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Bullying: Information from UB's Alberti Center


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Presented to Child and Family Services on November 16, 2011.

Published in: Career
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Bullying: Information from UB's Alberti Center

  1. 1. Amanda B. Nickerson, PhD Associate Professor and Director Alberti Center for Bullying Abuse Prevention University at Buffalo [email_address] November 16, 2011
  2. 2. Overview of Presentation <ul><li>Overview of Bullying </li></ul><ul><li>A Role for All: The Social Context of Bullying </li></ul><ul><li>About the Alberti Center </li></ul><ul><li>Q & A </li></ul>
  3. 4. Bullying Intentional, usually repeated acts of verbal, physical, or written aggression by a peer (or group of peers) operating from a position of strength or power with the goal of hurting the victim physically or damaging status and/or social reputation Olweus (1978); United States Department of Education (1998)
  4. 5. Bullying vs. Teasing vs. Conflict Teasing : Fun, good-natured, “give-and-take” between friends to get both parties to laugh Bullying : Based on a power imbalance; intent to cause psychological or physical harm; usually repeated Conflict : A struggle, dispute, or misunderstanding between two equal forces
  5. 6. Prevalence <ul><li>Estimates vary WIDELY, but according to student self-report... </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>20-25% have bullied at least once </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>5-20% bully consistently </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>15-40% are targets of bullying </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>20-25% are bullied regularly </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>~ 18-20% are cyber-bullied </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>1-2% are extreme victims who experience severe traumatization or distress </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>Carylyle & Steinman (2007); Cowie (2000); Nansel et al. (2001); Perry, Kusel, & Perry (1988); Skiba & Fontanini (2000)
  6. 7. When and Where Does Bullying Occur? <ul><li>Pre-K through late high school (and beyond); peaks in middle school </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Physical bullying declines as children get older </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Social, verbal, and cyberbullying continue through high school </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Anywhere; most likely in less closely supervised areas </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Bus, locker room, playground, lunch, hallways, and everywhere (for cyberbullying) </li></ul></ul></ul>
  7. 8. Gender Differences <ul><li>Boys </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>More direct, physical bullying </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Bully more frequently than girls </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Bully both boys and girls </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Girls </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>More indirect </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>More subtle, hard to detect, and often occurs in groups </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Tend to target other girls of the same age </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Cyberbullying slightly more common than for males </li></ul></ul></ul>Banks (2000); Cook, Williams, Guerra, Kim, & Sadek, (2010); Crick & Grotpeter, (1995); Hinduja & Patchin, (2009); Hoover & Oliver, (1996); Nansel et al., (2001); Olweus, (2002); Underwood, (2003)
  8. 9. Common Characteristics of Students who Bully <ul><li>Desire for power and control </li></ul><ul><li>Get satisfaction from others’ suffering </li></ul><ul><li>Justify their behavior (“he deserved it”) </li></ul><ul><li>More exposed to physical punishment </li></ul><ul><li>More likely to be depressed </li></ul><ul><li>Engage in other risky and delinquent behaviors </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Alcohol and drug use </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Fighting </li></ul></ul></ul>Batsche & Knoff (1994); Beaver, Perron, & Howard, (2010); Olweus (1993); Swearer et al. (in press); Vaughn, Bender, DeLisi, (in press)
  9. 10. Characteristics of Children who are Bullied <ul><li>Have a position of relative weakness </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Age, ethnic background, financial status, disability, sexual orientation </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Most are passive and lack assertiveness </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Do nothing to invite aggression </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Do not fight back when attacked </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>May relate better to adults than peers </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Fewer provoke others (provocative victims or bully-victims) </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Offend, irritate, tease others </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Reactive; fight back when attacked </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Boivin, Poulin, & Vitaro (1994); Hodges & Perry (1999); Olweus (1978, 1993, 2001); </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Schwartz (2000); Snyder et al. (2003) </li></ul></ul>
