evidence to support a model combining sex, family background, social identity, and problem- solving style in predicting victimisation. As it continues, it mentions that the first step is awareness. A program needs to be implemented to help adolescents be aware of what bullying is, what needs to be done to stop bullying, and how those things will make an impact on the entire community.

School Violence: To What Extent do Perceptions of Problem Solving Skills Protect Adolescents?
TÜRKÜM, A. (2011). School Violence: To What Extent do Perceptions of Problem Solving Skills Protect Adolescents?. Educational Sciences: Theory & Practice, 11(1), 127-132.

Abstract: This study examined whether adolescents’ perceptions of problem solving skills differ according to their sex, ex- periences of exposure to violence, age and grade, and the variables predicting their experiences of exposure to violence. Data were collected from 600 (298 females, 302 males) 14-19 year-old students attending various types of high schools in central Eskişehir. The Problem Solving Inventory and a questionnaire were used in the study. Findings of the study revealed that students’ perceptions of problem solving skills do not change according to their sex and the place they are exposed to violence. Adolescents’ perceptions of problem solving skills differ in accordance with the level of their exposure to violence; perception level of the problem solving skills of the stu- dents rarely exposed to violence is higher than that of the students exposed to violence occasionally or often. Per- ception level of the adolescents who are often exposed to violence does not change depending on their sex and age. The variables predicting adolescents’ experiences of exposure to violence are listed as perceptions of prob- lem solving skills, sex, grade, age, and school type. In conclusion, the adolescents’ perceptions of problem sol- ving skills are partially effective in protecting them against school violence. The place of the skills training prog- rams -particularly the ones that aimed at prevention of and protection from violence- in the content of counse- ling programs was discussed.

Summary: This study analyzes the question if problem solving skills that adolescents attain prevent school violence. The answer was no, which shows us that more needs to be done when implementing a bullying program. Professionals need to inspire adolescents and help them believe that by teaming up together and working as one, bullying can be stopped.

III. ADDITIONAL RESOURCES (Video clips, podcasts, lectures, etc.)

Olweus Bullying Prevention
Attached is a link for the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program website. Along with information on how to implement Olweus into a school it also provides definitions on different types of bullying, warning signs of bullying, and information on the effects of bullying. It is a nice resource for bullying prevention.

Olweus Bullying Prevention

2. Facts for Families from the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry
Below is information for families about bullying created by the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry in March of 2011. This document provides information about bullying and what to do if you suspect your child is getting bullied. It also provides a series of common questions you could ask your child to find out more information about the bullying situation.

3. Bullying in Schools
Attached is a guide created by the U.S. Department of Justice for community oriented police services (COPS). This guide provides valuable information about the bullying that is occurring in schools. It thoroughly describes victims of bullies, incidents that could occur, consequences for bullies, and how to understand the problem.

4. Bullying facts
Attached is a power point with bullying facts and helpful information. It gives beneficial suggestions for parents of victims and bullies to use with their children.

Dwyer, K., Osher, D., and Warger, C. (1998). Early warning, timely response: A guide to safe schools. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education.
Description: This guide was created in response to school violence that began to increase in the mid 1990’s. It includes research from a variety of disciplines, expertise and effective practices from teachers, school psychologists, counselors, social workers, family members and youth. This brief summary of the research on violence prevention, intervention and crisis response in schools, tells school communities: what to look for and what to do. An important first step in creating safe schools is to involve all members of the school community: all staff, students, parents and community organizations. There must be preventive measures for children’s mental and emotional problems and a comprehensive approach to early identification of all warning signs that might lead to violence toward self or others. Safe schools must include interventions for providing help for troubled children in addition, schools need to create violence prevention and response plans with a team that implements and maintains the program.
Findings: Research has shown that effective prevention, intervention and crisis response strategies operate best in school communities that: (1) expect that all children can achieve academically and behave appropriately, (2) involve families in meaningful ways, (3) link families to community resources, (4) emphasize positive relationships with adults and students, including respect for everyone despite differences, (5) create ways for students to share their fears and anxieties and to share information they may have about a potential plan for violence; peers are often the first group to know about a plan. Who are students that become violent? Most often those who become violent feel rejected and psychologically victimized; often exhibiting aggressive behaviors early in life and if support is not provided, a pattern of severe aggression or violence may develop. Early warning signs include: social withdrawal, depression, rejection, teased/bullied, victim of violence, decreased/poor academic performance, past/present history of violent and aggressive behaviors, drug/alcohol use, affiliation with gangs or hate groups, access to firearms and making threats to commit violence. When a troubled student is identified, intervention needs to first take place by communication with parent and coordination with service agencies: child and family agencies, juvenile justice systems, mental health agencies, etc. The student needs to be a part of the intervention process and an emphasis needs placed on personal responsibility for his/her actions. Early intervention is also a key component of creating safe schools which includes: school-wide training, teaching problem solving/anger control skills, linking resources to families, promoting firearm safety information within community, reducing class/school size, increasing campus security and adopting a zero-tolerance policy. Lastly this guide suggests schools develop a team to implement their safe school plan.
Implications: As stated in this guide, a school could implement many effective safe school strategies but still experience a violent act. There are no promises that if everything is followed, a school won’t experience a tragedy. It is noted that relationships are one of the most important preventive measures, for example, all students benefit from positive relationships with adult role models in which they can share their feelings and receive help solving conflicts. In addition, effective schools should communicate that all children are valued and respected. Those safe school expectations are ideal and effective however implementing them could be difficult since a great amount of time in each day is dedicated to meeting state requirements of instruction. Also staff members may not be able to provide the relationship factor that is so crucial in prevention of aggressive behaviors. In conclusion, this guide is reader-friendly and provides a great starting point for schools to be more effective and comprehensive in their prevention, intervention and crisis response plans.

5. This is a link to a source I have used in therapy with victims of bullying: Bullies to Buddies

6.Bully Police USA-A Watch-dog Organization - Advocating for Bullied Children& Reporting on State Anti Bullying Laws

This website offers a list of programs schools can research to see if they are right for their school and school district. Some programs have links to follow in a logo/picture under the program name. This is not a comprehensive list, but can offer some ideas about what to look for and what is effective.

Bully Police USA

7.Building Respectful Learning Communities

Building Respectful Learning Communities (BRLC) is a social and emotional learning model that develops administration, staff and student competencies to impact school climate, culture and academic achievement.
The model can be applied to children with behavioral and emotional support needs, as well as general education students. It uses a common approach, which allows a school, district, or agency to link programmatic goals, methods and behaviors across the full spectrum of students and staff.

Building Respectful Learning Communities
Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, provides a wealth of information about bullying, cyberbullying, individuals who are at risk, how to respond and prevent bullying, and how to get help if you are a victim of bullying. In addition, the website offers additional resources, information about anti-bullying laws and policies as well as free webinars on using evidenced-based bullying prevention programs.

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