• Full Name Full Name Comment goes here.
    Are you sure you want to
    Your message goes here
    Be the first to comment
    Be the first to like this
No Downloads


Total Views
On Slideshare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds



Embeds 0

No embeds

Report content

Flagged as inappropriate Flag as inappropriate
Flag as inappropriate

Select your reason for flagging this presentation as inappropriate.

    No notes for slide


  • 1. RESEARCH AND PRACTICEHIGHLIGHTS: PREVENTINGBULLYING ABUSEAND SCHOOL VIOLENCE Amanda Nickerson, PhD Associate Professor and Director Alberti Center for Bullying Abuse Prevention University at Buffalo nickersa@buffalo.edu gse.buffalo.edu/alberticenter
  • 2. Overview Introduction and needs assessment Alberti Center slideshow Facts and figures about bullying Prevention and intervention: The best of our knowledge Vision for and highlights from Alberti Center
  • 3. Facts and Figures
  • 4. BullyingIntentional, usually repeatedacts of verbal, physical, orwritten aggression by a peer(or group of peers) operatingfrom a position of strength orpower with the goal ofhurting the victim physicallyor damaging status and/orsocial reputation Olweus (1978); United States Department of Education (1998)
  • 5. Types of Bullying Physical bullying  punching, shoving, acts that hurt people Verbal bullying  name calling, making offensive remarks Indirect bullying  spreading rumors, excluding, ganging up Cyber bullying  willful and repeated harm inflicted through the use of computers, cell phones, and other electronic devices Hinduja & Patchin (2009)
  • 6. Bullying vs. Teasing vs. ConflictTeasing: Fun, good-natured,“give-and-take” between friends designedto get both parties to laugh Conflict: A struggle, dispute, and/or misunderstanding between two opposing forcesBullying: Based on a powerimbalance; taunting another with theintent of harming; continues whenthe other is distressed
  • 7. Prevalence Estimates vary WIDELY, but according to student self-report...  20-25% have bullied at least once  5-20% bully consistently  15-40% are targets of bullying  20-25% are bullied regularly  ~ 18-20% are cyber-bullied  1-2% are extreme victims who experience severe traumatization or distress Carylyle & Steinman (2007); Cowie (2000); Nansel et al. (2001); Perry, Kusel, & Perry (1988); Skiba & Fontanini (2000)
  • 8. When and Where Does Bullying Occur? Pre-K through late high school (and beyond); peaks in middle school  Physical bullying declines as children get older  Social, verbal, and cyberbullying continue through high school Anywhere; most likely in less closely supervised areas  Bus, locker room, playground, lunch, hallways, and everywhere (for cyberbullying)
  • 9. Gender Differences  Boys  More direct, physical bullying  Bully more frequently than girls  Bully both boys and girls  Girls  More indirect  More subtle, hard to detect, and often occurs in groups  Tend to target other girls of the same age  Cyberbullying slightly more common than for males Banks (2000); Cook, Williams, Guerra, Kim, & Sadek, (2010); Crick & Grotpeter, (1995);Hinduja & Patchin, (2009); Hoover & Oliver, (1996); Nansel et al., (2001); Olweus, (2002);
  • 10. Common Characteristics of Students who Bully Desire for power and control Get satisfaction from others’ suffering Justify their behavior (“he deserved it”) More exposed to physical punishment More likely to be depressed Engage in other risky and delinquent behaviors  Alcohol and drug use  Fighting Batsche & Knoff (1994); Beaver, Perron, & Howard, (2010); Olweus (1993); Swearer et al. (in press); Vaughn, Bender, DeLisi, (in press)
  • 11. Students who Bully: Complex Picture Often popular, high social status Report average self- esteem and believe they are superior  Most do NOT lack self- esteem However, also report being less engaged in school, less supported by others, more depressed
  • 12. Characteristics of Children who are Bullied Have a position of relative weakness  Age, ethnic background, financial status, disability, sexual orientation Most are passive and lack assertiveness  Do nothing to invite aggression  Do not fight back when attacked  May relate better to adults than peers Fewer provoke others (provocative victims or bully-victims)  Offend, irritate, tease others  Reactive; fight back when attackedBoivin, Poulin, & Vitaro (1994); Hodges & Perry (1999); Olweus (1978, 1993, 2001); Schwartz (2000); Snyder et al. (2003)
  • 13. Consequences for Youth who Bully More likely to experience legal or criminal troubles as adults (even after controlling for other risk factors) Poor ability to develop and maintain positive relationships in later lifeAndershed, Kerr, & Stattin (2001); Farrington (2009); Farrington, & Ttofi (2009, 2011); Oliver, Hoover, & Hazler (1994); Olweus (1993); Ttofi & Farrington (2008)