  10. 11. What are Signs that Child May be Bullied? <ul><ul><li>Unexplained illnesses, cuts/bruises </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Avoidance of school and social situations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Passive, unassertive, lacking friends </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Change in behavior </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Not interested in doing things </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Withdrawn </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Feelings of self-blame or hopelessness </li></ul></ul>
  11. 12. What are Signs that Child May be Bullying Others? <ul><ul><li>Refers to others negatively (wimp, loser) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lack empathy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Strong need to win or be the best </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hostile/defiant attitude </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Angers easily </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Gets in verbal or physical fights </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Blames others </li></ul></ul>
  12. 13. Consequences for Youth who Bully <ul><li>More likely to experience legal or criminal troubles as adults (even after controlling for other risk factors) </li></ul><ul><li>Poor ability to develop and maintain positive relationships in </li></ul><ul><li>later life </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Andershed, Kerr, & Stattin (2001); Farrington (2009); Farrington, & Ttofi (2009, 2011); Oliver, Hoover, & Hazler (1994); Olweus (1993); Ttofi & Farrington (2008) </li></ul></ul>
  13. 14. Consequences for Targets of Bullying <ul><li>Emotional distress </li></ul><ul><li>Loneliness, peer rejection </li></ul><ul><li>Desire to avoid school </li></ul><ul><li>Increased anxiety, depression, suicidal ideation; low self-esteem </li></ul><ul><li>In some cases, may respond with extreme violence (two-thirds of school shooters were victims of bullying) </li></ul>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)
  14. 16. A Role for All: The Social Context of Bullying Adapted from Swearer & Espelage (2004)
  15. 17. Bullying and Bystanders <ul><li>Peers see 85% of bullying ( most join in, some ignore, small number intervene) </li></ul><ul><li>Peers are influential in early adolescence, when they are more supportive of bullying and less likely to intervene </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Bullying = higher social status in a group </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Adolescents seek out peers who display more independent, aggressive as opposed to more adult-like, conforming behaviors </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ Culture of silence </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Charach et al. (1995); Hawkins, Pepler, & Craig </li></ul></ul>
  16. 18. Bullying and School Environment <ul><li>Bullying is more likely to thrive in: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Unsupportive or unhealthy school climates </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Environments lacking in sense of belonging for students and strong relationships among and between students, teachers, and families </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Schools where adults ignore or dismiss bullying behaviors </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Schools who serve students who are not academically engaged </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>LEADERSHIP IS CRITICAL!!! </li></ul></ul>Doll, Song, Champion, & Jones, (2011); Holt, Keyes, & Koenig, (2011); Kasen, Johnson, Chen, Crawford, & Cohen, (2011); Swearer (in press)
  17. 19. Bullying and Families <ul><li>For children who bully, there may be… </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Less warmth, involvement, supervision </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Lack of clear, consistent rules </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Harsh/corporal punishment </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Parental discord </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Domestic violence/child abuse </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>For children who are bullied, there may be… </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>More intense, positive, and overprotective parenting (for boys) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>More threats of rejection and lack of assertion (for girls) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Inconsistent discipline practices (overprotective and neglectful) without warmth for bully-victims </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>For children who intervene, there may be… </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>More open, trusting relationships with mothers </li></ul></ul></ul>Bowers et al. (1994); Finnegan et al. (1998); Ladd & Ladd (1998); Nickerson, Mele, & Princiotta (2008); Olweus, Limber, & Mihalic (1999)
  18. 20. Bullying and School Staff <ul><li>Often not involved in bullying problem or resolution </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Intervene less than 10% of the time </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Not told about problem (victims fear reprisal) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Powerful influence on peer acceptance of others </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Warmth, positive feedback leads to greater peer acceptance </li></ul></ul></ul>Banks (1997); Chang (2003); Cohn & Canter (2002); Hughes, Cavell, & Willson (2001); Limber (2002); Mullin-Rindler (2003); Skiba & Fonanini (2000); White, Sherman, & Jones (1996)
