Western New York Educational Service Council Presentation


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"Research and Practice Highlights: Preventing Bullying Abuse and School Violence"

Presented by Amanda Nickerson, Ph.D., Director of the Alberti Center for Bullying Abuse Prevention. February 15, 2012.

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  • Research from the Secret Service and the U.S. Department of Education on 37 school shootings, including Columbine, found that almost three-quarters of student shooters felt bullied, threatened, attacked or injured by others. In fact, several shooters reported experiencing long-term and severe bullying and harassment from their peers
  • Western New York Educational Service Council Presentation

    1. 1. Research and Practice Highlights:preventing Bullying 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 WNYESC February 15, 2012
    2. 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. 3. Facts and Figures
    4. 4. BullyingIntentional, usually repeated actsof verbal, physical, or writtenaggression by a peer (or group ofpeers) operating from a positionof strength or power with thegoal of hurting the victimphysically or damaging statusand/or social reputation Olweus (1978); United States Department of Education (1998)
    5. 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. 6. Bullying vs. Teasing vs. ConflictTeasing: Fun, good-natured,“give-and-take” between friendsdesigned to get both parties to laugh Conflict: A struggle, dispute, and/or misunderstanding between two opposing forcesBullying: Based on a powerimbalance; taunting another withthe intent of harming; continueswhen the other is distressed
    7. 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. 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. 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 malesBanks (2000); Cook, Williams, Guerra, Kim, & Sadek, (2010); Crick & Grotpeter, (1995); Hinduja &Patchin, (2009); Hoover & Oliver, (1996); Nansel et al., (2001); Olweus, (2002); Underwood, (2003)
    10. 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. 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. 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 attacked Boivin, Poulin, & Vitaro (1994); Hodges & Perry (1999); Olweus (1978, 1993, 2001); Schwartz (2000); Snyder et al. (2003)
    13. 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. 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. 15. Social Context of Bullying Culture & School Family Bully, Target, and Community (Staff/Peers) BystanderAdapted from Swearer& Espelage (2004)
    16. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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  Violent Increased risk of bullying behaviors  Disorganized Cook et al, (2010); Gentile (2003); Olson et al. (2009); Swearer et al. (in press)
    22. 22. Prevention and Intervention:The Best of our Knowledge
    23. 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 about bullying and effective responsesFarrington & Ttofi, (2009); Gregory, Cornell, Fan, Sheras, & Shih (2010); Koth, Bradshaw, & Leaf, (2008); Olweus (1993); Olweus, Limber, & Mihalic (1999); Rigby (n.d.)
    24. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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 Hotline)
    31. 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. 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. 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. 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 behavior Dodge, Dishion, & Lansford, (2006); Farrington & Ttofi, (2009); Nansel et al., (2001)
    35. 35. Vision for and Highlights fromAlberti Center
    36. 36. Alberti Center Mission To further our understanding and to reduce bullying abusein schools by providing research-based tools to actively change the language, attitudes, and behaviors of educators, parents, students, and wider society. Dr. Jean M. Alberti
    37. 37. Current Research Projects Bullying, anxiety, self-care, and wellness study (grades 5-8) Bullying and victimization within context of school climate  Before and after Dignity Act implementation Evaluation of PREPaRE School Crisis Prevention and Intervention Training Curriculum Gender, empathy, and peer relationships/norms and student roles in bullying
    38. 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 Development, implementation, and evaluation of interventions to change peer norms and bystander behavior in high school
    39. 39. Translating Research to Practice Website gse.buffalo.edu/alberticenter  Resources, presentations, and events!  In progress: Bullying Prevention Program Guide Presentations Media interviews and appearances Quarterly e-newsletters (sign up!) Colloquia and annual conference Education.com special issue on bullying – good for parents! hoobullying-teasing/
    40. 40. Closing (and Opening) "It is the long history of humankind (and animal kind, too) those who learned tocollaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed.“ - Charles Darwin Questions? Ideas? Please provide input on needs assessment!!