  • 14. Consequences for Targets of Bullying  Emotional distress  Loneliness, peer rejection  Desire to avoid school  Increased anxiety, depression, suicidal ideation; low self-esteem  In some cases, may respond with extreme violence (two-thirds of school shooters were victims of bullying) Boivin, Hymel, & Bukowski (1995); Boulton & Underwood (1992); Crick & Bigbee (1998); Egan & Perry (1998); Hinduja, & Patchin, (2009); Kochenderfer & Ladd (1996); Nickerson & Sltater (2009); Olweus (1993); Perry et al. (1988)
  • 15. Social Context of Bullying Culture & School Family Bully, Target, and Community (Staff/Peers) BystanderAdapted fromSwearer & Espelage
  • 16. Bullying and Bystanders Peers see 85% of bullying (most join in, some ignore, small number intervene) Peers are influential in early adolescence, when they are more supportive of bullying and less likely to intervene  Bullying = higher social status in a group  Adolescents seek out peers who display more independent, aggressive as opposed to more adult- like, conforming behaviors  “Culture of silence” Charach et al. (1995); Hawkins, Pepler, & Craig
  • 17. Bullying and School Environment Bullying is more likely to thrive in:  Unsupportive or unhealthy school climates  Environments lacking in sense of belonging for students and strong relationships among and between students, teachers, and families  Schools where adults ignore or dismiss bullying behaviors  Schools who serve students who are not academically engaged  LEADERSHIP IS CRITICAL!!!Doll, Song, Champion, & Jones, (2011); Holt, Keyes, & Koenig, (2011); Kasen, Johnson, Chen, Crawford, & Cohen, (2011); Swearer (in press)
  • 18. Bullying and Families For children who bully, there may be…  Less warmth, involvement, supervision  Lack of clear, consistent rules  Harsh/corporal punishment  Parental discord  Domestic violence/child abuse Bowers et al. (1994); Finnegan et al. (1998); Ladd & Ladd (1998); Nickerson, Mele, & Princiotta (2008); Olweus, Limber, & Mihalic (1999)
  • 19. Bullying and Families (cont.) For children who are bullied, there may be…  More intense, positive, and overprotective parenting (for boys)  More threats of rejection and lack of assertion (for girls)  Inconsistent discipline practices (overprotective and neglectful) without warmth for bully-victims For children who intervene, there may be…  More open, trusting relationships with mothers Bowers et al. (1994); Finnegan et al. (1998); Ladd & Ladd (1998); Nickerson, Mele, & Princiotta (2008); Olweus, Limber, & Mihalic (1999)
  • 20. Bullying and School Staff Often not involved in bullying problem or resolution  Intervene less than 10% of the time  Not told about problem (victims fear reprisal) Powerful influence on peer acceptance of others  Warmth, positive feedback leads to greater peer acceptanceBanks (1997); Chang (2003); Cohn & Canter (2002); Hughes, Cavell, & Willson (2001); Limber (2002); Mullin-Rindler (2003); Skiba & Fonanini (2000); White, Sherman, & Jones (1996)
  • 21. Bullying and Culture/Community Exposure to violent TV/video games predicts greater risk of bullying actions Characteristics of neighborhoods have significant effects on bullying behavior  Unsafe Increased risk of  Violent bullying  Disorganized behaviors Cook et al, (2010); Gentile (2003); Olson et al. (2009); Swearer et al. (in press)
  • 22. Prevention and Intervention:The Best of our Knowledge
  • 23. What can Schools do? Have a clear and sensible definition of bullying Collect data about its occurrence in your school Ensure that behavioral and social-emotional skills are developed to prevent bullying Develop and implement anti-bullying policy Actively involve students in efforts Provide training to staff and parents aboutFarrington & Ttofi, (2009); Gregory, Cornell, responses (2010); Koth, Bradshaw, & bullying and effective Fan, Sheras, & Shih Leaf, (2008); Olweus (1993); Olweus, Limber, & Mihalic (1999); Rigby (n.d.)
  • 24. Anti-Bullying Policies Definitions Statement about expected behaviors and prohibitions Reporting procedure Investigation and disciplinary actions  Continuum of consequences and interventions Training and prevention procedures Assistance for target
  • 25. Working with Parents Proactively communicate the importance of a safe and respectful environment  Workshops, newsletters, open house Be clear about school’s policies Communicate about incidents