  19. 21. What are “Key Ingredients” for Prevention at the School Level? <ul><li>STRUCURE AND SUPPORT </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Clear, consistently enforced expectations and policies for behavior, including prohibition of bullying and harassment, and effective classroom management – means of reporting </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Warmth, positive interest, adult involvement and supervision, and appreciation of differences </li></ul></ul></ul>Farrington & Ttofi, (2009); Gregory, Cornell, Fan, Sheras, & Shih (2010); Koth, Bradshaw, & Leaf, (2008); Olweus (1993); Olweus, Limber, & Mihalic (1999)
  20. 22. School-Based Anti-Bullying Programs <ul><li>Some evidence to support effectiveness of school bullying interventions in enhancing… </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Teacher knowledge </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Efficacy in intervention skills </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Behavior in responding to incidences of bullying </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>To a lesser extent, reduction of participation of students in bully and victim roles </li></ul></ul></ul>(Merrell, Gueldner, Ross, & Isava, 2008 meta-analysis)
  21. 23. School-Based Anti-Bullying Programs <ul><li>On average, bullying decreased by 20-30% and victimization 17-20% through the use of school-based interventions </li></ul><ul><li>Best results for programs that are: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Intensive and long-lasting </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Carefully monitored for fidelity of implementation </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Assessed regularly (2x monthly) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Evidence-based </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Inclusive of parent training activities </li></ul></ul></ul>(Ttofi & Farrington, 2011 meta-analysis)
  22. 24. What DOESN’T Work? <ul><li>Brief assemblies or one-day awareness raising events </li></ul><ul><li>Zero-tolerance policies </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>May result in under-reporting bullying </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Limited evidence in curbing bullying behavior </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Peer mediation, peer-led conflict resolution </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Many programs that used this approach actually saw an increase in victimization </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Grouping children who bully together may actually reinforce this behavior </li></ul></ul></ul>Dodge, Dishion, & Lansford, (2006); Farrington & Ttofi, (2009); Nansel et al., (2001)
  23. 25. Responding to a Bullied Child <ul><li>Listen </li></ul><ul><li>Empathize </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ That must have been very scary for you ” </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Thank child for telling </li></ul><ul><li>Take it seriously </li></ul><ul><li>Partner with child and school to problem-solve </li></ul><ul><li>Follow-up </li></ul>
  24. 26. Responding to a Child who Bullies <ul><li>Focus on behavior (not child as person) and why it is not OK </li></ul><ul><li>Apply logical, meaningful consequences </li></ul><ul><li>Increase supervision and monitoring </li></ul><ul><li>Work with child to develop plan for how to prevent this behavior in future </li></ul><ul><li>Consider professional help to increase empathy, perspective taking, and problem-solving </li></ul>
  25. 27. Dignity for All Students Act <ul><li>Prohibits harassment of students with respect to race, weight, religion, sexual preference, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Unlawful to not remedy harassment or bullying on school grounds </li></ul><ul><li>Includes: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Policies and guidelines </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Curriculum changes in civility, citizenship, and character education </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Training (for staff and point person) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Record keeping </li></ul></ul></ul> Effective July 1, 2012
  26. 29. Mission <ul><li>To research, identify, and disseminate resources to practitioners on the topics of bullying abuse prevention and intervention </li></ul>Dr. Jean M. Alberti
  27. 30. Current Activities <ul><li>Identification of high quality resources and links for website </li></ul><ul><li>Needs assessment </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Resource availability and utilization </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Current practices and needs (interviews, surveys) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Research and evaluation </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Gender, empathy, group norms, and prosocial affiliations on bullying roles (middle school) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Bullying, anxiety, and self-care (middle school) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Group intervention for students at-risk for depression (middle and high school) </li></ul></ul></ul>
  28. 31. Research Directions <ul><li>Bullying and victimization within the context of school engagement and wellness </li></ul><ul><li>Parents’ responses to children’s bullying experiences </li></ul><ul><li>Factors that contribute to peer intervention in bullying situations </li></ul><ul><li>Evaluation of efforts to prevent and intervene in bullying </li></ul>
  29. 32. Questions? <ul><li>Thank you for your attention and interest! </li></ul>