Category Archives for Research
Posted: June 27, 2016
Bullying has long been viewed as a rite of passage for young people today. But bullying is not a normal part of adolescence and is now appropriately considered to be a serious public health problem with long-term consequences. According to national surveys, the prevalence of bullying in schools ranges from 18-31 percent of school children. In recent years technology has allowed for an additional type of aggression—cyberbullying—which takes place through social media, instant messaging, and other forms of digital communication, with data showing that the prevalence of cyber victimization ranges from 7-15 percent of youth.
Recognizing these public health concerns, a group of federal agencies and philanthropic partners asked the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to appoint a committee of experts to review the wealth of research on bullying that is now available and identify what else must be done to better understand and reduce bullying... Continue ReadingPosted in Federal Partners in Bullying Prevention
Posted: May 25, 2016
Social media, when done right, holds great promise for public health practitioners. As the adoption of Facebook, Twitter, and other online engagement tools become more common among leaders of the field, so too will the insights and sharing of best practices.
With more than one in five youth between the ages of 12 and 18 years old targeted at school, bullying is a widespread problem. In a new journal article, the team at StopBullying.gov takes a close look at online conversations about bullying and uncovers new strategies for promoting public health messages about bullying.
Identifying New Strategies to Assess and Promote Online Health Communication and Social Media Outreach: An Application in Bullying Prevention, published in Health Promotion Practice, was written by Erin Reiney and... Continue ReadingPosted in Federal Partners in Bullying Prevention
Posted: March 2, 2016
States and districts are increasingly in support of policies and practices that shift school discipline away from zero tolerance, such as suspension and expulsion, to discipline that is focused on teaching and engagement. To this effort, districts and states are rethinking discipline and adopting both Restorative Justice Practices (RJP) and Bullying Prevention (BP) as school-wide efforts to provide school staff with a set of preventative and responsive strategies to supporting positive student behaviors. Continue Reading
Posted: September 10, 2015
Bullying can take many forms: hitting or pushing (physical bullying), teasing or calling others bad names (verbal bullying). And it also involves relational forms, such as manipulating peer relationships by spreading nasty rumors, threatening to terminate friendships or excluding someone from a social group. Students who are bullied in any of these ways may suffer from depression and anxiety, and have academic problems.
In the past two decades, relational aggression has received an abundance of media attention. Books, movies and websites have portrayed girls as being cruel to one another, thus creating and reinforcing the stereotype of “mean girls.” However, this popular perception of girls being meaner than boys is not always supported by research. While data from the U.S. Department of Education shows some differences between how boys and girls experience bullying – for example, girls were more... Continue ReadingPosted in Specific Groups
Posted: August 6, 2015
The earlier we start, the better the outcomes. Brain scientists, educators, economists and public health experts agree that the foundation for healthy relationships begins at birth. The earlier children can adapt and develop critical social-emotional skills – like attentiveness, persistence and impulse control – the earlier they can engage in healthy social interactions with their peers.
Given the tremendous amount of social and cognitive development that occurs from birth through age 5, it is no wonder there is a growing body of research which shows that even very young children can be at risk for bullying. Before characterizing situations among young children as “bullying,” however, it is especially critical to recognize that... Continue Reading
Posted: July 22, 2015
As a pediatric emergency medicine physician for more than 20 years, seeing sick and injured kids in and out of your emergency department can be difficult, but a part of the job. Knowing you can help them, and being able to make them feel better is why we do what we do. Sadly, many of the children I was seeing with preventable injuries from fighting or assaults were a result of bullying or retaliatory behaviors. I needed to know what I could do to help, to turn the tide – and I have spent the last 10 years of my career focused on this issue. However, bullying still remains a bit of a mystery to many medical professionals.
In April of 2014, I presented at the Institute of Medicine (IOM) and National Research Council (NRC) working session, “... Continue ReadingPosted in Specific Groups
Posted: June 24, 2015
Bullying is more than a problem of one child bullying another. The power imbalance that defines bullying is also reflected in classroom social relations. Whereas those who bully are frequently considered “cool” or popular, their targets are “uncool” are typically rejected by classmates.
Posted: May 15, 2015
Bullying remains a serious issue for students and their families, and efforts to reduce bullying concern policy makers, administrators, and educators. According to U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, “As schools become safer, students are better able to thrive academically and socially. The Department, along with our federal partners and others, has been deeply involved in the fight against bullying in our nation’s schools.” This is why we are so pleased to share that, after remaining virtually unchanged for close to a decade, new data indicate that the prevalence of bullying is at a record low.
According to the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics latest School Crime Supplement (SCS) to the National Crime Victimization Survey, in 2013, the reported prevalence of bullying among students ages 12 to 18 dropped to 22 percent after remaining stubbornly around 28 percent since 2005.
“The report brings welcome news,” U.S. Department of... Continue Reading
Posted: May 12, 2015
It was time for everyone in my 6th grade class to line up in the school gym for our annual weight/height measurements by the school nurse. My stomach was already churning, because, if past experiences taught me anything, I would need to brace for the bullying that would ensue after my weight was called out within earshot of my classmates.
Sure enough, after my weight was announced, I heard laughing and whispers. In both the halls and classrooms, I was called names like “whale,” “heavy chevy” (a shortened version of my name), and “cow.” Even my best friends called me names while we played together on the playground.
That happened almost 40 years ago, but I can remember it plain as day, as if the words were permanently seared into my skin as reminders.
I can also remember choking back tears all the way home and slinking upstairs to my room. I locked the door behind me and pried up a... Continue ReadingPosted in Risk Factors
Posted: April 21, 2015
Bullying is defined as unwanted, aggressive behavior among school-aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time. Studies suggest that this type of peer victimization is a pervasive issue — 28% of children and youth reported being bullied at school during the 2011 school year. Research since the 1990s shows that children who are bullied are more likely than their peers to develop mental and physical health problems. Now, new neurobiological research... Continue ReadingPosted in Risk Factors