  • 26. Immediate Response to Bullying Stop the bullying  Name the bullying behavior and refer to school rules against it Engage other students (bystanders) in why this is not OK Apply consequences to student bullying  Be aware of possible humiliation or retaliation against target so use caution in what is done in front of others
  • 27. Follow-up with Student who is Bullying Remove from situation Expect denial Focus on the behavior (not on the person) Inform student about consequences  Apologize to victim and make plan for preventing problem in future  Discuss incident with teacher, administrator, or parent  Pay for damaged belongings  Spend time in office or another classroom  Lose privilege (e.g., unable to play in sports game) Communicate with parents
  • 28. Communicating with Parents Be timely with communication! Focus on the behavior (not the person) Avoid blaming or judging (expect denial) Emphasize how this type of behavior can be a problem for their child, the other person, and the school environment Inform parent about school response Work together to help child behave in other ways
  • 29. Follow-up with Student who is Bullied Listen and empathize – allow to tell story Ask how you can work together to support and stop Assure that action will be taken
  • 30. Ongoing Work with Students who are Bullied  Identify qualities that may make them vulnerable and intervene accordingly  Enhance social support (peers and adults)  Encourage involvement in an activity in which he or she can experience success  “Check in” regularly about bullying  Monitor for signs of depression, suicide, or violence and refer to mental health professional  1-800-273-TALK (Suicide Lifeline)  1-866-4-U-Trevor (Hotline for LGTQ youth)  www.crisischat.org (text)  1-800-KIDS-400 (Buffalo Crisis Services
  • 31. Ongoing Work with Students who Bully Teach problem-solving to manage emotions Cognitive restructuring for problematic attributions (e.g., “He deserved it;” “Now they know who is in charge”) Assess for other problems (e.g., drugs, suicidality) Increase empathy and perspective taking
  • 32. Anti-Bullying Programs Some evidence to support effectiveness of school bullying interventions in enhancing…  Teacher knowledge  Efficacy in intervention skills  Behavior in responding to incidences of bullying  To a lesser extent, reduction of participation of students in bully and victim roles (Merrell, Gueldner, Ross, & Isava, 2008 meta-analysis)
  • 33. Anti-Bullying Programs On average, bullying decreased by 20- 30% and victimization 17-20% through the use of school-based interventions Best results for programs that are:  intensive and long-lasting  carefully monitored for fidelity of implementation  assessed regularly (2x monthly)  evidence-based  inclusive of parent training activities (Ttofi & Farrington, 2011 meta-analysis)
  • 34. What DOESN’T Work? Brief assemblies or one-day awareness raising events Zero-tolerance policies  May result in under-reporting bullying  Limited evidence in curbing bullying behavior Peer mediation, peer-led conflict resolution  Many programs that used this approach actually saw an increase in victimization  Grouping children who bully together may actually reinforce this behaviorDodge, Dishion, & Lansford, (2006); Farrington & Ttofi, (2009); Nansel et al., (2001)
  • 35. Vision for and Highlights fromAlberti Center
  • 36. Alberti Center Mission To further our understanding and to reduce bullyingabuse in schools byproviding research- based tools toactively change thelanguage, attitudes, and behaviors ofeducators, parents,students, and wider society. Dr. Jean M. Alberti
  • 37. Current Research Projects Bullying and Wellness Study (Grades 5-8) School Climate and Prevention and Intervention Efforts Regarding Bullying and Harassment  Before and after Dignity Act implementation PREPaRE School Crisis Prevention and Intervention Training Evaluation Past Victimization and Current Attachment in College Students
  • 38. Proposed Research Projects (grant proposals) Changes in students’ attitudes and bullying behaviors in middle school in relation to schools’ school climate and bullying prevention efforts Effectiveness of social norms and bystander intervention training on peer intervention in bullying and sexual harassment
  • 39. Translating Research to Practice Website  Resources, presentations, and events! Presentations Media interviews and appearances Quarterly e-newsletters (sign up for our mailing list!) Colloquia and annual conference Education.com Special Edition, “Bullying at School and Online” – good for parents!
  • 40. Closing (and Opening) "It is the long history of humankind (and animal kind, too) those wholearned to collaborate andimprovise most effectively have prevailed.“ - Charles Darwin Questions? Ideas? Please provide input on needs assessment!!