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Understanding Dialogue Action Making A Difference In Bullying Based on a presentation by: Debra Pepler and Wendy Craig www.yorku.ca/lamarsh Prepared.

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Presentation on theme: "Understanding Dialogue Action Making A Difference In Bullying Based on a presentation by: Debra Pepler and Wendy Craig www.yorku.ca/lamarsh Prepared."— Presentation transcript:

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2 Understanding Dialogue Action

3 Making A Difference In Bullying Based on a presentation by: Debra Pepler and Wendy Craig Prepared by: Heather Halman Coordinator of Educational Services February 2003.

4 What is Bullying? Bullying is a relationship problem The lessons that children learn early on school playgrounds transform and develop into other problems later in life. There is a clear negative impact on the development of both children who are the targets of bullying and those who bully others.

5 Most experts in the field include the following key elements in definitions of bullying: Bullying involves a power imbalance in which the child doing the bullying has more power due to factors such as: »Age »Size »Support of the peer group »Higher status Bullying usually is a repeated activity in which a particular child is singled out more than once and often in a chronic manner. Bullying is carried out with the intent to harm the targeted child. Bullying includes: »Physical aggression »Verbal insults »The spreading of malicious rumors or gossip »Threats of exclusion from the peer group Bullying is unfair and one-sided. It happens when someone keeps hurting, frightening, threatening or leaving someone out on purpose.

6 Common Misconceptions About Bullying children grow out of it bullying is a natural part of growing up-boys will be boys ignoring bullying makes it disappear In fact, bullying is a complex, distressing problem which requires interventions on multiple levels.

7 What Does Bullying Look Like? Bullying can be expressed: »Directly face-to-face »Indirectly behind the back »Sexually especially in later elementary and high school Although it is common for children to experience more than one type, children need different skills to recognize and cope with the different forms of bullying.

8 Direct Bullying The most common form of bullying is overt and direct. This is the only type of bullying with physically observable signs of damage (e.g., physical injury, torn clothes, etc.) Both the child being bullied and others are aware of the identity of the person doing the bullying. The following behaviors are examples of direct bullying: *open attacks *physical harm or threats *insults, taunts or name calling *telling a child to his/her face that s/he cannot play in a mean way

9 Indirect Bullying More difficult to recognize and respond to because the person being bullied may not be present when the bullying happens or may not know the identity of the bully. The primary purpose is social exclusion or the damaging of a childs reputation or status. Examples of indirect bullying include: * spreading malicious rumors or lies * writing hurtful graffiti about a child * encouraging others not to play with a child

10 Is Bullying a males only issue? NO ! Observations of childrens behavior show that girls engage in bullying as much as boys. (Atlas & Pepler, 1998)

11 Sexual Bullying Sexual bullying occurs when one student is targeted by another with unwanted words, actions or media images about sex. Examples of sexual bullying include: * unwanted jokes, comments or taunts about sexual body parts * teasing about sexual orientation or rumors about sexual activities * passing unwanted notes or pictures about sex *grabbing someone in a sexual way or forcing someone to engage in unwanted sexual behaviors.

12 Some Statistics By conservative estimates, 10% of school children are chronic targets of bullying, while the number may be as high as 20%. Almost all children have experienced occasional bullying or seen others being bullied. Each time a child is successful in the attempt to bully- his/her power increases

13 Developmental Perspectives How we respond is key since bullying is repeated over time and generalizes to other developmentally significant relationships. The use of power and aggression in bullying is a key component of sexual harassment, dating aggression, workplace harassment, marital aggression, child abuse and elder abuse. It is a common myth that bullying is something that children just grow out of. Studies reveal that in bullying situations the victim tries a social skills strategy each time- »Ignoring »Walking away »Using your words Children require adult help to gain their power and reduce their negative power of the bully.

14 Bullying is a Systemic Problem Bullying does not occur in isolation. Interventions must include: peers, school, parents community and society Peers (witnesses) play an important role in promoting bullying problems- even when they do nothing. Peers are present in up to 85% of bullying episodes. Peers often pay positive attention to the bully. In 75% of incidents, when peers join in, the level of arousal of the bully increases. Conclusion: For an intervention strategy to be successful it must implicate peers, as well as others.

15 Who is at-risk for bullying and taxing? 75% of students experience no problems 15% of students have occasional difficulties 10% of students are at-risk

16 Four Questions To Ask 1.How long has the problem gone on? (duration) 2.How frequent are the incidents? (daily, weekly, monthly etc.) 3.How severe is the bullying? (verbal, physical?) 4.How pervasive is the bullying? i.e. how many places does it happen? in class? on the playground? on the school bus? with siblings at home?

17 Risk Factors for Bullying and/or Victimization Characteristics of Bullies: exhibit aggressive tendencies have experienced rejection are marginalized have poor social skills lack home support have poor impulse control lack anger management skills are lacking empathy skills

18 Risk Factors for Bullying and/or Victimization Victims: have reputation problems have experienced rejection- are often un-liked are isolated or marginalized have low self-esteem Often children are so motivated to be part of a group that they will endure this and more on a regular basis.

19 Peers Are Important Peers presently intervene in 10-20% of incidents. More frequent than teachers- who intervene in approximately 4-10% of incidents.

20 Peers Are Important IN FACT: Peer interventions are successful in stopping bullying within 10 seconds in 57% of episodes! This is a huge response rate. Bullying is about dominance, so when a peer intervenes or questions the bully, the power and dominance of the bully decreases.

21 Are There Harmful Consequences? For Children Who Bully- A ggressive behavior that takes place in childhood persists into adulthood for many children. Olweus (1991) found that 60% of the boys identified as having serious bullying problems between 6 th and 9 th grades had at least one criminal conviction by age 24. As these students reach the upper grades they are more inclined to associate with others who engage in aggressive behavior- a pattern contributing to the development of adolescent gangs.

22 Are There Harmful Consequences? For Children Who Are Targets of Bullying- Victims of bullying often experience: severe ostracization peer rejection low self-esteem depression loneliness and anxiety insecurity This can lead to a painful cycle in which the children who are most in need of peer support are the least likely to receive it. Research has also established a link between being bullied and having both emotional and academic difficulties.

23 Protective Factors For Bullying And Victimization All children must be given an arsenal of strategies and skills. Social Skills- social awareness problem solving strategies assertiveness training emotional regulation communication and behavior strategies Language Skills- communication abilities expressive abilities to break the Wall of Silence

24 Parents, Teachers And Communities As Partners Parents must strive to: provide a supportive, warm and consistent home environment foster positive attitudes and beliefs teach resilience in the face of adversity guard against over-protectiveness take an active and pro-active approach

25 Parents, Teachers And Communities As Partners Teachers and other adults must strive to: model positive problem solving skills be consistent and fair model respect invite open discussions help children develop empathy for differences walk the talk

26 Parents, Teachers And Communities As Partners School communities must strive to: gather information and evaluate the situation- pre and post testing adopt a multi-faceted program intervene early establish clear school-wide and classroom rules about bullying teach peer intervention skills support students who are at-risk

27 Parents, Teachers And Communities As Partners model support for all children- even the difficult ones train parents in skills and strategies and improve their awareness of bullying as an important issue solicit community partners (CLSC, etc) have consistency of language and strategies train all adults in the school to respond sensitively and consistently to bullying create an environment that is inclusive- not exclusive provide adequate adult supervision, particularly in less structured areas, such as the playground and lunchroom re-culture not restructure the school (M. Fullan) A few can change a lot

28 What Skills Do Children Need to Cope with Bullying? Assertiveness Training- When children respond aggressively to bullying it tends to last longer. However, when children use problem solving strategies such as assertively standing up for themselves, the bullying tends to end sooner. Friendship Skills- Friendship plays an important role in both preventing bullying and in helping children cope once it has occurred. Children with at least one friend are less likely to be bullied and having a friend decreases the effects of the bullying. Peers must strive to: be part of a school culture where it is cool to help others

29 The Power of the Peer Group Debra Pepler and Wendy Craig strongly recommend that bullying prevention programs emphasize changing peer group attitudes, behaviors and norms around bullying in the following ways: promoting the development of empathy for children who are being bullied improving childrens recognition of bullying and their role in the problem teaching children strategies they can use to be part of the solution instead of part of the problem

30 Where Do We Go From Here? The trouble with bullying is that it often works. We can make a difference through: Programs in schools Leadership and commitment on the part of the adults involved. Promoting cultures of awareness and openness Commitment to changing attitudes and behaviors Teaching children to be responsible bystanders Societal commitment of resources

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